The Wally Foreman Foundation was established by the Foreman family to ensure the legacy and passion Wally held for sport and its influence on the community would be cherished for future generations of Western Australians. The Foundation strives to support the athletes and coaches who Wally would have championed in their pursuit of sporting excellence.
Wally was passionate about sport from grassroots participation to elite level competition, for its ability to impact and contribute to our community. He wanted to help ensure all Western Australians had the opportunity to achieve their dreams in sport and that desire to effect change led him from the media to the Western Australian Institute of Sport, where he remained for 17 years as he helped build one of the most successful state institutes in Australia. Successful, for its ability to impact and change the lives of athletes, coaches and the community around them.
Wally Foreman helped to show the power and reach that sport has in our lives and these scholarships help to continue that work.
Wally Foreman was passionate about sport from the moment he sat as a child in the regional town of Bruce Rock, glued to the wireless listening to ABC Radio's coverage of everything from Test Matches to Wimbledon.
When a diminutive stature and tragic lack of talent combined to rule out a future as a competitor in the sports he loved, Foreman turned to the media, beginning as a cadet with The West Australian in 1972 and going on to establish a respected and outstanding career that spanned 34 years and almost every media outlet in radio, print and television. He covered a wide range of international and domestic events, from Olympic and Commonwealth Games, to Test cricket, Davis Cup and Australian Open Tennis Championships, World Cup athletics, world hockey tournaments, Sheffield Shield, AFL and local football.
Foreman always harboured a desire to be able to impact and effect change within sport, not simply report on it, and achieved that goal when he became the inaugural director of the Western Australian Institute of Sport in 1984, a position he held for more than 17 years. Under his direction, WAIS earned a reputation as a world class provider for elite athletes and a national leader in its field.
He was involved in the development and implementation of the Olympic Athlete Program in the lead-up to the Sydney Olympic Games and was a consultant to the Queensland and Tasmania governments in regard to the establishment of sports institutes in those states.
Foreman retired from WAIS in September 2001 and resumed his full-time media career with the ABC Radio Sporting Department, being named WA Citizen of the Year (Sport) in 2000 and made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2003 for his services to sport. He was also a recipient of the Australian Sports Medal.
Wally Foreman passed away from a sudden heart attack in November 2006. The outpouring of emotion and grief across Western Australia at the news of his passing showed how loved he was as a great West Australian, with his memorial service attended by more than 3000 people at Challenge Stadium and broadcast live around the state on ABC Radio.
The Wally Foreman Foundation was set up in is honour and to continue his work in championing the cause of Western Australia’s elite sportspeople and coaches.