Sports stars, coaches, groups, clubs and organisations have been recognised at the annual region’s Sports Awards at the Tamworth Memorial Town Hall. The awards recognise the proud, strong and diverse sporting culture and celebrate outstanding achievements. The 2021 winners are:
Coach of the Year: Alex Barton – for his work as coach of the two men’s teams and three Junior teams at Hillvue Rovers Football Club. Both men’s teams were in finals positions before the pandemic prematurely ended the season. Alex is also a player and Club President, runs the training sessions, administration tasks, recruiting new players and is first at the fields each week setting up.
Junior Sports Team of the Year: Tamworth Basketball Association 16M Junior Premier Team – this team was the first local side in four years to play at the elite basketball level in the NSW Junior Premier League. The team demonstrated great sportsmanship at all times and were in a strong position to make the Junior Premier League finals and then the State Championships before the pandemic prematurely ended the competitions.
Senior Sports Team of the Year: Tamworth Netball Association Opens Representative Team – for finishing third at the Netball NSW Hart Senior State Titles, the principal state competition for athletes across NSW aged 15 years and over.
Cara Hickson Award: Olivia Earl – Olivia is an 11-year-old from Tamworth who excels in athletics at all levels. Olivia lives with an intellectual disability and is a great advocate for children with special needs and inclusion in sport. In January 2021, Olivia competed in the Regional Little Athletics Championships, competing in javelin in the able-bodied event, placing first which progressed her to the State Little Athletics championships. Olivia competed in multiple events at the Little Athletics NSW State Championships and won the Ben Easter Award for dedication at the 2021 Tamworth Little Athletics presentation.
Junior Sports Star of the Year: Abbie Peet – Abbie is 13 years old, loves to run and lives with cerebral palsy. She has been classified by Athletics Australia to compete in Para Athletic events as a T36. One of Abbie’s biggest achievements this year is that she now holds 3x Australian Para Under 15 records in Athletics, among many other sporting achievement medals. At the 2021 Australian Track and Field Championship, where she was only 12 years old, Abbie competed in the four Under 15 Para events including the 200m placing seventh, the 400m placing forth, the 800m placing second and the 1500m where Abbie won first place. 2021 has been a tough year for Abbie with the loss of her coach, mentor and friend, Wally Warner and the impacts of COVID-19.
Senior Sports Star of the Year: Jack Davis – BMX rider Jack achieved great results in Australia including three first place wins in the NSW State Series Superclass Men; and a second place in the third round of the NSW State Series Superclass Men. Internationally, Jack rode in the USA Pro Series competition in the Men Pro category placing seventh and fifth in the Nashville round, and seventh and third at Rockford.
Jack gained selection in the Australian BMX Team for the 2021 UCI BMX World Championships, taking him to the Netherlands to race where he placed 44th in the Elite Men’s category.
Competing again in the Elite Men’s category, Jack placed forth in the French Cup race in France; and fifth in the 3 Nations Cup in Germany.
Ken McKenzie Award for Services to Sport: Jodie McGinnity – Jodie holds a number of roles within the sport of gymnastics, including her roles as the administration manager and senior coach at the Tamworth Gymnastic Club Incorporated; Judging Co-ordinator for Gymnastics NSW, and member of the Sport Management Committee for Women in NSW.
In 2021, Jodie represented Gymnastic NSW as a coach and judge at the Australian National Championships on the Gold Coast. Jodie currently mentors a number of judges and is a judging course presenter for Gymnastics NSW, holding many judging courses all over the state.
Possibly Jodie’s greatest achievement has been made locally with the creation of the annual Country Capital Cup Competition held at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Conference Centre (TRECC) each June. This competition started with just 200 competitors and she has overseen and driven the growth of the event to over 1,000 competitors and some 2,000 to 3,000 spectators from NSW in 2021.
2021 Sports Star of the Year: Jack Davis, this award winner is selected from the winners of the individual award categories.
Sports Hall of Fame: Jack Davis, the Tamworth Regional Sporting Hall of Fame recognises the outstanding achievements of those who have developed their sporting skills within the Tamworth region. To qualify as a member of the Hall of Fame, nominees must have been selected to represent Australia at a senior level within a sport recognised by the Australian Institute of Sport, Australian Sports Commission or a similar national body.
Jack has developed his skills on a bike for many years and with the support of the local Tamworth BMX club, friends and family, has been able to continue to train and compete in a time where many have not been as fortunate.
He has been selected to represent Australia at the 2021 UCI BMX World Championships.
Jack is currently overseas competing in a number of World Cup Races, and therefore Jack’s dad, accepted this honour on his behalf.