Eyes on the Prize
Elite Sportsperson of the Year 2018
Belinda Vakarewa | Campbelltown Camden District Cricket Club
Taking home the Elite Sportsperson of the Year at the recent Wests Sports Council Annual Awards Dinner was a deserving award for Belinda Vakarewa, whose story over the last three years has been nothing short of amazing. Belinda is a talented Pace Bowler, playing cricket with Magpies Cricket Club at the mere age of 14 years old and quickly making her way into the Cricket NSW Pathways Program.
Not wasting any time, Ghosts Cricket invited Belinda to join the Brewer Shield U/17 side in Premier Grade Cricket. By her 17th Birthday, Belinda was in the 1st Grade side. Currently, at 20 years old Belinda’s list of achievements are immensely impressive meeting all the challenges put before her in the Pathways all the way through to the Southern Stars – Australian selection.
Belinda list of outstanding achievements include:
- NSW U/15 and U/18 Teams – Winning Team in the 2014/15 National Championships.
- NSW Breakers Senior Cricket NSW – Women’s Squad.
- Sydney Thunder T20 Squad.
- Southern Stars Australian World Cup squad – travelling to England for the Women’s World Cup and Belinda made her ODI Internationals against Sri Lanka on 29th June 2017.
- Southern Stars Squad – touring India in 2018.
- Southern Stars Performance Squad for 2018 – contracted to Cricket Australia.
Following the growth of Women’s Cricket in Australia, young women such as Belinda are now able to realise their dreams of becoming professional cricketers and devote their time to progressing and enjoying a sporting career. Clearing the barriers to put before her including an International debut for Australia, her professional cricketing career is already a reality with only bigger success in front of her, all from a young adult only taking up cricket a mere six years ago.
Congratulations to Belinda Vakarewa, who will no doubt be gracing the stadiums in years to come.
Elite Sports Team of the Year 2018
The Macarthur Raptors Premier League Team | National Indoor Cricket League
Winning the Elite Sports Team of the Year at the recent Wests Sports Council Annual Awards Dinner was the Macarthur Raptors Premier League side who compete in the National Indoor Cricket League (NICL), run by Cricket Australia.
Competing on a weekly basis in the Sydney Metro region of the competition, with 2017 the year the Raptors were named joint Minor Premiers and went on to win the Grand Finals being crowned Champions. Following the success of the Grand Finals, the team travelled to Newcastle to play in the Indoor Cricket States Titles, holding the position of undefeated and being crowned the best Indoor Cricket side in NSW.
Shortly after in September 2017, all winning teams from each zone across Australia travelled to Melbourne to play in the NICL National Finals. Finishing in third place after competing against all the best teams from around the country, narrowly missing out on a semi-final spot.
As a result of the Macarthur Raptors success, six players have been selected in the NSW Opens Indoor Cricket Team, and one player selected in the Australian O/35 team. The team also shows enormous support and dedication towards helping the Junior Raptors side with the Captain, Mitch Hinds of the Raptors Premier League Team coaching the Raptors U/16 side, and providing many other junior players with one-on-one coaching out of Mitch’s spare time.
Congratulations to the Macarthur Raptors Premier League Team consisting of Mitch Hinds (Captain), Greg Connor, Gavin Connor, Jarred Lysaught, Peter McKell, Ash Paddison, Daniel Taylor, Justin Palmer, Matt Panecasio and Jaydyn Simmons.
Junior Sportsperson of the Year 2018
Reuben Bennett | Ambarvale Little Athletics
Junior Sportsperson of the Year goes to Reuben Bennett from Ambarvale Little Athletics at the recent Wests Sports Council Annual Awards Dinner. Being with the Club for the past two years, Reuben now competes in the U/6 boy’s group in competitions inside and outside of the Club, as well as weekend Gala Days.
Reuben jumped at the chance to participate in as many competitions as he could, once he started to receive medals and ribbons for his placements. Reuben’s first Gala Day, held at Werrington Athletics Club at Cambridge Park, saw him competing against 13 athletes from across NSW and competing in the 70m, 100m and long jump, placing him 6th, 10th and 6th respectively. The next two events saw Reuben obtain a Bronze medal in both the discus, throwing a personal best of 6.58m and the 300m.
The following weekend Reuben and his family travelled to the St George Basin Gala Day at Sanctuary Point where Reuben was awarded 1st in shot put, 1st in discus, 3rd in the 100m, and also 3rd in the 300m events. The third Gala Day for the month was held at Shoalhaven Athletics Club in East Nowra, watching Reuben enter in six events with Reuben claiming the gold medal in the shot put, silver medals in the long jump, 70m, 100m, 200m and 300m’s.
If that wasn’t enough, at the Ambarvale Little Athletics Presentation Day Reuben received a 100% Attendance Award, Silver medal for this personal best results and placed 2nd overall in the U/6 boy’s age group.
Congratulations to Reuben and his family for such great achievements in the world of Little Athletics.
Youth Sportsperson of the Year 2018
Keiran Brook | Wests Hockey Club
Running away with the Youth Sportsperson of the Year at the recent Wests Sports Council Annual Awards Dinner was Keiran Brook from the Junior U/15, U/18 and 2nd Grader Men’s Teams at Wests Hockey Club. Occasionally Keiran also fills in for the 1st Grade Team.
Teammates of Keiran say he is a great player to watch, demonstrating incredible skill going up against competing plays with precise and deftly-timed stick work. Keira gas a great back-stick (tomahawak) and fore-stick, scoring a number of goals throughout this past season, getting a shot off even when nothing seems possible.
In 2016 Keiran was selected to participate in the Centre for Development, Macarthur U/18’s 2nd Grade Team and the U/15’s 1st Grade Team, subsequently being selected in the U/15 State Squad. In the same year, Keiran was also handpicked for the Sydney South-Wests Combined High School Team, where his Team finished in first place at the U/15 Moorebank Carnival.
Showing his dedication to the sport, Keiran spends his extra time umpiring junior games on a Saturday morning, as well as a selected number of senior games, despite being only 14 years of age. As a result of his effective umpiring skills, Keiran has been selected to umpire at the U/13 State Championship, the SSW Regional Boys and Girls State Hockey Carnival, as well as the U/13 Carnival at Moorebank and the U/11 Carnival at Narellan.
Congratulations to Keiran on his dedication and commitment to the sport and his team.
Senior Sportsperson of the Year 2018
Wayne Stanton | Tennis Macarthur
Wayne Stanton, an active member of Tennis Macarthur for over 20 years takes home the Senior Sportsperson of the Year at the recent Wests Sports Council Annual Awards Dinner. Wayne currently competes in the Tuesday night men’s competition, Thursday night mixed competition and Saturday afternoon competition.
Wayne also participates every year in the Annual Challenge Day against Canterbury Bankstown Association, as well as being a member of the management committee for three years.
Wayne always shows exemplary sportsmanship in every game of tennis and has collected a number of awards and medals throughout his tennis career, including, but not limited to:
- 2017 – Winner of the NSW Hardcourt Medial – awarded by NSW Hardcourt Tennis Association to the best and fairest senior player in the competition
- 2017 – Member of the winning team in the George Fletcher Cup
- 2017, 2015 and 2014 – Winner of the Lyn Darby Memorial Award for the best and fairest senior player in Tennis Macarthur
- 2016 – Member of the winning team in the Life Members Cup
Congratulations to Wayne showing amazing dedication and passion for the game of tennis.
Sports Team of the Year 2018
Graduate B Macarthur Flames Netball Club
Winning goals on and off the court, the Graduate B Macarthur Flames Netball Club earns the Sports Team of the Year at the recent Wests Sports Council Annual Awards Dinner, despite being a newly formed team to the Club.
The Flames Netball Club, consisting of nine young ladies ranging from 15 – 17 years, came together as a team quicker than most – within the first season the team pulled together and played like they had been a team for many years. Three of the players were part of the Graduate D Team in 2016, four players coming from separate Clubs and two players, each of which had never played in a netball competition previously.
Whilst the team had some close encounters, it didn’t stop them from having some big wins, with the biggest being by 48 goals. In 2017 the team remained undefeated and were crowned Minor Premiers, subsequently who then went on to be crowned the Undefeated Premiers in 2018 winning the Grand Final. An unexpected but nonetheless outstanding achievement from a dedicated group of young ladies.
The Flames Netabll Club includes Rikki-Teina Ao-Rudolph, Tanaya Graham, Jenaya Marchbank, Chantelle Millissm, Valentina Neculman, Kayla Perry, Maia Rautahi, Tenielle Towers and Piper Williams, coached by Nicole Marchbank and managed by Mary Towers.
Congratulations to the young ladies.
Spirit of Club Sportsperson of the Year 2018
Debbie Stewart | Magpies Cricket Club
Debbie Stewart shows her passion for the game and claims the Spirit of Sports Club Person of the Year at the recent Wests Sports Council Annual Awards Dinner. Debbie has been part of the Magpies Cricket Club for the past 17 consecutive years, holding a number of positions, as well as being a Life Member.
Debbie’s role as the Club Secretary sees her manage the correspondence of the Club over the year with incoming and outgoing communications, whilst ensuring the detail and management of guidelines and timeframes are met. Her Registrar role is ongoing and active where she organises letter for all previous years’ players about registration days, attends every registration day, fields and enquiries, orders the uniforms and club clothing and completes the submission of teams to the association.
Along with thee positions, Debbie is also part of the Clubs Executive Committee where she takes responsibility for the Clubs Junior Cricket Academy and In2Cricket Programs involving coaches, grounds, clothing and merchandise organisation. Answering all questions from Juniors, Seniors, Coaches and Captains every day sees her being an integral part of the Magpies Cricket Club where she also assists with the scoring and duties required as the majority of these teams have first-time coaches.
In addition to this, Debbie is the sole person to enter all the Club results and scorecards into My Cricket and maintain the club records, also including organising annual presentations, trophies and yearbooks for the Club. Debbie also holds a position on the CDCA District Committee as Records Officer and a leading advocate for Girls Cricket in the area, taking on the responsibility of coaching and mentoring the girl’s side in the Associations first dedicated Girls League Competition (CDCA Thunder Girls Cricket League) for which the Magpies Cricket Club were the inaugural winners.
Congratulations to Debbie, a hardworking and committed member of the Magpies Cricket Club in the Macarthur area.