A night of celebrating sporting success, the Rockingham Sports Star Awards recognised the City of Rockingham’s best sportspeople, clubs and volunteers.
In the 25th year of the awards, there were 41 nominations across six categories with a total prize pool of $15,000.
Held at the Gary Holland Community Centre last Wednesday, first up was junior sports star of the year award won by BMX star Declan McGhee.
Riding with Rockingham BMX Club, Declan made it all the way to France for a national BMX competition where he placed second and third in two separate races.
Volunteer of the year went to Taylor Olson of Port Kennedy Football Club, who started off volunteering casually and then found herself in the thick of it.
Attendees were then lucky enough to hear para-swimming great Priya Cooper OAM speak, who had some encouraging words and acknowledgement of the young sportspeople in the room.
“It’s about the young ones coming through the ranks,” Cooper said.
“You’re our future.”
The now-retired swimmer and new chair of the WA Institute of Sport, said “success is a choice” and that to achieve more or better, you have to think differently.
Cooper competed in the Australian swimming team at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Summer Paralympics, taking home nine gold medals, three silver and four bronze across all three Games.
Team of the year was then presented to its young winners, the Rockingham Flames’ under-14s touring team, and club of the year was awarded to the rapidly growing Southside Chargers Basketball Club.
Senior sports star of the year went to 19-year-old Ashlyn Mohr, who currently ranks No.2 in Australia for tenpin bowling.
Mohr was not present on the night as she has already made her way to Ottawa, Kansas for a bowling scholarship at Ottawa University.
To wrap up the night, local hockey diehard Joy Cox was recognised with the John Brown Lifetime Achievement Memorial Award.
Cox played hockey for the Rockingham Districts Hockey Club until recently and remains very involved with the club.
“All my lifetime friends have come from hockey,” Cox said when asked what hockey means to her.
“It just gets in your blood, gets under your skin.”
Rockingham mayor Deb Hamblin congratulated all of the winners for 2022 and noted the important role sport plays in “growing and nurturing community connectedness and wellbeing”.
“It is a vital element in creating a physically and mentally healthy community and the Sports Star Awards are a fabulous way to recognise the athletes, clubs and volunteers who excel in their respective sporting codes.”