Sports stars cel­e­brated


Kalgoorlie Miner - - SPORT - Neale Harvey

In the 13 years since the RUC Min­ing Gold­fields Sports Star of the Year Awards were res­ur­rected, the cal­i­bre of fi­nal­ists has been first class. This year is no ex­cep­tion. Ahead of next Fri­day night’s awards at the Kal­go­or­lie Town Hall, the judg­ing panel face a tough time as­sess­ing the mer­its of se­nior fi­nal­ists Gavin Bailiff (cricket), Richard Bourne Jr (foot­ball), David Boyes (speedway) and Brian Blechyn­den (touch).

An out­stand­ing group of ris­ing stars fi­nal­ists com­prises Jade Woods (squash), Con­nor Fewkes (golf), Olivia Black (ath­let­ics), Billy Hicks (bas­ket­ball), Macken­zie Hoy­card (bas­ket­ball) and Wayne John Mar­quand (clay tar­gets).

The awards, which in­clude ser­vice to sport, per­son with a dis­abil­ity, masters sports star and team of the year cat­e­gories, re­turned in 2002 af­ter an ab­sence of nearly two decades.

Al­though they ran through­out the 1970s, the awards had not been pre­sented since the late 1980s, but were re­vived fol­low­ing ma­jor in­ter­est from the Depart­ment of Sport and Recre­ation’s then-re­gional man­ager Dean Holder and former city coun­cil staffer Troy Jones. The con­cept was em- braced by the City of Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der and the Kal­go­or­lie Miner.

This year’s event in­cludes the lat­est in­ductees into the Gold­fields Sport­ing Hall of Fame.

The con­cept of a Sport­ing Hall of Fame be­ing es­tab­lished in Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der was floated for years be­fore fi­nally gath­er­ing mo­men­tum in 2004 with the for­ma­tion of a spe­cial com­mit­tee.

Former Gold­fields Foot­ball League chair­man, the late Doug Krepp, floated the orig­i­nal idea in 1998 amid con­cerns the re­gion’s rich sport­ing his­tory was grad­u­ally dis­ap­pear­ing. Krepp had ac­tu­ally pro­posed the idea of a sport­ing mu­seum be­ing es­tab­lished in the re­gion dur­ing the mid-1990s and de­cided to pur­sue the hall of fame project af­ter at­tend­ing the Kal­go­or­lie City Foot­ball Club’s 1998 cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions.

Krepp’s pre­ferred venue at that time was the Boul­der Town Hall, but the Kal­go­or­lie Town Hall be­came the of­fi­cial site ahead of the in­au­gu­ral 2005 class.

Next Fri­day’s pre­sen­ta­tion will in­clude former West Coast Ea­gles cham­pion Dean Kemp and 2014 world men’s hockey player of the year Mark Knowles as spe­cial guests.

Out­stand­ing triath­lete Anthea Stacey last night capped an ex­cel­lent year, high­lighted by in­ter­na­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion, in claim­ing the pres­ti­gious Gold­fields Sports Star of the Year Award.

Stacey trailed only high-pro­file pro­fes­sional Kate Bevilaqua in the re­gion’s Olympic-dis­tance race held in April — just one com­po­nent of a dom­i­nant cam­paign in which she recorded the fastest time in all do­mes­tic events.

It cul­mi­nated with her win­ning the 2012-13 Tel­stra State Se­ries ti­tle in which points were ac­cu­mu­lated over var­i­ous rounds.

Stacey won the State Sprint Dis­tance cham­pi­onship in Perth last De­cem­ber and, five months later, she fol­lowed up by lead­ing all 16 to 19 years com­peti­tors at the Aquathon cham­pi­onships.

The ac­co­lades con­tin­ued to roll in and in­cluded vic­tory in the 16 to 19 years sec­tion at Man­durah’s State Olympic-dis­tance triathlon, when she recorded the best time among all fe­male com­peti­tors.

At Bus­sel­ton’s 2013 Sun­smart Iron­man, Stacey won the 20 to 24 age cat­e­gory and was placed 11th over­all among 422 women’s com­peti­tors.

Her stand-out form in the var­i­ous State Se­ries events was re­warded with Aus­tralian se­lec­tion in the 20 to 25 years cat­e­gory at the World ITU cham­pi­onships in Lon­don in Septem­ber. Stacey fin­ished 17th in her age divi­sion. Also last night, young mo­tocross rider Con­nor Tier­ney was the re­cip­i­ent of the Ris­ing Sports Star of the Year Award.

Tier­ney, 15, was first in the 13 to 15 years 250cc divi­sion at the State ju­nior cham­pi­onships and also led the 13 to 16 years field in the same class at the an­nual Kid Of The Cross.

At a na­tional level, Tier­ney was over­all third in three ma­jor events and also placed fourth in the 13 to 16 years 250cc class.

The teenager’s suc­cess at the na­tion­als capped a me­te­oric re­turn to top-level com­pe­ti­tion fol­low­ing a bro­ken shoul­der.

Hockey player Kel­lie Sadler won the Masters Sports Star of the Year Award af­ter ini­tially rep­re­sent­ing WA’s over 35s at the na­tion­als held in Ade­laide.

Erin Wood, a stand-out in both ath­let­ics and aquat­ics, was re­warded with the Dis­abled Sports Star of the Year Award while Great Boul­der Cricket Club stal­wart Dean Jer­rard earned the Ser­vice To Sport Award. The re­gion’s un­der-17 coun­try week soc­cer team was judged Sports Team of the Year.

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