AIS Sport Performance awards

In February 2015 the ASC held the inaugural AIS Sport Performance Awards to recognise the outstanding achievement of athletes, teams and coaches in Australian high performance sport.

Awards were presented across ten categories, including two people’s choice awards which were decided through a public vote.


Table 6: AIS Sport Performance Awards - full results


Award winner

Athlete of the year

Jess Fox (canoe)

Jess Fox created history in Deep Creek, USA, in September 2014 by becoming the first canoe slalom athlete to win the world championship in two classes, the K1 and the C1. By winning the C1 event Jess defended her 2013 world title. Jess also won gold in both of these events at the under-23 World Championships in Penrith in April. Beyond the sporting arena Jess supported and encouraged emerging athletes across a range of sports as Young Ambassador for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games.

Coach of the year

Lisa Alexander (netball)

Lisa has successfully created an elite team with high standards both on and off the court. She has set new standards for the way the Diamonds play: physically, technically and tactically. Lisa has also influenced and supported a quality daily training environment for players. She is passionate about coaching and engages in the development of other coaches. Lisa is a student of sport and often looks to the success of other teams and nations for ways to help the Diamonds. Lisa is active with the under-21 national team and provides mentoring support at club, state and national level.

Junior athlete of the year

Amy Cure (cycling)

Amy won her maiden world title when claiming gold in the 25km points race at the 2014 UCI World Track Cycling Championships. In doing so Amy became only the second Australian to ever win this event. She also won two world championship bronze medals in the individual and team pursuit events. In an outstanding year Amy then won multiple medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Described as a great team leader and ambassador for Australian and Tasmanian cycling, Amy is also an exceptional role model for other athletes.

Team of the year

Australian Men’s Hockey Team (the Kookaburras)

The Kookaburras are the world number one ranked men's hockey team and are the current world cup title holders. At the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games the team defeated India 4-0 to win their fifth consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medal. This result followed a comprehensive 6-1 win over the 2012 Olympic silver medallists Netherlands to defend their world cup title.

Para performance of the year

Australian Para Rugby Team (the Steelers)

In 2014 the Australian Wheelchair Rugby Team won its first world championship, defeating Canada. This performance bettered previous world championship campaigns where Australian won silver (2010) and bronze (2002). As the 2014 world champions, Australia became only the second nation in history to hold both the Paralympic and world championships titles concurrently.

Leadership award (joint winners)

Kate Palmer (netball)

As chief executive of Netball Australia, Kate leads a team of 30 people supporting eight state and territory affiliated bodies and more than 300,000 registered members nationally. Kate has led significant change at Netball Australia including the relocation of the organisation’s head office, development of the ANZ Championship, a new broadcast partnership, corporate sponsorship and Australia securing the rights to the 2015 World Netball Championship. Kate is also a trustee of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, International Netball Federation Director, and Chair of the Victorian Institute of Sport. She has played a key role in introducing innovative ideas to boost netball’s appeal at all levels.

Damien Marangon (shooting)

Damien has made significant structural and cultural changes to the sport of shooting during his 18-month tenure as chief executive. This has included greater clarity around the sport’s high performance component and improving the sport’s messaging and branding. This came with considerable governance reform, new financial reporting, a change in investment strategy and organisational reform. These shifts led to improvements in relationships with major stakeholders and created strategic alliances with member bodies. It led to a new high performance plan, programme, structure and the creation of the Aiming4Gold programme. These changes created the most successful Commonwealth Games and world championships the sport has had in many years.

Community club award

Wynyard Yacht Club (sailing)

Wynyard is a town in Tasmania with a population of 5,000 and the nation’s highest unemployment rate. Wynyard Yacht Club had lost a third of its income and in 2014 decided to transform. It introduced the Discover Sailing programme to promote sailing as fun, accessible and affordable while portraying clubs as welcoming and social. The club is now an accredited Discover Sailing Centre, adopting the Yachting Australia programmes of Discover Sailing, Tackers (for 7-12 year olds) and Sailability, alongside team and individual racing. The club has strong connections to the community, including the local council, community groups and schools and assists in search and rescue operations.

Volunteer/administrator of the year

Bridie Galea (basketball)

Bridie Galea has enjoyed a lifetime of involvement in basketball. She has become a market-leading sports administrator as Southern Peninsula Basketball Association (Vic) administration manager, where she has played a major role implementing structures to improve the organisation’s day-to-day operations. Bridie is also the association’s Big V administrator. Known for embracing new technology, she consistently develops skills via professional development courses. Bridie’s efforts have also been acknowledged as Basketball Victoria and Basketball Australia administrator of the year.

Sports performance of the year (public vote)

South Sydney Rabbitohs (rugby league)

In the 2014 NRL Grand Final the South Sydney Rabbitohs won their 21st premiership by defeating the Canterbury Bulldogs in a repeat of the 1967 final. The match began as a tense affair — there was only one try in the first half — before a sizzling final 10 minutes saw Kirisome Auva’a, Adam Reynolds and Greg Inglis all score to push Souths over the line. The 30–6 victory was a long-overdue return to form for a team that, remarkably, hadn’t won the premiership in 43 years. It took place in front of a record 83,000 fans and 3.95 million television viewers.

Sports personality of the year (public vote)

Kurt Fearnley (athletics)

Kurt Fearnley may be the toughest athlete in Australian sport. In November 2014, the triple Paralympic gold medallist won his fifth New York marathon in the men’s wheelchair event — his third race in eight weeks after winning in Sydney and placing second in Chicago. 2014 was a busy year for Kurt. Despite battling a virus, Kurt won a silver medal in the 1500m T54 event at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and launched his autobiography.