A STAWELL netballer and a Natimuk gymnast are among the finalists for the WestVic Academy of Sport Athlete of the Year award.
Stawell Warriors under-15 netballer Tessa O’Callaghan is the netball finalist while Wimmera artistic gymnast Hudson Irwin is the gymnastic finalist for the annual award.
The pair are among 15 athletes nominated for the award.
Irwin’s mother Leonie Irwin said it was a great honour to receive the nomination.
“It was very exciting. I am very proud,” she said.
“WestVic has been a huge support of Hudson for the previous four to five years, so it’s fantastic for him to be recognised.”
The WestVic Academy Athlete of the Year will be awarded on Wednesday, August 2 at the Ballarat Golf Club.
Hudson will be unable to attend the night because he lives in Brisbane.
Mrs Irwin will attend on his behalf.
“When I told him he was nominated, he was overwhelmed with excitement,” Mrs Irwin said.
Hudson has been leading a busy life in Brisbane, waking up early to train before heading to school and competing tirelessly at events.
“Next week, Hudson is attending an (Australian Institute of Sport) junior national camp in Canberra for the week. He is attending three camps this year to help him further his skills and technique,” Mrs Irwin said.
Tessa O’Callaghan’s mother, Narelle O’Callaghan, said the nomination was terrific.
“We are very proud of Tessa. She has had quite a few successful years with best and fairest wins and interleague representation,” she said.
FedUni WestVic Academy of Sport chief executive Rob Ward said all nominees are standouts in their respective sports.
“The nominees have been recognised for their achievements, their engagement in the academy and with the community,” he said.