A triple threat champion and rising athletics star have taken out the big awards at the 2022 Penrith Valley Sports Foundation (PVSF) Awards.
Hundreds of people turned out for this year’s ceremony, which was held last Friday night at Penrith Panthers Leagues Club.
While 11 awards were handed out overall, all eyes were on the two major categories – Junior Sports Star of the Year and Senior Sports Star of the Year.
Taking home the coveted PVSF Junior Sports Star of the Year was hockey, OzTag and netball sensation Summer Knowles.
The local teenager has just about done it all in the past 12 months, scoring representative honours in all three sports.
The night’s other big winner was athletics star Luke Boyes, who was named the PVSF Senior Sports Star of the Year for his incredible feats on the track.
Boyes recently returned from Columbia where he represented Australia in the 800m at the 2022 World Athletics U20 Championships.
Taking out the PVSF Sports Administration Award was Helen Williams from the St Marys Band Club Rangers Football Club.
From secretary to treasurer and canteen manager, Williams has well and truly done it all in her 44 years as a Committee Member.
Following more than 35 years with the Penrith Cricket Club in various roles, Geoff Sullivan was handed the PVSF Volunteer Award.
On game days Sullivan helps with canteen operations, manages the car parking around Howell Oval, and is also on hand to help and facilitate covers to be laid or removed for play to proceed in inclement weather.
One of local sport’s most experienced coaches, Vanessa Jackson, took out the PVSF Coach Award for 2022.
Jackson has been a representative coach at Penrith Netball since 1995 and is the association’s longest serving rep coach. As well as coaching at the representative level, she also coaches club netball and has been a mentor coach to many.
On the back of her Super Netball debut earlier this year, Tamara Welsford won the PVSF Referee/Umpire Award.
An umpire at Penrith for the past 15 years, Welsford has risen the ranks and is now eligible to umpire international matches, with her first being this October.
One of Penrith’s most inspirational athletes, Cranebrook teen Layla Sharp was crowned PVSF All Abilities Award winner for 2022.
Born with congenital nystagmus, Layla has pushed past her vision impairment to win numerous medals and hold multiple records in short and middle-distance running.
Penrith Valley Canoe member Jason Ware took out the PVSF Masters Award after winning Gold at the State Kayak Marathon Championships in Canberra earlier this year.
On top of his paddling work, Ware has also played hundreds of games for the Penrith Rams and has competed in numerous Nepean Triathlons.
Proving she has a huge future ahead of her is PVSF Rising Star Award recipient Olivia Harris.
Olivia has achieved at a very high level across two sports, rowing and netball, and is a current member of the Western Sydney Academy of Sport and Nepean Rowing Club High Performance Squad.
PVSF media partner the Western Weekender presented the PVSF Team of the Year Award to the Penrith Panthers SG Ball Team following their Grand Final-winning season.
Despite being down 20-0 at half-time to the Sydney Roosters in May, the young Panthers fought back in the second half to be declared worthy SG Ball Premiers.
Finally, one of the most well-known identities in local sport, Vince Le Breton, was bestowed the Jim Anderson Memorial Award for his three decades of service to rugby league, netball and cricket.
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.