Geraldton Guardian Mid West Sport Awards celebrate region's diverse sporting history

Headshot of Jake Santa Maria
Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Rifle club winners at a Separation Point shoot in the early 1930s.
Camera IconRifle club winners at a Separation Point shoot in the early 1930s. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

When one thinks of the Mid West in the sporting context attention quickly turns to footy and it’s hard not to —such is the level of elite talent that the region has been and continues to produce.

Basketball is the next obvious choice, to see the sea of blue and yellow make its way down to Perth for the NBL1 final it was clear the support they have, not to mention the local league with its 33 divisions running six days a week.

In the shadow of such giants, it can be hard for other sports to grab the limelight, but the story of sport in the Mid West is so much more than football with Geraldton and the region punching above its weight across a variety of sporting codes.

Geraldton is home to the oldest tennis club in the State, and the oldest provincial race club in the State, the Geraldton Turf Club, is as old as the Melbourne Cup. And such is the strength of badminton in the region that we send our own team to compete in State championships.

That’s a population of just more than 50,000 in the Mid West going up against the combined millions of other States.

In 1889 the Western Mail claimed that a local water polo match held at the foreshore “bought together a larger crowd of people than we have seen present at any previous Geraldton sports”.

Geraldton’s and perhaps the region’s oldest sport is rifle shooting when in 1863 enrolled pensioner guards (ex-army volunteers) set up targets on Greenough flats.

Whether it’s covering the GNFL grand final or going to roller derby training on an outdoor tennis court, the passion and love that people have for their sport and club remains the same.

In the 50-year history of the Geraldton Guardian Mid West Sports Awards only one senior sports star has been from football, Don Page in 1987 and three from basketball.

In fact, Jed Hagan was the first footballer to be recognised in the senior or junior category since 1997 when Dwayne Simpson won the junior award.

The majority of awards have gone to less mainstream endeavours, everything from darts to windsurfing with no sport favoured over another.

These awards have always been about celebrating all sports and nominations extended until Monday, October 31 do not be afraid to put forward candidates.

No club is too big or too small to be recognised.

Nominations for this year’s Geraldton Guardian Mid West Sports Awards can be made via the Mid West Sports Federation website with tickets also available for purchase.

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