It’s been a huge year for sport in Penrith already and it’s set to get even bigger, with four local residents named as finalists for the prestigious NSW Sport Awards.
Attended by the elite of NSW sport, next year’s Awards gala dinner will celebrate the achievements of NSW athletes, coaches, administrators and organisations across 12 award-winning categories.
Tokyo Olympic Games Gold and Bronze medallist Jessica Fox is in the running for Athlete of the Year, while fellow Penrith local and Tokyo Paralympic Games Silver medallist Erik Horrie is nominated for Athlete of the Year with a Disability.
Cranebrook resident and Tokyo Olympic Games rowing umpire Gregory Smith is a finalist for Official of the Year, while Sydney Thunder captain and St Clair Hawks junior Hannah Darlington is a contender for Young Athlete of the Year.
Fox is no stranger to an award, named Sport NSW Athlete of the Year in 2013, 2017 and 2018, while Horrie won Athlete of the Year with a Disability back in 2013.
Sport NSW Chairperson Carolyn Campbell congratulated all category finalists.
“With sport being severely disrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, the 2021 NSW Sport Awards finalists have provided a bright ray of sunshine lifting spirits and providing instances of inspiration and motivation,” she said.
“The finalists uphold NSW’s well-earned reputation as Australia’s premier sports state. They join a magnificent assembly of athletes, coaches, administrators and organisations who have been considered as finalists in the most prestigious sports awards NSW offers.”
The Awards gala dinner will also see Penrith-born surfer Mick Fanning, former F1 driver Mark Webber, surf lifesaver and kayaker Naomi Flood, former beach volleyball star Kerri Pottharst and Indigenous footballer Harry Williams inducted into the NSW Hall of Champions, while former Wallaby Mark Ella will be elevated to Legend status.
The NSW Sport Awards will be held at CommBank Stadium on January 24.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.