Sarah Clifton-Bligh was one of the four Para athletes who received the scholarship ©Getty Images

Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) and the Carbine Club of New South Wales have named the four latest recipients of the Kurt Fearnley Scholarship, with the young Para athletes all regarded as prospects for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The 2021-2022 awardees of the scholarship, which is named after three-time Paralympic wheelchair racing champion Kurt Fearnley, receive support up to AUD$3,750 (£1,990/$2,720/€2,320).

Wheelchair racer Sarah Clifton-Bligh, table tennis player Junjian Chen, who narrowly missed qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Games, sprinter Indiana Cooper and swimmer Alex Tuckfield are this year's recipients.

The New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) will give the programme support too, which is fully endorsed by Paralympics Australia.

NSWIS are able to provide another AUD$1,000 (£531/$726/€619), as well as access to NSWIS facilities and mentorship from Fearnley too.

Fearnley ended his career at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games with a victory in the marathon and started the scholarship programme with CGA in 2019.

There have been 10 former recipients from the programme, with this being the third edition of the fund.

Former recipients Jasmine Greenwood and Ricky Betar competed in swimming at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Kurt Fearnley mentor the scholarship recipients ©Getty Images
Kurt Fearnley mentor the scholarship recipients ©Getty Images

Fearnley congratulated the young athletes in a videoconference.

"The growth of Para sport has been remarkable," said Fearnley.

"I remember watching one of the first events in the Commonwealth Games for Para athletes in 1994.

"It was when I was relatively new to the sporting movement and seeing people with disabilities held in the Commonwealth Games as a united family was something that I was really enthralled with…for the Australians, we had Paul Wiggins racing in the marathon and winning the gold medal.

"With this scholarship, you are supporting my community and a group I have constantly said over the last few weeks of Paralympics coverage [with Channel 7], that this is my extended family in the way that it is supported and the way that you have grabbed hold of them.

"I am just extremely grateful, often I think we come from a place where people with disabilities in sport have felt like we as the 'other', but we and I definitely don't see it that way now."

CGA chief executive Craig Phillips stressed the importance of developing Para athletes for the Games.

"The Birmingham 2022 Games, with eight Para sports, will have more Para sport events on the programme than ever before, and we want to provide our young athletes with the opportunity to fulfil their sporting aspirations," said Phillips.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games are scheduled to take place from July 28 to August 8 2022.