There’s no doubting just how talented an athlete like Kinross Wolaroi School’s Phoebe Litchfield is, but was her stellar year enough to secure her the 2016 Orange Junior Sportsperson of the Year gong?
Litchfield is one of nine nominees for the junior prize, one of four major awards to be presented at Wednesday night’s Orange Sport Awards ceremony, which will mark the colour city’s best individual and team performances of 2016.
Along with the Junior Sportsperson of the Year award, the senior equivalent will be presented, as will the Team of the Year and Sports Personality of the Year gongs.
Litchfield, who skippered the NSW under 13s to a national hockey championship silver medal and represented NSW in cricket as well, is joined by last year’s winner James Conran (golf), Connor Whiteley (triathlon, cross country), Annie Miller (netball, basketball), Jackson Willis (athletics and football), Erin Naden (touch football, Australian rules), Tom Zeylemaker (softball), Mac Reith-Snare (softball) and Matt Gray (basketball) as nominees for the award.
All of those nominees have represented at the state level, or higher, in their relevant sports.
Pistol shooters Dean Brus, Pete Brus and Dave Oates claimed the 2015 Team of the Year gong after a 12-month period that was, quite frankly, ridiculous.
It netted the trio state, national and world championships, with the Brus’ also claiming a world record as well.
Oates claimed the senior Sportsperson of the Year gong too, his second, having won an individual world championship.
The questions are, which team follows in their footsteps, and which individual will follow Oates?
Orange Netball Association’s Central West Regional League side is nominated again after winning an unprecedented 21st straight title, as is the under 14s Thunder side which finished second at the Samsung State Age Championships.
Orange’s over 35s women’s masters side is up for the award too after winning a state title.
Orange Emus’ first grade squad is the final nominee having won its second straight Blowes Clothing Cup title last year.
Boxer Jack Littlefield and Muay Thai phenom Charlie Bubb head up the list of nominees for the Sportsperson of the Year award, having won a state title and fought in Thailand respectively.
Darryn Marjoram is once again nominated after being a part of the Australian over 45s hockey side which won the World Cup.
Deb Orrock (hockey), Eliza Mills (basketball, netball), Charlie Gascoyne (cycling) and Janet Martin (cycling, triathlon) are the other four vying for the gong, having all represented their state or country.
Orange City Council will also present the much-coveted Sports Personality of the Year award, which doesn’t have a short list but is no less prestigious.
The 2016 Orange Sport Awards will be presented at the Orange Civic Theatre on Wednesday night.