Anna Wilding – founder of the Wilding Foundation and internationally known actress, director and producer – shall be awarding the Foundation’s Anthony Wilding Scholarship for Prowess in Sport to 13-year-old Charlotte Sullivan.

The presentation takes place on August 5 at 2pm, at Kirkwood Intermediate School on Riccarton Rd, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Charlotte is a world class gymnast, and one of NZ’s top three gymnasts. Charlotte beat out many other countries to come in third recently in Championships in Melbourne. Charlotte has now been selected to compete and represent New Zealand in the Commonwealth Youth Games on the Isle of Man in September 2011. Charlotte aims for the Rio De Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

Anna Wilding discovered Charlotte while shopping at The Drawing Room Art Supply store – which has re-opened in the former CBD red zone in the earthquake-ravaged city of Christchurch – when she came across a flyer posted to the bench. The flyer featured Charlotte, who was selling chocolates to raise money for her forthcoming trip.

Ms Wilding was touched by the tenacity, determination and hard work shown by Charlotte. She was able to approve a Scholarship the next day to give Charlotte added incentive, and enable Charlotte to attend the Youth Games.

The Anthony Wilding Scholarship for Prowess in Sport was established to give faith, hope and opportunity to individuals of all backgrounds to succeed regardless of circumstance. The overall purpose of the scholarship is to provide opportunity to those of exceptional talents whose dreams, hopes and talents could not otherwise be realized due to economics, geographic locations or other such factors.

The aim is to raise the well-being – and empower the individual and create equal opportunity – of New Zealanders at home and abroad. Wilding set up the scholarship in the name of her great uncle, Anthony Wilding, a tennis legend who won Wimbledon 10 times in both singles and doubles matches in the early 1900s.

Since the earthquake that ravaged Christchurch in February, Anna has been fundraising and administering funds in a very hands on way throughout the city, under its emergency charter, to those in need. Ms Wilding gave up her job in the USA to carry out her charity work.

Ms Wilding has great faith in Charlotte and her abilities and determination. She says: “Charlotte lost her training ground, the QE2 Stadium [in the earthquake], and she just got on with it – I like and understand that attitude.”

Charlotte travelled to Rangiora and even Blenheim to continue training.

Anna Wilding added, “I am very happy we have a deserving Christchurch recipient. This is the best of New Zealand, and I am happy we can support that so Charlotte has an easier time, being present on the international stage.”

Charlotte has received no government help or subsidies.

Find out more about the Wilding Foundation here.

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