Seeking the city’s next top athlete

January 13, 2022 BY

Olympian: Tokyo 2020 javelin-thrower Kathryn Mitchell is a previous Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club Sportsperson of the Year. Photo: KAI PFAFFENBACH/ REUTERS

DO you know, train with, or coach an outstanding high-level local athlete?

The Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club is seeking nominations for their annual Sportsperson of the Year Awards, which will see an impressive, respected elite performer over the age of 18 receive the top honour.

Nominations will also be accepted and reviewed for four other categories, including the Wunhym Trophy for Junior Sportsperson of the Year.

BSC president Bruce Tweedale said the traditional Sportsperson of the Year gala awards evening will be held at the Ballarat Golf Club on Wednesday, 9 February from 6pm, and it’s an opportunity to celebrate excellence.

“It’s fantastic to be able to recognise athletic people, coaching staff, and volunteers,” he said.

“We will have David Parkin OAM, former VFL and AFL coach, as our special guest speaker.”

Any young, up-and-coming local athlete aged 17 or younger, and with big aspirations for their sporting career, is eligible for the Wunhym Trophy.

The MacKenzie/Valpied Award is always presented to a someone who passionately and selflessly gives their time to sport behind the scenes, the Hollioake Medallion celebrates individual or team excellence, while the Widmer Award recognises a coach, trainer or mentor who promotes participation in sport and enriches the athletic arena in Ballarat.

Previous gala presentation guest speakers have included Kieren Perkins OAM, Leigh Matthews, Kerry O’Keeffe, Melinda Gainsford-Taylor, Alastair Clarkson, and Steven Bradbury OAM.

The Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club has been operational for over 60 years, and currently supports groups including the Federation University WestVic Academy of Sport and the Ballarat Sports Foundation through grants.

Nominations for all categories need to include an athlete bio, and can be sent to [email protected] before the deadline of Friday, 28 January.

Tickets for the gala awards evening are $80, and RSVPs can be made to the same email address.

The Sportsperson of the Year awards presentation was cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions.