Teenage athlete clinches award
Edenhope track and field athlete Jesse Iese has set himself a long-term goal ‘and dream’ of representing Australia at Olympic or Commonwealth level after becoming Wimmera Sports Star of the Year.
The teenager, who won the award from a quality field for his performances in the power disciplines of shot put and discus, added that his immediate goal was to win shot put and discus gold medals at national championships in Sydney next month.
Iese has emerged as one of the most promising athletes in the region despite almost falling into the sport by accident and undergoing coaching in Edenhope by correspondence.
He said he had been happy enough in simply being nominated as a finalist for the award and now planned to give the sport his ‘best shot’.
“I plan to do this as long as I can. My parents, the whole town and pretty much most of the Wimmera has got behind me,” he said.
Former Australian netball star and Commonwealth gold medallist Bianca Chatfield presented the Edenhope Secondary College student with his award at a dinner presentation in Horsham.
Iese’s win reflected his success in winning a shot put gold medal at Victorian Championships and shot put and discus gold medals at junior national titles, Alls Schools State Championships and All Schools National Championships.
During the evening Chatfield spoke about her experiences playing sport at an elite level.
Officials also presented awards to other category winners.
Wimmera lawn bowler Edna Anderson was Veteran of the Year and Minyip-murtoa Football Netball Club president Andy Delahunty won a Sportsmanship Award.
A Women in Sport award went to Chloe Wheeler of Horsham Motorcycling Club, Horsham junior basketball advocate Tony Sleep won an Unsung Hero Award and Volleyball Horsham’s Tim Popple snared a Coach of the Year trophy.
St Brigid’s College in Horsham was Sporting School of the Year and Wimmera football umpire Sebastian Dalgleish was named Official of the Year.
Horsham Amateur Basketball Association’s Lee O’grady was Administrator of the Year and Club of the Year went to Horsham Motorcycle Club.
Horsham basketball association’s under-14 boys representative, which made it to national titles, was Team of the Year.
An Access for All Abilities ‘local’ award went to Matt Taylor and a ‘national’ award to Josh Barry.
Horsham Saints football star Jacob Cooke-harrison was Koori Sports Star of the Year, Junior Athlete of the Year was Kaniva shooter Zoe Hawker and a Grassroots Award for a former Wimmera athlete went to Olympic rower Lucy Stephan of Nhill.
ACCOLADE: Wimmera 2017 Sports Star of the Year award winner Jesse Iese celebrates his win with his parents Nicole and Keneti. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER