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 are giving out our annual Greete Poderat Young Athlete Scholarship to support ambitious young athletes like Greete Poderat was. Greete passed away in 2019 when she was just 22 years old.

Although Greete’s mountain skiing career ended after an injury she was a super active young person participating for years in the Southwestern Advantage student program, investing and doing recreational sports.

The idea of our annual scholarship is to encourage and support youth sports and career options in competitive sports. That’s why we support one young athlete with 1200 euros. Southwestern Advantage Foundation also wants to help young people’s financial awareness: in addition to monetary support, 22-time Estonian champion Gerda Rand is offering the winner her personal mentorship. Gerda is an experienced investor and she has coached competitive athletes before since she was competing at a high level in cycling for 8 years.

It was difficult to choose the winner of the scholarship because again this year there were many candidates worthy of recognition, and many athletes applied for the second year in a row. We want to increase the amount of the scholarship in the coming years because we see that there is a great need for it.

The applicants needed to send a motivational letter, a support letter from their coach, a report card from school, and a list of competitive achievements and recent training camps. The winner was selected by a jury whose members were Greete’s mom, brother, and friends from Southwestern Advantage program.

This years winner is Katarina Verst, young track and field athlete from Tartu University Academic Sports Club who is currently studying at Luunja High School.

Katarina is a true talent in athletics, and her impressive achievements have placed her at the top of the Estonian U18 girls’ pole vault rankings. She has been repeatedly crowned the Estonian champion and named the Athlete of the Year in her age group. Katarina has also excelled on the international stage, including at the Baltic Championships. In addition to her dedication to sports, Katarina is remarkably successful academically and dreams of pursuing studies in physical education at the University of Tartu.

Katarina’s ambitious competition calendar includes several international events and training camps, which come with a significant financial burden. Therefore, she decided to work alongside her studies before receiving the scholarship. The scholarship will help her cover the expenses to travel to the 2023 World School Championships in Brazil and acquire necessary training equipment. Katarina’s determination and dedication are strong, and she wants to prove to herself and others that all the efforts put into training are worth it.

Kadri Kriisa, the Sports Manager of Tartu University Academic Sports Club, describes her as a highly dedicated and determined young athlete who has achieved remarkable results at local, national, and international competitions. Kadri says “Katarina currently holds the top spot in the Estonian U18 girls’ pole vault rankings. She is a multiple-time national champion in her age group, has set several records at the youth competition TV10 Olümpiastarti, and was the winner of the TV10 decathlon for girls under 14 in 2020. Katarina has also claimed first place in the discus throw at the Baltic Championships for the past two years.”

Congratulations! Wishing you continued growth, development, and soaring heights in your upcoming competitions!

“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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