Triathlon Australia Celebration Of Champions Dinner. Stephen Foster is still finding it hard to accept that little old him will be inducted into the Triathlon Australia Hall of Fame in Melbourne on March 20.
Foster, a ground breaking never-say-die triathlete from the 1980s and 1990s and Louise Mackinlay a three-time Ironman Australia winner of the same era, both set the standard for today’s modern day triathletes.
They will both be inducted into the HOF at Triathlon Australia’s Celebration of Champions Dinner at the Pullman Hotel and will join previous inductees Brad Beven (2013), Emma Carney (2012), Jackie Fairweather (2012), Loretta Harrop (2012), Michellie Jones (2011), Miles Stewart (2011) and Greg Welch (2011).
In a new award Triathlon Australia will also recognise the careers of Rina Hill, Greg Stewart, Bob Telfer and Brian Barr in the Legend of the Sport Award category for athletes who have not only distinguished themselves at a high level of sporting performance with achievements considered superior to the majority of their peers and but who have made a greater impact on the sport of triathlon in Australia and around the world by inspiration or example to others.
Current Hall of Famers Carney, Stewart and Welch will be in attendance on a night to be hosted by the life long voice of the Kona World Ironman Championship, Mick Reilly.
It will be fitting that the likes of 2014 nominees, Mirinda Carfrae and Luke McKenzie on will be in attendance on the night after being nominated for their respective Female and Male Performance of the Year Awards.
Carfrae, winner of her second Kona World Ironman Championship last year will be joined in nomination by Melissa Hauschildt (70.3 and Long Distance World Champion), Annabel Luxford (3rd Ironman World Championship “USA); Charlotte McShane (Winner ITU Under 23 World Triathlon Championship) and Emma Moffatt (Third ITU Grand Final).
While in the men, McKenzie will have Bill Chaffey (Winner ITU World Paratriathlon Championship) Joe Gambles (3rd 70.3 Ironman World Championship; Ironman Tahoe; 1st 70.3 Boulder and Syacruse) and Declan Wilson (3rd ITU World Triathlon Grand Final U23) as fellow nominations.
All nine athletes have also been nominated for the prestigious Athletes Athlete of the Year Award while Carfrae, Chaffey, Hauschildt and McShane will also be recognised as Australia’s four reigning world champions.
McShane’s coach Jamie Turner of Wollongong Wizards fame, and also coach of Australia’s two highest ranked ITU Males Aaron Royle (11th) and Ryan Bailie (17th) will receive the High Performance Coach Of The Year Award.
Four of Turner’s athletes, McShane, Bailie, Natalie Van Coevorden and Tamsyn Moana-Veale have also been nominated alongside Declan Wilson for the Chris Hewitt Emerging Athlete Award in memory of Triathlon Australia’s former president and board member Chris Hewitt who tragically passed away in 2005 and to recognise athletes who have shown great promise and potential when emerging onto the ITU and WTC racing circuit something that was very close to his heart.
While there are also five nominees for the Age Group Coach of the Year Tim Ahern (Ahern Performance Traning, NSW), Corey Bacon (Performance Triathlon Coaching, ACT, Toby Coote (Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy, QLD), Jarrod Evans (Endurance Team, VIC) and Ross Pedlow (Exceed Triathlon Club, WA), with the winner to be announced on the night.
Triathlon Australia will also recognise Australia’s IOC Member Phil Coles for amongst other things his key role in triathlon’s inclusion into the Summer Olympic Games program and Col Stewart “long standing coach of Sydney Olympian and ITU World Champion son Miles and amongst others Chris McCormack, Chris Hill, Courtney Atkinson, Rina Hill and Michellie Jones.
The John Ison Award for Technical Officials for recognition of immense contribution to the technical side of the sport has gone to Debbie Hooper-Lees (QLD) for her dedication since becoming a Technical Official in 2007 and winning the Queensland Technical Official of the Year in 2011.
The Award was established to recognise John’s immense contribution to the technical side of the sport in Australia and internationally as TA president, vice-president and board member; its first Technical Committee chairman; who restructured the Race Competition Rules and ran various Technical Officials courses.
While the joint winners of the Rob George Award for valuable contribution for Technical Officials went to Suzie Bower from Tasmania who amongst other work has impressively educated, trained and mentored over 30 Technical officials in Tasmania and Sally Ham from Victoria who has officiated at over 24 events, presented five Technical Official courses and is highly respected at all levels from Race Directors to athletes.
Rob was a valued long term member of Triathlon Australia who worked with inexperienced Race Directors and played a mentoring role to many junior Technical Officials throughout NSW and who also performed with distinction on the international stage. Rob tragically passed away suddenly in 2012.