25 September 2023

New sporting award aims at integrity

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A new sporting award recognising integrity, fair play and sportsmanship is to be presented at the Australian Institute of Sport’s Performance Awards in Sydney on 13 December, the annual celebration of Australian high performance sport.

The inaugural Sport Australia Award has already identified finalists in four catagories, announced by the Chair of Sport Australia, John Wylie.

Mr Wylie named the finalists as Mark Knowles (Hockey), Joany Badenhorst (Winter Paralympian), Celia Sullohern, Madeline Hills and Eloise Wellings (Athletics), and Kurt Fearnley (Paralympic Athletics).

Pictured are the three Australian 10,000m runners, Sullohern, Hills and Wellings waiting at the Commonwealth Games finish line to embrace and congratulate the last-placed athlete, Lineo Chaka of Lesotho.

“It has been tough to contain this to four finalists, which is a fantastic representation of the role model behaviour Australians can see in sport,” Mr Wylie said.

“On behalf of the Sport Australia Board and the AIS, I congratulate all four finalists in this award; your leadership has helped to promote the values we celebrate in sport.”

He said finalists for all award categories would be announced throughout the week, but the new Sport Australia Award finalists had been revealed first to highlight the inspiring impact fair play, integrity and sporting role models can have on people in Australia.

“Australians love to win and we rightfully celebrate these victories, but success in sport can be measured far more broadly than by who claims the gold medal or who hoists the trophy at the end of a tournament,” Mr Wylie said.

“Sport Australia launched a new vision this year: For Australia to be the world’s most active sporting nation, known for its integrity, sporting success and world-leading sports industry,” he said.

“Integrity leads that list of priorities because it must be fundamental to Australian sport.”

He said Sport Australia believed unquestionably in the power of sport and physical activity to reflect the very best in Australian culture.

“Sport promotes social inclusion and cohesion, and teaches vital lifelong personal qualities of character, resilience and teamwork, as well as the life lessons gained by both winning and losing,” Mr Wylie said.

“The success of our athletes contributes to our sense of national identity and pride.

“This new award demonstrates that success must include the impact of athletes as role models, their engagement with the community, and delivering a respected system.”

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