Sports Person of the Year Award

by Judith Lewis

In 2005 The Riverstone-Schofields Memorial Club set up a Sports Council with the aim of benefiting local sporting teams and sporting bodies. The Council comprises Chairman and President Glenn Hunter, Bob Puzny, Mick Randall, Grant Smith and Mark Whitby. They meet bi-monthly and, with the support of Councillor Alan Pendleton, have been successful in fast tracking many aspects of Blacktown Council’s maintenance and repair to grounds, fields and the swimming pool. They also found a new home for Schofields Baseball Club when it outgrew Schofields Primary School.

On Saturday 8 April, 2006 their inaugural dinner was held to present awards of “Sports Person of the Year”, “Junior Sportsperson of the Year” and “Club Person of the Year” to ten district sporting clubs. Those clubs and their winners were:-

Riverstone Dolphins RSL Youth Swimming Club:
Club Person of the Year – Margaret Mills, Club Treasurer and delegate to the State RSL Zone for all of the Club’s 12 years. Its first life member, Margaret oversees the organisation of all Club activities.
Sports Person of the Year – Taylah Boyd, who has broken all 50 metre records for her age, been a State Representative for the past 4 years and won 3 gold and 1 silver at the 2005 State Finals.
Junior Sports Person of the Year – Matthew Wilcox (aged 7), Freestyle Champion 2004/2005 and a representative swimmer at the State RSL Swimming Finals in late March 2006.

Schofields Baseball Club:-
Club Person of the Year – Stan Tossell, Club President, member for nine years, successful club and representative coach and recipient of NSW Junior Baseball 2005 Volunteers Medal.
Sports Person of the Year – Wayne Finney, founded Schofields Baseball Club in 1966, has coached at club, district, school, state and national levels. Head coach 2006 State Under 14 Team, assistant coach Australian Under 13 Team who competed in USA in 2005 & 2006.
Junior Sports Person of the Year – Blake Finney, has represented at Zone, State and National levels travelling to represent Australia in USA in 2002. He was invited to join the “train on” squad at NSW Institute of Sport Baseball programme in 2005.

Schofields Netball Club:-
Club Person of the Year – Warren Hughes, an executive member of committee, umpire and umpire convenor, equipment custodian, coach and team manager, assists with preparation of district courts for competition.
Sports Person of the Year – Lucy Taber, badged umpire, assists with coaching and training of junior teams, chosen in 2006 Hawkesbury representative team.
Junior Person of the Year – Brittney Hughes, selected in 2005 Hawkesbury 11 years representative team.

Riverstone Junior Rugby League :-
Club Person of the Year – Russell Magennis, Life Member, member for over 35 years, has held most executive positions, coach, manager, involved in all  aspects of volunteer work.
Sports Person of the Year – Dwayne Sarina, Captain and Best and Fairest Player of Premiership winning A Grade side 2005.
Junior Person of the Year – Charlie Harris, one of the best and fairest players in Under 12s Premiership winning team 2005, making both District and Metropolitan West Representative teams.

Riverstone Cricket Club:-
Club Person of the Year – Martin Walls, spends many hours working on the development of younger players.
Sports Person of the Year – Jim Jones, inspirational team captain, leading wicket taker and run scorer. In Top 5 of District for most wickets and runs.
Junior Person of the Year – Raymond Walls, a member of the Under 14s, scored 334 runs at an average of 34, took the most wickets including 5 for 46 and took the most catches.

Riverstone-Schofields Soccer Club:-
Club Person of the Year – Malcolm Burke, registrar, coach for Under 11s and Over 35s.
Sports person of the Year – Jo-Anne Gentles, captained first ever ladies’ team to grand final victory in Blacktown Association, to runners-up in Champions of Champions, making them the second best amateurs ladies’ team in NSW.
Junior Person of the Year – Jacqueline Anyoun Smith, Under 7s player with the gift to glide past opposition players and score at will.

Huxley Homes Netball Club:-
Club Person of the Year – Loretta Vaughan, club member since 1981, Secretary since 1985, Life Member since 1992, has been player, coach and umpire. Recognised by Hawkesbury Netball Association with Volunteer of the Year and Service Award for dedication to netball and 2006 Australia Day Local Volunteer Award.
Sports Person of the Year – Tiffany Guy, Division 1 netballer for 10 years, represented Hawkesbury in Night State League and in Hawkesbury Netball’s top team.
Junior Person of the Year – Leanne Golebiowski, has represented Hawkesbury since the age of 11, has played Night State League for both Hawkesbury and Baulkham Hills Associations. In Track and Field she won Gold and Bronze at NSW CHS, 2 Bronze at NSW All-Schools and achieved two top ten placings (6th & 9th) at Australian All-Schools.

Riverstone Netball Club:-
Club Person of the Year – Leanne Leach, Club member since 1972, coach since 1981, President since 1996, Masters Rep. (Hawkesbury), National Umpire Badge, Club Umpire Convenor, Umpire for Riverstone Sports Centre, helping hand for Riverstone Dolphins Swimming Club.

Riverstone and District Little Athletics:-
Club Person of the Year – Vernon Cross, Life Member, Championship Officer for 21 years, creating the first Club Record Book, integral to the upgrading of Amenities Building, Equipment Sheds, long jump pits, discus and shot put rings.
Sports Person of the Year – Michael Barber, from 1996-2002 State Representative in Discus, Shot Put, Javelin and Multi-Event & multiple club record holder. 2005- Australian Universities Games – 3rd Open Decathlon, 5th Open Hammer; NSW University Games – 1st Cross Country Team; NSW – 1st U/20 Decathlon; Australian – 4th U/20 Decathlon; UTS Sports Scholar, Sporting Blue Award recipient. 2006- NSW – 1st Open Decathlon, 1st U/23 Decathlon, 1st U/23 Shot Put, 1st U/23 Hammer Throw, 1st U/23 Pole Vault, 1st U/23 Discus, Australian – 6th U/23 Decathlon, National Combined Events Challenge – 3rd U/23.
Junior Person of the Year – Rachel Pace, 8 years old, set new record for 60 metres Hurdles, Zone Championships, 1st 70m, 100m & 60m Hurdles, 2nd Discus’ Regional Championships, 1st 70m, Gold Medal, 2nd 60m Hurdles, Silver Medal.

Sportsman of the Year: The worthy winner of the inaugural Russell Magennis Trophy for Sportsman of the Year was Michael Barber whose achievements in athletics at University, State and National levels was outstanding. Michael’s acceptance speech showed what a high standard this
young man has set for future winners of this award.

The evening was most successful, not only in recognising achievers in their chosen sport, but also in acknowledging the huge contribution to the community made by the previously unsung volunteers who keep these sporting organisations running. The Riverstone/Schofields Memorial Club and its Sports Council are to be congratulated for engendering such a feeling of community pride and spirit in all the people lucky enough to have attended the presentation evening.