The 2018 Yass Valley Council Sports Awards are fast approaching, and Yass is readying itself to celebrate sportsmen and women who shone in 2017.
The presentation night will take place on Wednesday May 9, from 6:30pm in the council chambers.
Individual Award Nominees:
Bronte Anderson (Swimming)
Bronte has been nominated for her swimming exploits throughout 2017. The youngster competed in six South West carnivals and took home four gold medals, five silvers, and two bronze.
She also competed in a number of ACT and School Sport carnivals, in which she became the Zone 12 years age swimming champion after winning all the events, and placed in the Top Five at the South Coast regional swimming carnival.
Finally, Bronte also managed to qualify in NSW Swimming carnivals where she qualified and competed in the Speedo Sprints finals in Sydney, and was selected in the NSW swimming achievers squad to compete in Sydney.
Aside from swimming, Bronte also shone in cross country, athletics, and netball.
Swimming coach Sherree Bush said that “Bronte has been one of my most dedicated swimmers last season and this season. She has lead by example and has given 110% every training session.”
Kaiden Bell (Rugby League)
Kaiden is a new arrival to Yass, having moved to town in 2017, where he joined the Under 14’s Yass Minor League team.
John Prins, who nominated Kaiden, said that “it was obvious Kaiden was a naturally gifted and skilful player.”
This natural ability saw Kaiden selected in the Under 14’s Raiders development Squad, from which he was eventually chosen to represent the Raiders Under 14’s side which competed against other NRL clubs.
Darcy Bush (Swimming and Austag)
Darcy has long been considered one of the more talented youngsters in Yass, and proved it yet again in 2017 when he was selected to represent his state in swimming and Austag.
This is Darcy’s second consecutive nomination for a YVC sports award; he was named the junior sportsperson of the year in 2017.
Last year, Darcy’s increased confidence in his ability and improved dedication to his training saw him reap many rewards with regards to his sporting prowess, and that progress has continued over the last 12 months.
Amanda Cooke (Rugby Union)
Ms Cooke has been nominated for the amazing amount of commitment she has shown in serving the Yass Rugby Union Club.
Nominator Bronson Sainsbury described Ms Cooke as a “tireless volunteer”, who spent “countless hours in the old kiosk at Victoria Park on cold winter Saturday afternoons serving food and drinks to spectators and assisting to set up and clean up afterwards.”
Along with helping to organise games and food services, Ms Cooke also took the lead on organising a Ladies Day event during a home game for the Rams at Victoria Park.
Ms Cooke’s efforts were greatly appreciated by the club, and her generosity and willingness to assist were specifically noted.
Rhiannon Davis (Swimming and soccer)
Rhiannon had a sterling year pursuing her swimming and football, and this was particularly evident in the high-quality results she managed to stack up time and time again.
The teenager was the Yass High School swimming age champion and won all events in which she competed. Rhiannon also represented YHS at the Southern Tablelands Zone carnival, and went on to represent the Southern Tablelands at the South Coast Regional carnival.
With regards to her soccer, Rhiannon played in the U15 Women’s National Premier League for Belconnen United, with whom she also won the local premiership.
She also represented YHS at the South Coast trials and carnivals, and was eventually named the Most Valuable Football Player by YHS.
Rhiannon also competes and excels in cross country and touch football, and swimming coach Sherree Bush said that one of Rhiannon’s best qualities is that she “never gives up on anything.”
Sam Pye-Edwards (Rugby Union)
Sam Pye-Edwards played his first season with the Rams in 2017, and quickly made his presence in the number eight jersey felt with his ability to move the ball forward and reputation as a tireless worker.
Despite only playing nine games before a shoulder injury curtailed the rest of his season, Pye-Edwards’ impact was so resounding that he still picked up numerous awards at the club’s presentation night.
He won the Players’ Player award, the Best and Fairest, and the Ladies Choice award, which was a nice cherry on top of the cake.
Pye-Edwards recently took to the field for the Rams’ first match of the 2018 season, and finished with two tries.
Jenene Forlonge (Australian Rules Football)
Jenene Forlonge was described by nominator Shane Lees as an “outstanding individual”, and he added that she “goes above and beyond” for the Yass Roos.
Ms Forlonge has been a committee member for the past three years, and is currently serving as the club’s secretary and is also the trainer on the field at matches.
Her list of contributions to the club is seemingly endless; she has organised uniforms for two years and has received numerous awards from the club for her dedication and was a “huge contributor to the success of the team” in 2017 according to Lees.
A contributor to a number of sporting clubs throughout Yass, the Roos are “very lucky to have an individual like Jenene involved in the football club”, Lees said.
Alice Henman (Swimming)
Alice has been a longstanding star of the local swimming scene, and over the last year has continued to translate her talent into success.
At the Mt Carmel Swimming Carnival, Alice won the 200m Individual Medley, 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly, and the 50m breaststroke, 100m freestyle, and broke records in the first three.
She then represented the school at the Northern Region carnival where she won the 200m Individual Medley, 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke, and was the age champion for the Northern Region.
Alice continued from there to compete in NSWCPS state carnival, was selected in the ACT Achievers squad, and also competes regularly in netball, cross country, and athletics.
Swimming coach Sherree Bush showered praise on the youngster, saying that she is “one of the most talented swimmers I have ever had the pleasure of coaching.”
Naomi Kelly (Equestrian)
Naomi Kelly competed consistently throughout the year in showjumping, and her improvement across 2017 was marked.
The year began for Naomi with the Gunning Show, where she came in fourth for the 105cm-110cm category. She then competed in Boorowa, in Yass, with the ACT Showjumping Club, at the Sydney riders series, and in Harden, and throughout these competitions she consistently placed from fourth to second.
Following these results, Naomi went to Belgium to train at Ecurie Mathy’s for four weeks, and upon her return she claimed two first place finishes and one second with the ACT Showjumping Club.
Her dedication to her improvement was marked, and it showed in her results, where she went from competing consistently in the 90cm categories to competing and winning in the 1.15m categories.
Scott and Steve Naughton (Rugby League)
Although Scott and Steve Naughton are well respected players for the Yass Magpies, it was their coaching exploits which earned them a nomination for a YVC sports award.
The brothers collaborated in 2016 to coach the Magpies first grade side, and spent most of the following off season recruiting new talent.
Under their tutelage the team finished third in the 2017 Canberra Region Rugby League competition, only one match away from the grand final.
As recognition for the immense effort that the brothers put in, both in coaching the side and drawing a host of talented players to the Magpies, they were named the Coaches of the Year at the Canberra Raiders Cup award night, an award which is voted on by the other coaches in the competition.
Toby Serafin (Australian Rules Football)
Toby Serafin was one of the Yass Roos’ outstanding players throughout their premiership-winning season last year.
Having played for the Roos for four years, Serafin has long been recognised for his immense talent, and was so recognised once again at the Roos’ awards night where he picked up the Best and Fairest award, which followed his Best on Ground award in the grand final.
Serafin has also represented the ACT twice in 2015 and 2016, and would no doubt have had a third opportunity last year had it not been for the lack of representative football.
Joshua Sykes (Rugby League)
Joshua Sykes is a long time player in the Yass Minor League ranks, having been with the club since 2009.
The boy from Binalong was part of the side that won the division one competition in 2013, and last year he was selected in the Canberra Raiders U14 development squad.
From there, he was selected to represent the Raiders Under 14’s side which went on to play against other NRL clubs, and acquitted himself proudly.
Aimee Vitler (Gymnastics)
In six short months, Aimee Vitler proved resoundingly that she is an incredibly talented gymnast through her great results across the state.
It began in June, when she claimed second place overall at the Lake Illawarra PCYC, which was closely followed by a silver at the GNSW Country Championships and a gold in the TeamGym.
The medals continued to stack up over the next few months, and in October the accolades were capped by a gold in the Central West Regional Championships.
In December, Aimee was named Yass High School’s Sportsperson of the Year, not only for her gymnastics prowess, but also for her representative selections in a plethora of other sports such as netball, touch football, cricket, basketball, athletics and cross country.
Her coach and mother, Michelle Vitler, said that Aimee “has dedicated every spare moment to her sport and has given back through her role as a junior coach at Yass Gymnastics.”
Lisa Wylie (Rugby League)
Over the course of Lisa Wylie’s 12 years with the Yass United Rugby League Committee, she has served eight as the club secretary and continues to do outstanding work.
One of Ms Wylie’s trademarks is her efficient management style, and according to club president Greg Smith, she continues to provide clear and consistent avenues of communication, through which the rest of the club functions.
She also takes the minutes and prepares all correspondence for the monthly meetings and organises player registrations, game day results, and provides assistance as a Sports Trainer Assistant.
Streetbeat Junior Hip Hop Dance Crew (Hip Hop Dancing)
2017 was Streetbeat’s first year of competition, and they managed to place third in Canberra’s Battle Grounds dance competition and won the judge’s encouragement award.
They subsequently travelled to Sydney for the national tournament where they placed eighth.
Yass Minor Rugby League Under 14’s (Rugby League)
The Yass Minor Rugby League Under 14’s made the grand final in 2017 and lost in extra time, however the team gelled under the guidance of coach Jesse Collins and improved five places to second from their 2016 ranking of seventh.
Yass Redbacks Under 14’s (Soccer)
The Redbacks Under 14’s side went through the 2017 Division Two Premiership undefeated, and dominated most of their opponents, scoring 86 goals and conceding only six.
In three years this team has won two premierships and lost only three games out of 48.
Yass Roos AFL Senior Team (Australian Rules Football)
The Yass Roos have been a longstanding presence in the ACT AFL Division Four competition, and 2017’s premiership win reaffirmed their dominance.
Having finished third in the minor premiership, Yass saved their best for the end of the season and beat Cootamundra in the grand final, a fitting send off for coach Terry Lemon.
Yass Senior Rugby League First Grade Team (Rugby League)
In only their second year back in first-grade football, the Yass Magpies produced a series of very strong performances saw them finish third, behind only the dominant Queanbeyan teams.
Club president said that the team produced a “great year” to finish only one match shy of a grand final.
Yass Spirit – TeamGym (Gymnastics)
The Yass TeamGym team had a great year, garnering three gold medals and one silver medal, along with a series of public performances designed to entertain rather than compete.
It was their first year in competition and the team showed great commitment and dedication to improving their skills.