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Sportsperson of the Year - Winner

Matt Graham

  • Matt became just Australia’s 11th Winter Olympic Medallist in PyeongChang, South Korea in February this year
  • Throughout the World Cup season leading into the Olympics Matt was a consistent performer, out of 7 rounds he was on the podium 4 times, which suggested he may be a contender come the Winter Olympics, but certainly not a shoe in.
  • Matt has competed on the World Cup series since he was 15, however this Olympics was his biggest test, as he put it “a lifetime of hard work came down to 25 seconds”
  • Matt put down an amazing run in the finals, and was absolutely stoked to get the Silver Medal behind Michael Kingsbury (possibly the greatest of all time)


Sportsperson of the Year - Runner Up – equal Anja Stridsman and Matt Dawson

Anja Stridsman

  • Anja is a wonderful boxer who has made the Central Coast her home, she trains at Umina PCYC and has had an exceptional year.
  • At International Level, Anja won the Gold at the Commonwealth Games in the 60kg division, as well as gaining two other International medals in Turkey and Spain.
  • At National Level, Anja is the current Australian Champion, won the World Championship trials and the SA Super 8 Tournament.
  • She is also the NSW State Champion


Matt Dawson – Hockey

  • Matt had a rough year with injury this year, after a training mishap in February resulted in a very serious eye injury that could have ended his career and surgery on a hip, however he continues to triumph with the Hockeyroos.
  • After his eye injury, Matt received clearance to play just in time for the Commonwealth Games in April, and scored the 2nd goal of the final to clinch the Gold for Australia.
  • He also reached the milestone of 100 games representing his country during the Comm Games.
  • Matt is an outstanding defender for the Hockeyroos, with the ability to turn that defence into attack in the blink of an eye.
  • Matt played all over the world in 2017-18 and is currently in India, playing in the Mens World Cup after a 16 week stint on the sideline after his hip surgery.

Junior Sportsperson of the Year - Winner

Joey Walton – Rugby Union

Represented Australia in the schoolboys squad that played against the Tonga and New Zealand squads in the Tri-Nations Schoolboy tournament in September.  He was awarded Best and Fairest Player at the National School Championship

  • His performance ultimately cemented his selection for the Australian School Boy side that tour Great Britain.
  • He is the only public school boy in this team.
  • Selected to play for NSW I Side. Selected in the Central Coast U18s team where he stood out at Fly Half at the Country Championships in May.


Junior Sportsperson of the Year – Runner Up

Nathan Ward – Swimming

  • Placed 1st in the 15-16 years 200m Medley Relay with a PB and NSW Record at the Pacific School Games in December 2017.
  • Made two PB’s in the Georgina Hope Foundation Australian Age Championships in April in 100m breaststroke in both the heat and Final finishing with a Bronze medal with a PB of 0.96sec. A further PB in the 200m breastroke.
  • Competed in the 2018 School Sport in July placing 1st in both the 17-19 years 50m and 100m Breaststroke with a record in the Australian School Sport Australian Record and Tasmanian All-Comers Record in 50m Breaststroke.
  • Selected in the Swimming Australia Talent ID squad in September and dominated to win in the Men’s Open 50m Breaststroke at the NSW Country Championships in February and again in the NSW SC Country Championships in July.
  • Nathan holds the fastest 16 year old 50m Breaststroke time nationally this year and is ranked 4th fastest in the 16yrs 100m Breaststroke.


Team of the Year - Winner

Central Coast Heart

  • Heart is a collaboration between the 3 netball associations on the Coast, Woy Woy, Gosford and Wyong. It is the only team outside of Sydney to be granted a licence to compete in the Netball NSW Premier League which was a huge achievement. This competition is 3 seasons old.
  • Heart narrowly missed the finals in the first 2 years of the competition (finishing 5th in 2016 and 2017) but this season finished 2nd after the regular competition.
  • In the semi final they had just 8 regular players available for selection but put in a huge performance to secure the win and move directly to the GF.
  • In the GF they again took on Eastwood-Ryde Hawks and blew them away in the first quarter, and carried on to produce the win 60-55.
  • Heart Captain, Amy Wild was named as the MVP in the GF.
  • Heart also believes in promoting at grass roots level and conducts many open training sessions, player skills clinics and the Net Set Go program for 5-6 year olds.


Masters Sportsperson of the Year - Winner

Paul Lemmon (Surf Life Saving/Swimming)

  • Awarded first place in the 50+ years Long Course at the Coolangatta Gold, achieving equal fastest time overall of all Master’s categories.
  • In 2018 he has travelled around Australia, competing at a Master’s level at the Surf Life Saving Australian Championships (4 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze), Masters Swimming Australian Championships (8 Gold, 2 Silver), Surf Life Saving Australian Pool Rescue Championships (8 Gold, 8 events), Surf Life Saving New South Wales Championships (3 Gold), Masters Swimming New South Wales Championships (4 Gold), Surf Life Saving New South Wales Pool Rescue Championships (4 Gold, 1 Bronze) and the Surf Life Saving Central Coast Championships (11 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze).
  • Paul was awarded the Surf Life Saving Central Coast Masters Athlete of the Year, and was a finalist in the Surf Life Saving New South Wales Masters Athlete of the Year.

Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability - Winner

Dylan Littlehales (Sprint Canoe)

  • During 2018, Dylan’s results at a state, national and international level have been incredibly impressive.
  • Dylan took out Gold in the men’s Open KL3 Sprint Canoe 200m at the NSW State Championship.
  • Competing at a national level, Dylan was awarded Bronze in the Men’s Open K2 200m and Gold in the Men’s Open KL3 Sprint Canoe 200m at the 2018 National Championships.
  • Dylan attended the 2018 ICF World Championships at Portugal, where he obtained a 5th place position in the Men’s Open KL3 Sprint Canoe 200m. At the 2018 World Cup in Hungary he took out a Bronze medal in the same event. He then went on to attend the 2018 British Nationals at Nottingham, where his stellar performance secured him 1st place in Men’s Open KL3 Sprint Canoe 200m.
  • Dylan was bestowed the 2018 Paddler with a Disability Award by Paddle NSW, and has been awarded the Donnica Clark Scholarship for the past 3 consecutive years.

Inclusive Club of the Year - Winner

Avoca Surf Lifesaving Club

  • In 2016, thanks to the drive and commitment of Kate Broadhurst and Emma Benson, the Sharks Nippers program for children with additional needs was established and continues to be a huge success, not only for the children participating, but also for their parents and club members who are totally engaged in volunteering for the Sharks.
  • This program is now occurring in 10 surf lifesaving clubs across the Central Coast.
  • Avoca SLSC also have mobi matting which enables people in wheelchairs access right to the water and has a beach wheelchair to increase accessibility.

Coach of the Year - Winner

Amber Cross (Netball)

  • Amber was the inaugural through to current, head coach of the Central Coast Heart Premier League Opens team and a driving force behind the inception of Central Coast Heart.
  • In 2018 Amber led Central Coast Heart to victory, winning the Premier League Open Championship.
  • Players Amber has developed have achieved their goals of playing elite netball at various levels including; Suncorp Super Netball Competition, NSW Swifts, Netball NSW Premier League, Dooleys Metro League and NSW State teams.
  • Amber invests in the development of local Central Coast coaches looking to further their skills, conducting open training sessions, including training plans, during the 2018 season. Amber also operates a business that focuses on developing young players via school holiday clinics
  • Amber was recently named Coach of the NSW U17 team for 2019 and was also named Coach of the Year at the NSW Netball Awards.

Volunteer of the Year - Winner

Garry Mensforth (Umina SLSC/Donnica Clarke Foundation)

  • Garry’s commitment to volunteering with Surf Life Savings is outstanding. Not only does he volunteer at a club level with Umina SLSC, but also at a branch level with Central Coast Branch, a state level with NSW Surf Lifesaving and a national level with Surf Lifesaving Australia.
  • During the past 12-18 months Garry has volunteered in the following capacities; Investment Committee with Surf Lifesaving Central Coast, a patrolling member of Umina SLSC, member of the selection panel for surf sports with Surf Lifesaving NSW involving extensive travel to carnivals across the state, managed the Australian Lifesaving Open Representative team at multiple international competitions including travel to Germany, Poland and New Zealand. Garry has held some of these voluntary positions for up to 20 years.
  • On top of his voluntary work with Surf Lifesaving, Garry is also a founding Board Member, and Director of Administration, with the Donnica Clarke Foundation, which awards scholarships to outstanding athletes. Garry’s work with the foundation over the past 10 years has been in a completely voluntary capacity.
  • It is estimated that Garry contributes at least 20 hours each week to his various voluntary positions with Surf Lifesaving and the Donnica Clarke Foundation.

Club/Association of the Year - Winner

Woy Woy Wolves Baseball Club

  • This year created Central Coast Baseball history by being the first Club in 62 years in both Winter and Summer competitions to win all four Premierships and the Club Championship in a single season.
  • It has celebrated a win/loss record of 61-4 games across the four grades with both 3rd and 4th Grades having perfect winning seasons.
  • Three Club players have been selected to represent Australia
    • Parker Robinson – U15 World Cup Team Panama 2018
    • Elodie O’Sullivan – Womens and World Cup Team Florida 2018
    • Claire O’Sullivan – Womens Team
  • Other members signed to Professional Teams including the Sydney Blue Sox and the Canberra Cavalry Professional Baseball Teams. Several players have also been selected for NSW Country Teams for National Championships.
  • Two Woy Woy Wolves Baseball coaches have also been selected to NSW Country coaching staff roles for the National Youth Baseball Championships in January 2018.


Club/Association of the Year – Runner Up

Mingara Athletics Club

  • In January was awarded the Hooper Cup for the 4th consecutive year for the most successful Athletics Club in NSW at the Country Championships.
  • The Club’s athletes won multiple Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in 2017 Australian Masters Athletics Championships, in the 2018 State Road Relays, NSW Country Championships and in the State and National Championships.
  • Hosts major Athletics events on the Central Coast including the prestigious Athletics NSW State Road Relays Championships and the NSW All-Commers Meet and continually works with the Mingara Recreation Club and Local Members of Parliament to secure funding to upgrade the track.
  • The Club also engages the community to encourage the participation of people of all abilities with qualified coaches, providing sponsorships for athletes with potential and/or athletes experiencing hardship.
  • The Club is recognised by Athletics NSW as one of the most leading Clubs in terms of professionalism, development and services provided to members and has been given Gold status in terms of operations and is a current Level 3 Good Sports Member.

Recognition of Service to Sport 15 years plus of volunteering for sport on the Central Coast.

Graham Dick (Rugby League)

  • Graham’s Central Coast sporting service began in 1989 as the President of Wamberal SLSC, before that he spent 20 odd years in Manly SLSC holding many roles and in SLSNSW as the Publicity Officer.
  • Graham held roles at Ourimbah Junior Rugby League club from 1992 – 2012 and was made Life Member in 2006.
  • He was a soccer referee and assessor for the CC Football referee association from 2006-1015
  • From 1999 - 2005 was the ARL-CRL First Aid Officers Scheme CC Co-Ordinator
  • Spent 10 years as the CC Division of Rugby League Chairman of the Judiciary
  • 2015-17 was spent on the Management Committee for CCDRL including Junior Vice President and from 2017 Graham has been the Snr Operations Manager Berkeley Vale Rugby League & Sports Club.


Brett Harrod (Surf Life Saving)

  • For 42 years Brett has been an outstanding and committed member of the Surf Life Saving movement on the Central Coast.
  • Brett started out patrolling Central Coast beaches, and over the years and decades progressed on to holding various positions on Club, Branch, and State Executive & Management committees.
  • At a club level with Umina Surf Life Saving Club, Brett has held a variety of positions on the Executive committee including Club Captaincy for 3 years, Secretary for 4 years, President for 4 years and Director of Surf Sports for 5 years.
  • Brett was elected Chairman of the Organising Committee for the 2005 State Titles, held at Umina Beach. The success of this huge event was largely due to Brett’s passion and dedication to Surf Life Saving on the Central Coast.
  • At a branch level, Brett has again held multiple positions on various committees, including a stint as Central Coast Branch President.
  • Brett was awarded Life Membership at a club level with Umina in 1987 and Life Membership at a branch level with the Central Coast Branch in 2005.


Michaela Pendleton (Gymnastics)

  • With coaching and judging accreditations across multiple gymnastics disciplines, Michaela has been heavily involved in coaching gymnastics programs on the Central Coast since 1993, and has spent 13 consecutive years as the NSW coach.
  • As well as her 25 year career coaching at local gymnastics facilities, such as Gosford Gymnastics, Central Coast Gymnastics Academy, and her current position as Gymnastics Coordinator at Umina PCYC, Michaela has also shown strong commitment to building accessibility to gymnastics programs within the wider Central Coast community via school and after school programs.
  • From 2005 to 2017 Michaela was the coordinator of the schools program servicing both primary and secondary schools on the Central Coast, as well as Special Needs and Active After School programs.
  • Michaela was responsible for programs at Gosford Gymnastics and Central Coast Gymnastics Academy being awarded GNSW Quality Schools Provider Accreditation.
  • On top of all of this Michaela has been involved in the development and mentoring of junior coaches on the central coast, and has consistently supported her athletes at local, state, national and international competitions.

Kit Poole (Gymnastics)

  • Kit opened her first pre-school movement program at Kariong in 1991, where it was known as Scallywags Gym for Kids. Kit is now the owner of Scallywags Gymnastics Academy, a family orientated club, that has grown in popularity so much it has required multiple moves to larger facilities. Scallywags was the first gymnastics club in the region to register more than 1000 members in a year and has continued to grow from there, with current membership exceeding 1300.
  • In 2007 Scallywags won the Central Coast Business of the Year Award. On multiple occasions Kit has been awarded both the National and NSW Gymnastics and Kindergym Coach of the Year, in 2007 was the recipient of the Lance Otto Award by Gymnastics Australia, and has received the Queens Medal for her contribution to Gymnastics.
  • Kit has taught thousands of Central Coast children gymnastics and is now coaching the children of those children! Kit is passionate about Gymnastics on the Central Coast and shares that passion with her students.



Recognition of Young Officials

Deacon Cameron (Rugby League/Touch Football)

  • At 16, Deacon has been a dedicated referee for both rugby league and touch over the past 3 seasons. In Touch Deacon is a level 3 referee and striving to complete his level 4 in December.
  • Not only has Deacon refereed at numerous school, local and regional tournaments but he was also selected to referee at the Junior State Cup Grand Finals, Hornets Championship Grand Final and the National Youth Championship on the sunshine Coast. He is also on the NSW Talented Referee Youth Squad, where he is the junior referee Director.
  • Deacon referees Rugby League on the Central Coast at a local level for both Juniors and Seniors, including as a touch judge for first grade.
  • Deacon is a part of the Country Rugby League Representative Referee Squad, acting as referee for the U15’s Country Cup semi-finals., and touch judge for the U14’s Country Championships grand final.
  • Further to this, Deacon was selected to be a touch judge for the Legends of League Tournament staring ex-NRL players, as well as nations of origin, aboriginal tournament and refereeing the PSSA Open Championship in Mudgee.

Rhianna Howlett (Gymnastics)

  • Rhianna is a judge in Women’s Gymnastics and Sports Acrobatics.
  • Rhianna spends her weekends at local competitions; processing entries, judging or coaching, or at competitions in Sydney officiating as a judge or assisting with computer entry.
  • Further to the above, not only does Rhianna devote hours of her time to officiating at a competitive level but she is also coaches several gym sports at 2 gymnastics facilities, but she is also the Secretary of the Hunter Region Gymnastics and on the Gymnastics NSW LEAP Panel (a youth leadership advisory panel),

Kiralee Smith (Basketball)

  • At just 18 years of age, Kiralee has already been a referee at Gosford City Basketball for 4 years, and has progressed through the ranks of officiating.
  • In 2019 Kiralee will be further promoted to officiate at higher-age junior representative basketball, as well as continuing her local basketball commitments.
  • Kiralee is the 2018 Senior Referee for Gosford City Rebels, and has also officiated at the Basketball NSW Molten Waratah Eastern Junior League finals, and Basketball NSW Molten Waratah State Cup.


Young Coach Recognition

Lachlan Tolhurst (Gymnastics)

  • At the just the age of 17, and whilst studying for his HSC, Lachlan is already an accredited Intermediate Coach in Trampolining and Tumbling, and an Advanced Coach in Recreational Gymnastics.
  • Lachlan coaches approximately 100 young gymnasts, aged 5-14 years, across both Umina and Hornsby PCYC’s 4 days per week in classes ranging from recreational gymnastics, trampolining, tumbling and Free G, a variation of Parkour. Lachlan’s Trampolining and Free G athletes competed this year with podium finishes in both categories.
  • In the lead up to the World Boxing Championships, Lachlan was asked to start a class for PCYC boxers, including Commonwealth Gold Medallists, focussing on flexibility and stability of joints.
  • Lachlan also coaches a Gymnastics performance team, uses his school holidays to visit gymnastic clubs in the Hunter and Lower Hunter to assist in establishing programs, and is on the Gymnastics NSW Youth Leadership Team, even running a session at their recent camp for junior coaches to learn about Free G.

Emersyn Pettiford (Surf Life Saving)

  • At 16 Emmy has progressed from Nippers with Terrigal Surf Life Saving Club, to become an Age Manager and now to Beginners Board Coach for the past two seasons.
  • Emmy trains Terrigal’s earliest stage of Board; Beginners U9’s, whom, it’s reported, all adore her, twice every week.
  • Emmy guided and supported her team to achieve success as finalists at NSW State Titles which is outstanding for beginner board paddlers.
  • Emmy tackles her role with maturity and dedication, and is applauded for her ability to fit her volunteer coaching in around her own training with Terrigal SLSC in the U17’s age group, as well as staying committed to her schooling.