Southwestern Advantage Foundation’s aim is to contribute to young people’s entrepreneurship education and experience in the countries where the Southwestern Advantage student program takes place. Since 2020, we have been awarding the annual Greete Poderat Young Athlete Scholarship, established in memory of Greete Poderat, a talented and inspiring young athlete who unfortunately passed away.

Although Greete’s alpine skiing career ended due to an injury, she was a very active young person, participating in the Southwestern Advantage student program for years and engaging in investing, entrepreneurship and recreational sports. The idea of the scholarship is to encourage and support youth sports and career opportunities in elite sports. Therefore, we support one young athlete with 1200 euros.

Choosing the winner of the scholarship was difficult, as there were many deserving candidates once again. We aim to increase the scholarship amount in the coming years, as we see a great need for it. Applicants for the scholarship had to submit a motivation letter, a coach’s recommendation letter, a school transcript, and a list of athletic achievements and training camps. The winner was selected by a jury consisting of Greete Poderat’s mother, brother, and friends from the Southwestern Advantage program.

This year’s winner is Kretel Kaljumäe, a senior at Tallinn Secondary School of Science and a member of the Estonian biathlon junior team. Kretel applied for the Youth Athlete Scholarship for the third time, demonstrating that persistence and dedication lead to success.

Kretel is an 18-year-old dedicated biathlete who has achieved excellent results both in Estonia and in international competitions in biathlon and cross-country skiing:

  • 2016/2017: 1st place in the Estonian Youth Series, cross-country skiing
  • 2018/2019: 1st place in EVIKO ski roll, cross-country skiing
  • 2021: 2nd place in the Estonian Championships N18 team sprint, cross-country skiing
  • 2022: 2nd place in the Tartu Marathon, 31 km, women’s category, cross-country skiing
  • 2023: 1st place in the Baltic Biathlon Cup N19 sprint, biathlon
  • 2024: 1st place in the Estonian Championships N20 sprint, mass start, and relay, cross-country skiing
  • 2024: 3rd place in the Estonian Championships N19 mass start, biathlon
  • 2024: 3rd place in the Baltic Biathlon Cup N19 individual, biathlon

Kretel’s dedication and achievements have also been recognised by her coach and the Estonian Biathlon Federation:

  • Adam Adamson, Head Coach of the Estonian Biathlon Junior Team: “Kretel has shown remarkable progress, and her motivation and determination will definitely take her to the top of winter sports in the future. Her psychological and physical development has been impressive, and she has made great strides in both training and competitions. I believe her dedication and professionalism will lead her to the Olympic Games and the IBU World Cup level.”

  • Mihkel Joosing, Secretary-General of the Estonian Biathlon Federation: “Kretel’s dedication and her high goals in both education and sports are impressive. She is not only an excellent individual athlete but also a strong team player with a great fighting spirit who values the principles of fair play. Kretel has proven her abilities in competitions several times, and her ambition and potential show that she is ready to achieve great things in biathlon.”

Kretel herself expressed her deep commitment and ambitions to reach the top in biathlon in her motivation letter. Her passion and discipline in sports and education are inspiring: “My goal is to compete at the top level in biathlon and represent Estonia with honour in international competitions. Education is very important in my life, and I aim to balance learning and sports.”

In the coming season, Kretel plans to participate in 9 international training camps and many camps in Estonia. SWA Foundation is very pleased to support young athletes like Kretel Kaljumäe, who have shown outstanding dedication and achievements in sports. We believe that Kretel will continue to build her successful career, and we hope that the scholarship will help her achieve her ambitious goals. Best of luck!

“Wake up with determination, go to sleep with satisfaction”

Greete Poderat (18.05.1996-forever)


Southwestern Advantage Foundation’s vision is to be the biggest charitable foundation in Eastern Europe that is built on investment principles and helping young people in obtaining knowledge and developing character so they can fulfill their dreams in life. We help European youth get better entrepreneurship education and offer investment knowledge to those who do not have the opportunity. We are working to reduce and prevent poverty.

We only donate money from the fund’s passive income by directing 50% of the return to charity and 50% back to the fund. That is how your good deed will remain giving forever.

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