ORANGE hockey guru Beth Shea has been awarded life membership of the Western Region Academy of Sport at their annual awards night last Saturday.
A former Australian representative, Shea has spent the last 29 years involved with WRAS and is a long time coach, administrator and board member.
Presented with the award in front of Minister for Sport and Recreation Graham Annesley, four-time Olympian Bradley McGee and a host of hockey talent she’s mentored, Shea said receiving such a gong was an honour.
However, it wasn’t a surprise.
“When you’re on the board and it’s got to go through the board before it’s approved there’s not much surprise,” Shea laughed.
“But when I was being asked what I had done through the years it actually surprised me.”
Shea said being involved in the careers of Hockeyroos Alyson Annan and Jade Warrender was something special.
She added coaching hockey was a long-time passion of hers.
“I was thinking about that the other day, and there’s rarely a player who comes through the system who doesn’t leave a better player and I like to think a better person,” she said.
“Not everyone goes on to play for Australia but they at least improve in some shape or form.”
Wallaby and former Kinross Wolaroi First XV skipper Ben McCalman was inducted into the WRAS Hall of Fame on the night.
Andrew Gray (Basketball), Abby Tilburg (Netball) and Benjamin Cox (Lawn Bowls) were named squad athletes of the year for the respective sports.
Both Gray and Tilburg also received strength and conditioning awards.
Bathurst’s Jessica Watterson was named the 2013 WRAS Overall Squad Athlete of the Year.