This week, Sports NSW hosted its most prestigious night of sports at rebel NSW Champions of Sport Ceremony. The night of nights for NSW sport was held at the International Convention Centre Sydney with 550 guests in attendance to witness the induction of six athletes to the NSW Hall of Champions and the announcement of the 2022 NSW Sports Awards winners.
The NSW sporting family came together to recognise and honour the state’s best athletes, teams, coaches and officials. It was also a chance to celebrate World Champions Stephanie Gilmore and Lauren Parker that were crowned Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Year with a Disability.
Gilmore previously won Athlete of the Year Award in 2010 and 2014, while Parker was named Athlete of the Year with a Disability in 2018 and 2019.
This year, Gilmore became the most dominant surfer in female history winning her eighth World Title where she is now recognised as the greatest surfer ever in world surfing, overtaking fellow Australian icon Layne Beachley, who holds an impressive seven world titles. The Kingscliff surfer previously won the world title in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018. Before Gilmore won her eighth World Title in 2022, she had to fight through a whopping five heats on the final day of competition in California – an outstanding achievement and example of fierce dedication and drive.
Parker, who remains the world’s top ranked para-triathlete, demonstrated her dominance enjoying World Championship success in both short course and long course distances. She also became the first para-athlete in history to hold simultaneous World Championship titles in both World Triathlon and Ironman triathlon events.
This year was also the first time a surfer was nominated for the Athlete of the Year with a Disability Award. It was an honour for Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart who holds four World Adaptive Surf Titles to be a finalist in this category. Although he fell short of claiming victory, it is an incredible achievement for Mono to be nominated and recognised for the incredible career he has had to date. Mono is a true inspiration and advocate for adaptive surfing and has paved the way for many in the sport of surfing.
Snowboard halfpipe competitor and Regional Surfing Champion for the U18 Far South Coast region, Valentino Guseli, won the Young Athlete of the Year category and swimmer Jasmine Greenwood was named Young Athlete of the Year with a Disability.
Congratulations to Brad Dalton (Basketball), Craig Johnston (Football), Phil Kearns AM (Rugby Union), Joanne Peters (Football), Prashanth Sellathurai (Gymnastics) and Liesl Tesch AM (Wheelchair Basketball & Sailing) on their induction to the NSW Hall of Champions.
Read more about the evening here
ON YA STEPH!