RAS Host Inaugural Athlete Awards Night

Written on the 27 March 2023 by RASi

RAS Host Inaugural Athlete Awards Night


It was a night of celebration and recognition for Regional Academies of Sport athletes and coaches on Tuesday evening March 22, when all eleven Regional Academies of Sport from across New South Wales came together to celebrate and recognise the achievements of our athletes and coaches across five categories.

Each winner was selected from nominations received from across all Regional Academies of Sport in NSW. The categories were:

  • Athlete of the Year – Alesha Bennets (Athletics), Western Region Academy of Sport
  • Athlete Leadership – Mia Parker (LoneStar / Water Polo), Illawarra Academy of Sport
  • Coach Leadership – Robyn Low Hart (Triathlon), Central Coast Academy of Sport
  • Indigenous Athlete of the Year – Telaya Blacksmith (Athletics, AFL), Illawarra Academy of Sport
  • AWD (Athlete with Disability) of the Year – Josh Hanlon (Para Alpine Skiing), Southern Sports Academy

The Inaugural Award’s dinner, proudly supported by Steadfast Group Limited and Underwriting Agencies of Australia Pty Ltd (UAA); and co-hosted by the Western Sydney Academy of Sport and South West Sydney Academy of Sport, was a heralded success.

The RAS are grateful to have the support of Wenty Leagues Club, for their great hospitality and contribution to the night. Another big thank you to the State Sporting Organisations (SSO’s) who attended and supported the local athletes and coaches for their hard work.

The Regional Academies continue to represent an extensive geographic areas across NSW, with over 100 Local Government Areas and support services provided for over 2,000 athletes, and 300 coaching and program staff.

The Regional Academies of Sport (RAS) Network continues to grow in recognition and significance, across a wide range of organisations, such as the NSW Government, the NSW Institute of Sport, Paralympics Australia, and State Sporting Organisations, as we head towards Australia’s 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A big thank you to our honoured guests, which included the Minister for Sport Alister Henskens SC MP and representatives from our major stakeholders, athletes, parents and staff from our Regional Academies.

A big congratulations to all nominees and winners across the Regional Academies of Sport network, and a special mention to our South West Sydney Academy of Sport Finalists in their respective categories.

Kaden Smith (AWD), Kai Allie (Indigenous), Van Nguyen (Coach Leadership), Thomas Noakes (Athlete Leadership) and Ryan Carter (Athlete of the Year).

Photo Credit: Luke Fuda Films & Photography




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