Mid West talent recognised on sport’s night of nights

Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian
The winners of the Geraldton Guardian Mid West Sports Awards will be revealed tonight.
Camera IconThe winners of the Geraldton Guardian Mid West Sports Awards will be revealed tonight. Credit: Thinkstock

Big, bigger, biggest. And the best.

Hard to imagine, but that’s what The Geraldton Guardian Mid West Sports Federation annual awards have become.

Each year they grow in size and stature — as does the class of the athletes nominated.

The Geraldton Guardian has been around for, as they say in the classics, “donkey’s years.”

The same can be said of sport in the Mid West.

Since 1972, the two have teamed to present the much sought-after and valued awards.

In fact, nowhere in rural or regional Australia has there been longer-standing awards.

Another one of the reasons why they are so prized — by individuals and teams.

Let’s start with the latter, as that’s what sport for so many is all about — teams.

Four Geraldton teams who represented the coastal city in country week championships are in the running for team of the year.

They are the women’s water polo side, the women’s division 1 hockey team, the golf-croquet weekend team and the Geraldton Bowling Club’s men’s side.

They are matched against the Great Northern Football League premiership-winning Brigades team and the Aztecs’ Senior 1 netball side, back-to-back winners of the pennant in the Geraldton Netball Association.

Jason Bradley (taekwondo), Angela Scott (swimming), Bryce Kennedy (football), Leanne Fiorenza (netball) and Warrick Sullivan (hockey) are vying for the coach of the year.

Fiorenza is also nominated for the Brian “Putter” Smith sports personality of the year, along with Andrew Horstman (basketball), Colin Cox (football), Annette Cooper (hockey/basketball) and Gordon Clinch (football/basketball).

The Geraldton Amateur Basketball Association and Angus McLeod and the Geraldton Netball Association and Champions netball team are nominees in the inclusion award. Administrators are a lot like volunteers. Where would we be without them?

Either Rick Giles (water polo), Joanne Starling (football/cricket), Charlotte van Jaarsveldt (netball) or Tanya Amazzini (soccer) will be judged top administrator.

Bradley, mentioned earlier, Kelly Eastough (netball) or Penny Dodd (equestrian) will be the official of the year, while the club of the year will come from either the Denison or Geraldton bowling clubs or the Kazuals Netball Club.

Now for the senior and junior sports star of the year awards.

Two softballers — Riley Bae Jupp and Dion Harrison —and two hockey players — Amos Stieger and Belinda Burrows — are in line for the senior award.

They are pitted against Joanne Licastro (taekwondo), Callum Ilich (surf lifesaving), Caroline Ashby (ironman), past winner Kay Chynoweth (croquet), Paula Wilson (netball) and Jaeger Stone (windsurfing).

In the junior section, four softballers — Joseph Mazza, Teagan Mundy, Cooper Jefferies and Zoe Purcell — will join two hockey players — Riley West and Caitlin Mundy contesting the honour.

They are against Kelsie Williams (taekwondo), Abbey Carter (swimming), Joshua Carter (tennis), Jed Hagan (football), Johnny Narkle (basketball), Richard Bartlett (basketball/football) and Abby Maynard (netball).

Adrian Barich, a former top Aussie Rules player and rugby leaguer, describes it as an “elite list” of sports people from the Mid West — on and off the playing arena.

“I have read all about those nominated and are looking forward to being the MC. It will be a wonderful night,” Mr Barich said.

The countdown is on and the nominations have a nervous wait. All will be revealed at the Queens Park Theatre from 7pm tonight.

Well played to all these folk and everybody who has contributed to making 2018 such a special year in sport in the Mid West.

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