The Eli Wolff True Athlete Scholarship Award announced
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A new scholarship in memory of a true champion in sport and human rights has been launched.

The True Athlete Project (TAP) has established a scholarship to honour the game-changing work of Eli Wolff, who passed away last year. Eli was a true friend of our project from the very start, and a mentor to our founder Sam Parfitt. The scholarship will be awarded to a young athlete, so they can take part in our 2024 global athlete mentoring program, thereby combining Eli's passions - of supporting young people facing barriers, sport, and mentoring.

"Educator, innovator, advocate, athlete, leader, husband, father, and friend, Eli embodied the Olympic spirit. He delicately connected the worlds of human rights and sport like no other person has done. Eli held many professional accomplishments. Notably, he helped establish the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and ensured sport was included in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In 2000, he established the ESPY Award for Best Male and Female Athlete with a Disability." - Statement from the Blauwet Wolff family. You can read more about Eli here, and view his TedTalk on inclusion in sport here.

Sam reflects on Eli's life: "Eli had the most profound footprint on the world; there are so many individuals and organisations that owe him a debt of gratitude that is impossible to repay. The True Athlete Project itself started with the encouragement of Eli when we met at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky. He gave me my first ever opportunity to step into the sport for change world, mentored me, connected me with others, gave steady yet inspirational advice in just the right way, and was always in our corner, rooting for us. What an example of humility and kindness mixed with a powerful ability to make waves and create real change."

We can now announce that this scholarship has been awarded to Susie Seddon-Cowell, a fencer from Great Britain, enabling her to take part in TAP's holistic athlete mentoring program.

"I am honoured to have been awarded The Eli Wolff - True Athlete Scholarship, which has enabled me to take part in the 2024 True Athlete Project mentoring program. The program’s emphasis on developing well-rounded athletes is something I was keen to explore, and I wouldn’t have been able to access this opportunity without the support of the scholarship. Eli was a strong advocate for the power of sport as an engine for social change and worked tirelessly to promote disability equity and inclusion in sport. As the inaugural recipient of this scholarship, I hope to be able to live up to his example and further the ideals he made his life’s work.

​"The True Athlete Project is unique and amazing. Having been a high-level athlete earlier in my life, I was aware of the difficulties that athletes face when trying to combine an involvement in high-level sport with study or work and everyday life. TAP allows mentees to have a confidential and structured space where they can take time to step back with their mentor to learn about themselves and talk about what really matters to them. One of my mentees once said to me, "what I love most about TAP is that people ask me how I am and not just how training and competitions are going; I feel like I exist as a person and not just as an athlete." And by the way, he broke his personal best four times during the year that he was involved in the program, so the content is obviously touching on all the right subjects!"



Director of Athletics


United Kingdom
All regions
All sports
Sustainable Development Goals
10 – Reduced inequalities
Target Group
All target groups

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