Although revenues for figure skating have declined in recent years, the International Skating Union decided in the summer of 2008 to establish a Junior Scholarship Program as part of the ISU Development Program. The main objective of the program is to provide support for young skaters of outstanding talent coming from developing members.
Eligibility for the Junior Scholarship Program is based on the results of ISU Junior World Championships, the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating or for Synchronized Skating, other ISU sanctioned Junior competitions. Scholarship amounts for the 2008-09 season were $6,000 for single skaters and $7,200 for couples and synchro teams. The scholarships are intended primarily for covering the costs of attending training camps and competitions.
One of the ladies approved for a scholarship by ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta in the inaugural season was the Australian junior ladies champion for the 2007-08 season, Cheltzie Lee.
“It was such an unexpected honor for Cheltzie to be selected to receive the ISU figure skating scholarship this year,” said her mother, Renita. “It came of course at a great time with the anticipated international competitions on her calendar and with the decline of our dollar against the world currency. It was a surprise that certainly can be used wisely.”
Lee is using the scholarship to train in the United States. She usually trains in Canterbury in Australia with Kylie Fennell, Gloria Pracey and Andrei Filipov. She also worked with Kathy Casey in Colorado Springs last December for six weeks and again before Junior Worlds last season for three weeks. "I've worked with Kathy for several years when she comes to Sydney," Lee stated. "She's been helping me perfect my triple Salchow and triple toe.""I had to take a week or so off after I was in Colorado in December 2007," Lee added. "My mom and I were in a 19-car accident in the snow and I had a sprained back muscle that took some time to heal."