Coffs Harbour City Council’s General Manager Steve McGrath, Group Leader City Prosperity Nikki Greenwood, Suellen Bordignon, Council’s Sports Development Coordinator, Mayor Denise Knight and Dan Heather, the council’s Section Leader Stadium and Major Events.
Coffs Harbour City Council’s General Manager Steve McGrath, Group Leader City Prosperity Nikki Greenwood, Suellen Bordignon, Council’s Sports Development Coordinator, Mayor Denise Knight and Dan Heather, the council’s Section Leader Stadium and Major Events.

Coffs Harbour crowned a 'champion' of sports

COFFS Harbour City Council has another trophy to add to the cabinet after last night being named Local Council of the Year at the NSW Champion of Sports Awards run by Sport NSW.

"This is wonderful recognition for all the hard work of Council staff throughout the organisation and our amazing volunteers to help promote and support a wide variety of sports, active recreation and healthy living for the community and visitors," Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight said.

Among the achievements that led to the Local Council of the Year Award was the fact that Coffs Harbour had delivered a number of facility upgrades in partnership with sports and all levels of government - and won the IFEA World Festival and Event City accolade for the fifth year in a row in 2019.

"Sport is truly something that brings our community and partners together," Cr Knight said.

"It's a real team effort and I'm incredibly proud of what we achieve time and time again."

Dan Heather, the council's Section Leader Stadium and Major Events, said council staff work closely with national, state and local sporting bodies to deliver a range of sporting facility upgrades for our community, including lighting, drainage and amenity block upgrades and well as smaller projects.

"At an elite level of course we've also just completed the upgrade of C.ex Coffs International Stadium which means we can continue to host large participant sporting events as well as elite broadcast events," he said.

"The Hub building is now the home to four sporting organisations - AFL, Cricket, Football and Tennis - allowing us to work closely in partnership for the entire community."

Sport NSW is the peak body for sport in New South Wales and promotes best practice in the industry.

An important element of this strategy is the awards program which provides a tangible means of recognising outstanding achievements of organisations and individuals within the sporting community.

Sport NSW represents the interests of more than 80 State Sporting Organisations and 20 industry bodies.

Collectively NSW Sporting Organisations are responsible for the delivery of sport to an audience of 2.5 million participants annually - ranging in size from 700 members in smaller organisations to 200,000 participants in larger sports.

Champion cricket all-rounder Ellyse Perry cracked the NSW Athlete of the Year title on her third attempt.
Champion cricket all-rounder Ellyse Perry cracked the NSW Athlete of the Year title on her third attempt. AAP

Perry and Parker Headline NSW Sports Awards Success

Champion cricket all-rounder Ellyse Perry has cracked the Athlete of the Year title on her third attempt, while Lauren Parker clinched back-to-back Athlete of the Year with a Disability crowns at the NSW Champions of Sport Ceremony at The Star Sydney tonight.

Perry, an Athlete of the Year finalist in 2017 and 2018, polled strongly to end the two year reign of Olympic paddler Jessica Fox.
Fox, who enjoyed another outstanding 12 months, was again a finalist along with swimmer Cate Campbell, tennis player Alex De Minaur, rugby league's James Tedesco, diver Rhiannan Iffland and beach volleyballer Mariafe Artcho del Solar.

Currently ranked by the International Cricket Council as the number one all-rounder, number two batter and number four bowler in the world, Perry became the first player in history, man or woman, to score 1,000 Twenty20 International runs and claim 100 International Twenty20 wickets.

Perry dominated Australia's successful Ashes Series in England with bat and ball across all three playing formats, winning four Player of the Match awards. She scored a total of 378 runs at an average of 94.5 and claimed 7-22 in a One Day International, the best figures by an Australian woman in that format.

At a domestic level, Perry smashed the record for most runs in a Women's Big Bash League season scoring 777 runs while leading the Sydney Sixers to a fourth successive League Final. She also starred for the NSW Breakers when claiming the Women's National League title.

Despite further major spinal surgery and other hospital admissions hampering her training and race preparations, Parker overcame these challenges to become the second Australian female to be crowned Paratriathlon World Champion. Parker won two ITU Paratriathlon World Cup events and was placed third in the Tokyo Paralympic Games Test event.

Acting NSW Minister for Sport, Geoff Lee, paid tribute to the performances of Perry and Parker over the past 12 months.

"Ellyse and Lauren were outstanding at a domestic and international level and their fearless pursuit of victory is just one of the reasons they are rated the best in the world at their sports," said Mr Lee.

"Performing at the highest level takes extreme dedication but it is the example you set to those around you that is what really stands out. Ellyse and Lauren will continue to inspire young women dreaming of becoming the best in the world."

Elsewhere, the Football NSW Cerebral Palsy team won a second successive Team of the Year with a Disability, while the NSW Swifts was named Team of the Year after defying the odds to capture the 2019 Super Netball Grand Final - their first competition victory since 2008.

Indoor skydiver Amy Watson won Young Athlete of the Year after being named Junior Freestyle World Champion at the 2019 World Championships and Para Snowboarder Ben Tudhope claimed Young Athlete of the Year with a Disability after being the overall winner in the men's SB-LL2 Banked Slalom and runner-up in the Para Snowboard Cross World Cup.

Simon Cusack won Coach of the Year after guiding champion swimmers Cate and Bronte Campbell to three gold, three silver and one bronze medal at the 2019 FINA World Swimming Championships and Ellie Cole took home a silver and bronze medal at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships.

Rugby World Cup referee Angus Gardner was judged Official of The Year and NSW Rugby League CEO Dave Trodden was awarded Administrator of the Year. The Sydney Surf Pro emerged victorious for Event of the Year while world champion cyclist Geoff Stoker and surf lifesaving's Paul Lemmon were named joint winners of Masters Athlete of the Year.

The dinner also saw former Test cricketer Glenn McGrath announced as the third recipient of The Waratah. The Award recognises an individual's leadership in sport, their passion for NSW sport and their desire to achieve broader community outcomes. The previous two winners have been Laurie Daley (Rugby League) and Liz Ellis (Netball).

Sport NSW Chairperson, Carolyn Campbell, congratulated all award winners saying, "The quality of our category finalists was a credit to sport at all levels in NSW. Each of our winners have excelled with sustained performances over the past 12 months and are a credit to their sports."

Winners at the NSW Sports Awards.
Winners at the NSW Sports Awards.