Triathlon greats from across the country all gathered last Sunday 11th December at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast as Triathlon Australia celebrated a remarkable season at the Annual Celebration of Champions Awards.
It was glittering celebration of the past, present and future champions of the sport on a night which brings together the community away from the Lycra and in their best suits and frocks to recognise those who have gone above and beyond.
And it started the right way with Triathlon NSW Life Member Craig Alexander OAM becoming the 16th member of the Triathlon Australia Hall of Fame.
‘Crowie’ as he’s known to all is a five-time world champion and one of the most outstanding athletes ever to grace the stage of our sport. He’s a true inspiration and living legend and we can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honour!
Five pioneers were elevated to Legend of Sport status - Tim Bentley, Belinda Granger, Lachlan Lewis, Radovan Leovic and the Cronulla Triathlon Club’s Belinda Soszyn.
Now adays, most would know Belinda from Multisport Australia, the worlds best timing company who basically do nearly all the timing across Australia for all multisport and single discipline events.
However it was her sporting prowess that was the basis of her ‘Legend’ status as a world class and prolific Triathlete.
Newcastle Triathlon Club’s Golden Girl and Tokyo Paralympic silver medalist Lauren ‘Loz’ Parker was awarded Performances of the Year for both 2021 and 2022.
Fresh of taking out Sport NSW’s ‘Athlete of the Year with a Disability’, Lauren was also named the 2021 and 2022 Para triathlon Female Performance of the Year and honored as a three-time World Champion for 2019, 2021 and 2022.
To top of a truly remarkable night for a remarkable human being, Lauren was awarded the winner of the prestigious Athlete’s Athlete of the Year for 2022. This is an award voted on by their peers.
In a remarkable year Parker won double gold in the World Para Series in Montreal and Swansea, before defending her world title in Abu Dhabi last month, completing a rare three-peat, after her previous title wins in Lausanne in 2019 and Abu Dhabi in 2021.
Triathlon NSW Development Program alumni, Matilda Offord (Hills Triathlon Club and Macarthur Triathlon Club) was named joint winners of the Chris Hewitt Emerging Athlete Award –in memory of Chris Hewitt – a former Triathlon Australia president and Board Member who was a major player in the development of young triathlon talent.
Deanna Waters (NSW) 2022 joined other Technical Officials from around Australia, taking out the Rob George Awards that recognises the valuable contributions made by Technical Officials (TO) in their home states. Deanna is also a member of the Technical Sub Committee and the Triathlon NSW Board, so her volunteerism runs deep.
The Rob George Award is presented to officials who demonstrate a high personal commitment similar to that exhibited by the late Rob George – a valued long-term member of the TA family and highly respected by all members of the triathlon community as a TO in NSW, who passed away suddenly in 2012.
Nathan Miller (Tri Mob) was awarded the Age Group Coaches of the Year (NSW) – an award recognising coaches who display excellence in all aspects of the Age Group environment.
Nicky Western (NSW) was recognised with the Pathways Coach Award, a new award introduced to acknowledge the instrumental role coaches play in the early development of athletes who will go on to become future Champions.
Western received the award for her guidance and mentorship, growing the Hunter Academy of Sport in Newcastle to achieve excellent results.
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