JUDGES have had a tough time selecting Orange’s Australia Day Sports Awards winners.
There has been no shortage of nominations for the awards including more than 50 just for the junior sports person of the year.
Orange City Council sport and recreation adviser Ben Keegan said narrowing the lists down to one winner had been a challenge.
“We found the junior sports person of the year a particularly difficult decision this year with Jade Warrender (hockey), Daniel Mortimer (league) and Tim Guy (cycling) all achieving at such a high level not to mention the three Special Olympics basketballers (Mitch Mavrak, Eliza Barden, Bernadette Barden) whose achievements can not be underrated.”
There is no shortage of talent in the junior and senior sports person of the year nominees.
As mentioned by Keegan, the junior award has attracted a number of athletes who have represented at an elite level in their chosen sport, some wearing the green and gold Australian uniforms.
The senior award will also be hotly contested with a number of people from various sports achieving at an elite level.
Some of the biggest achievers in 2007 did not come from mainstream sports such as the four football codes, hockey and netball.
Those who have earned national selection in 2007 include tenpin bowlers Jason Belmonte, Donna Holland and David Hayward as well as pistol shooter Dean Brus and softball coach Grant Pickering.
The senior and junior sports person of the year awards are popular but another which is equally as prestigious is the sports personality award.
This is presented in recognition of someone who
is actively involved in the organisation and/or coaching of sport in Orange and the
The award was created because there are people in the community who play a key role in their sporting organisation but often do this work without any recognition from the wider community.
Previous recipients include Orange Runners’ Club president Gary Williams, Orange Emus premiership-winning coach Richard Turnbull and softball coach Grant Pickering.
Also presented on the day are sports achievement awards to athletes who have represented NSW or higher as part of a team or as an individual in their sport.
The other two awards to be presented will be the business support award and the organisation award.
The honours will be presented at Cook Park on Saturday from 11am.