WIMMERA Regional Sports Assembly’s Sports Star of the Year was crowned in Horsham on Friday night.
Ten-pin bowler Sophie Martin claimed the top title.
She was recognised for her outstanding achievements in ten pin bowling last year.
Martin said the award was “overwhelming” and one that she did not expect to win.
She was selected for the Australian school girls team to compete at the Asian Schools Championships. Martin finished 13th and her team came 4th.
Martin has represented the state for the past two years where she won a team gold in the girls section and overall section last year. She finished third at the Queensland Junior Cup tournament.
Martin was selected for the Ten Pin Bowling Australia NTS program, the Victorian 2019 Youth teams challenge team and the Victorian 2019 Presidents shield team.
Martin will represent Australia at the inaugural World Bowling Junior Championships in France in March this year.
She was one of only four juniors in the Australian team, with two boys and two girls selected to compete in the national team.
Martin said she started playing ten pin bowling with a friend because her mother’s partner owned a bowling alley. She never expected to compete beyond her local centre.
“I never knew it could go further until I got asked at a small junior competition,” she said.
Martin said the competition and the challenge that arises from every tournament fuels her passion for ten pin bowling.
While Martin does not have any long-term plans for her ten pin bowling career, she said was excited to compete at the World Bowling Junior Championships in France in March.
“I just train and I’ll send through videos to the coaches that go over with us and they will analysis my shot and I’ll fix it,” she said.
Fifteen strong contenders were nominated for the top award. The nominees included Lily Eldridge, Ella Walsgott, Oscar Cole, Morgan Lane, Ben Hobbs, Tyson Harris, Sally Pymer, Kellie Miller, Susie Ellis, Josh Barry, Sophie Martin, Bevan Brooke, Cleo Baker, Laelah Robertson and Shaun Bray.
Worthy winners recognised in special category awards
There were fourteen special category that were awarded alongside the Sports Star of the Year award on Friday night.
The veteran of the year was awarded to triathlete Susie Ellis.
Ellis competed at the World Half Ironman Championships where she finished third in the 50+ age group.
Warracknabeal swimmer Lily Eldridge was awarded the sportsmanship award.
The women in sport award was received by Horsham Calisthenics College’s Kylie Hermans.
The unsung hero winner was Jo Baker for her service to Volleyball Horsham.
Amanda Wik was named coach of the year following her successful year coaching the aerobics teams Energetix Team and Littlegetix.
Horsham’s St Brigid’s College was awarded the sporting school of the year for its students success in various sporting fields.
The students included were Steffi McDonald, Jess McDonald, Deacon Briggs, Matthew Ough, Eloise Wills, Jaclyn Clode, Montanna Connelly, Claudia Lanyon, Daisy Sudholz, Sebastian Dalgleish, Sam Breuer, Kayla Kelm, Gage Wright, Kyra Clarke, Ella Friend, Archie Bond, Cody Bryan, Noah Chambers, Judah Hobbs, Ben Janeztki, Codi Kenny, Balyn Turra, Kayetlan Harris, Victoria Taylor and Matt Clyne.
Official of the year was received by Sebastian Dalgleish.
Horsham Calisthenics College’s Tammy Smith was named administrator of the year.
Volleyball Horsham was awarded the club of the year award.
Murtoa College’s year 10 girls volleyball team took at the team of the year award.
Rachel Werner earned the local AAA sports star of the year award after her success at the Tri State Games.
The national AAA sports star of the year was received by AAA lawn bowler Josh Barry.
Koori sports star of the year was awarded to basketballer Tyra King.
Cricketer Connor Weidemann was named the junior sports star of the year.
The Grassroots award for a former Wimmera athlete was awarded to basketballer Mitch Creek.
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