22 October 2018
Eight finalists at NSW Sports awards
Eight NSW athletes have been selected as finalists at the premier NSW Sports Awards recently announced. Managed by Sport NSW, seven finalists were named in each category where a who’s who of elite sport in NSW have been recognised.
Track and field was well represented with eight athletes named across five categories. Those named were: Brandon Starc (Athlete of the Year), Kurt Fearnley AO (Athlete of the Year with a Disability), Gabi Watts (Masters Athlete of the Year), Alex Stewart (Coach of the Year), Erin Cleaver and Kailyn Joseph (Young Athlete of the Year with a Disability). Kailyn was nominated by Little Athletics NSW. Also, Sydney-based Western Australian athlete, Madi de Rozario was also selected as a finalist in the Athlete of the Year with a Disability, along with her coach Louise Sauvage.
What esteemed company Brandon Starc is in. He is a finalist alongside NRL Premiership winning captain and NSW State of Origin captain Boyd Cordiner, World C1 and K1 Canoe slalom world champion Jess Fox, Winter Olympics silver medallist Matt Graham, Stephanie Gilmore who recently won her seventh world surfing title, Commonwealth Games diving champion Melissa Wu and Australian all-round cricketer Ellyse Perry. Good luck to the judges trying to determine that winner !
Brandon Starc has been a revelation this year. He started in April by winning the Commonwealth Games high jump title and then in Europe won the Diamond League Final, was second in the IAAF Continental Cup and equalled the national high jump record of 2.36m, set 21 years ago.
It was great to see Gabi Watts recognised for her tremendous World Masters Championships performance where she won two gold medals. In the Athlete of the Year with a Disability award, Kurt Fearnley lines up against a number of other Commonwealth Games gold medallists, Madi de Rozario (wheelchair track and field) and Matt Levy (swimming) and world rowing champion Erik Horrie
In the Young Athlete of the Year with a Disability, track and field has two finalists, Commonwealth Games team mates, Erin Cleaver (Athletics NSW nominee) and Kailyn Joseph (NSW Little Athletics nominee). Both will be strong candidates to win this award.
The fifth finalist nominated by Athletics NSW is Alex Stewart in Coach of the Year category. The coach of Brandon Starc is also up against an amazing lineup of elite NSW coaches. They include Matildas’ coach Alen Stajcic, Rugby League state of origin winning coach Brad Fittler and coaches of Commonwealth champions, Louise Sauvage and Adam Kable (swimming).
The winners are announced at the 2018 NSW Champions of Sport Ceremony on Tuesday 27 November 2018 at Rosehill Gardens.
Also on the evening, Jana Pittman will be inducted into the Hall of Champions.
The public are welcome to attend by booking a seat at: https://www.sportnsw.com.au/home/
David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW
Image: Alex Stewart and Brandon Starc (image courtesy of Brandon Starc)