The Western Region Academy of Sport (WRAS) held its annual presentation evening at Panthers Bathurst on Saturday 18 August.  The evening recognised the substantial achievements of WRAS athletes, the hard working squad staff and the other valuable supporters and volunteers.

The 300 guests in attendance were delighted by Master of Ceremony Mr Phil Cole, WRAS Life Member and General Manager, 1503 2BS Gold/B-Rock and Special Guest Speaker, Kate Jenner (Australian Hockeyroo, Commonwealth Gold Medallist and Olympian).

Jakiya Whitfeld of O’Connell (Individual athlete, Rugby 7s) was awarded the WRAS 2018 athlete of the year (sponsored by North Family Trust).  Jakiya excels on the rugby pitch switching between 7s and 15 a side rugby union. Her incredible achievement started late last year with selection to the U18 Australian team to play at the World Schools Rugby 7s tournament. She represented Australia again in 2018 at the Oceanic Rugby 7’s championship which doubled as a qualifier for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games


The Chairman’s Award for Excellence was presented to joint winners Basketball, Kade Inwood of Lithgow and Netball, Teagan Germech of Bathurst.  Both these individuals not only excel at a high level in her sport, they are committed to their education and community roles.


The Squad Athletes of the Year (highest achiever in their sport) were:

AFL                                    Willow Smith (Orange)

Basketball                      Meleke Jenkins (Lithgow)

Cycling                            Dylan Eather (Dubbo)

Golf                                  Ella Murray (Dubbo)

Hockey                            Millah Allcorn (Molong)

Individual                      Jakiya Whitfeld (O’Connell)

Netball                            Alexandria Emerson (Orange)


The Coach’s Award recipients (for the most dedicate or improved athlete) were:

AFL                                    Elizabeth Gibson (Orange)

Basketball                      Charlie McCormack (Ariah Park)

Cycling                            Kurt Eather (Dubbo)

Golf                                  Casey Thompson (Bathurst)

Hockey                            Brooke Pilcher (Dubbo)

Netball                            Zoe Lewis (Blayney)


The Chairman’s Award recipients (overall excellence) were:

Basketball                      Kade Inwood (Lithgow)

Cycling                            Ben Anderson (Orange)

                                           Eliza Bennett (Bathurst)

Golf                                  Cameron Jackson (Bathurst)

Hockey                            Emily Thompson (Lithgow)

                                           Heidi Townsend (Orange)

Netball                            Teagan Germech (Bathurst)


The Strength and Conditioning Award recipients (for the most dedicate or improved athlete in S&C sessions) were:


Basketball                      Ethan Mitchell (Orange)

Cycling                            Kalinda Robinson (Bathurst)

Golf                                  Casey Thompson (Bathurst)

Hockey                            Lachlan Martin (Bathurst)

Individual                      Molly McCrossin (Bathurst)

Netball                            Payton Reynolds (Dubbo)

                                           Emily Williams (Orange)


The ‘Sportsco Bathurst Coach of the Year’ was awarded to WRAS hockey head coach Kent Bestwick from Bathurst.  Drew Tuckwell of Orange was named the ‘Collin’s Office Choice Volunteer of the Year’.