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Monday, April 22, 2024

Clarence Valley Sports Awards Celebrate 10th Anniversary

Emma Pritchard

  The tremendous accolades achieved by the region’s talented athletes, established sports clubs, and local sports personnel were highlighted during the 2023 Clarence Valley Sports Awards at the Bowlo Sports and Leisure Yamba on February 10.

As the annual event proudly celebrated a decade of sporting legends for its 10th anniversary, close to 200 people, including an inspirational caliber of nominees, whose distinctions have been published each month in recent editions of the Clarence Valley Independent, gathered together in excited anticipation.

An initiative of the Clarence Valley Sports Councils, and supported by Grafton Shopping World, Clarence Valley Independent, Loving Life FM 103.1, Clarence Valley Council (CVC), and Clarence Media, the Clarence Valley Sports Awards showcase the undisputed strength and skills of the local sporting community, and the self-less spirit of the extraordinary volunteers who dedicate countless hours to enable competitions, tournaments, and sports carnivals to go ahead.

As their respective categories and the subsequent winners were announced throughout the night, participants cheered and applauded in gracious support of their fellow sports stars while reserving a special welcome for guest speaker Brooke Hanson.

One of Australia’s most recognized Olympians, Ms Hanson enjoyed a decorated career in the pool, winning a gold medal in the 4x100m medley and a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

As she shared her story of resilience, motivation, and determination with her audience on Saturday night, and offered kind words of support and encouragement to some of the youngest sports stars in the room while allowing attendees to admire her Olympic medals, Ms Hanson said she was honored to attend the 2023 Clarence Valley Sports Awards and urged all athletes in attendance to never give up, and to always believe in themselves.

While she was unable to attend the event, Grafton Paralympian Jessica Smith, who was inducted into the Grafton Shoppingworld Wall of Fame during the night, also shared her message of support and admiration for the Clarence Valley’s line-up of sports personnel.

Prolific swimmer Andrea Thomson revealed she was ecstatic to learn she was the recipient of the People’s Choice Award for Junior Female Legend of the Decade following another outstanding- ing year in the pool, while Clarence Valley BMX Club rider Tahlia Marsh described herself as overwhelmed to receive the Junior Female Legend of the Decade and People’s Choice Senior Legend of the Decade titles on the night.

The Clarence Valley Sports Awards Committee later revealed they were thrilled with the proceedings during the night and agreed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Clarence Valley Sports Awards as a special occasion for all involved.

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