Sports stars shine at the Academy Awards Evening

The Western Region Academy of Sport held their annual Awards Night at the CSU Dining Hall on Saturday Night with an ‘Rock and roll”50’s theme.

Over 200 guests were in attendance and were delighted by the MC talents of local radio personality Alex Brown. The evening recognized the substantial achievements of WRAS athletes, the hard working members of squad staff and the other valuable supporters and volunteers of the Academy. Jack Newton Junior Golf CEO Peter Van Wegan delighted attendees as the guest speaker. Peter also made the presentation to the 2010 WRAS Hall of Fame inductee Kate Thomas, formerly of Bathurst. Kate graduated from the University of North Carolina this year.

Winner of the WRAS Overall Individual Athlete of the Year (sponsored by CSU, School of Human Movement Studies) was high performance basketball athlete Laurence Mifsud of Bathurst. This dedicated and talented basketball represented Australia at the FIBA Oceania Youth Tournament the past week held in New Caledonia. This year Laurence was selected in the 2010 U18 NSW team which competed at the U18 National Championships. He was also a member of the U18 NSW Country tour team and has been included in the U18 NSW Country tour team again for 2011.

This year’s WRAS Overall Squad Athlete of the Year (sponsored by CSU, School of Human Movement Studies) was awarded to Jack Elliott of Parkes. Among an impressive list of achievements, this gifted and skilful athlete was selected in the 2010 Australian All Schools team, the U18 NSW squad and the NSW CHS team.

The Charles Sturt University Athletes of the Year went to

AWD Squad Athlete of the Year – Bernadette Barden (Orange)

Basketball Squad Athlete of the Year – Luke Anderson (Dubbo)

Golf Squad Athlete of the Year – Jane Perfect (Bathurst)

High Performance Squad Athlete of the Year – Laurence Mifsud (Bathurst)

Female Hockey Squad Athlete of the Year – Rene Hunter (Lithgow)

Male Hockey Squad Athlete of the Year – Jack Elliott (Parkes)

Lone Star Squad Athlete of the Year – David Reid (Lithgow)

Netball Squad Athlete of the Year – Lauren Sheridan (Young)

Lithgow’s Wayne Gaynor (hockey) was presented with the Award for Coaching Excellence for his outstanding efforts in hockey. Wayne continues to bring his wealth of experience, enthusiasm, patience and professionalism to the Hockey Squad and consequently his athletes have had an impressive list of achievements.

Michelle Bostock (Hockey) of Lithgow, Vicki Carman (Lawn Bowls) of Dubbo, Amanda Cooper (Netball) of West Wyalong and Sharon Cooper (Basketball) of Young were named the joint recipients of the WRAS Award for Managerial Excellence. All have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their role as managers and did an outstanding job of supporting their coaches and athletes.

West Wyalong’s Sarah Cooper (netball) won the prestigious Chairman’s Award, having demonstrated a desire to succeed not only in her chosen sport, but also in her educational, vocational and personal life, whilst Sarah Feebrey of Bathurst was named Supporter of the Year for her continued support and timeless hours of assistance to the Academy.

The evening was a magnificent finale to a huge day of sport in Bathurst. Earlier, more than 200 athletes, parents and coaches attended Orientation which commenced the Academy’s 2011 programs. During the day the WRAS squads trained, completed physical testing, had their functional movement screening conducted by the Strength and Conditioning Interns and listened to a number of lectures.

Academy programs for 2011 are Athletes with a Disability, Basketball, Golf, High Performance, Hockey, Lawn Bowls, Lone Star, Netball, Officiating and Weightlifting.

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