Lovett and Draper Parkes’ athletes of the year | Photos

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The sport of hockey dominated this year’s Parkes Shire Sport Awards, with Kookaburras Development Squad member Kurt Lovett named Parkes’ Sportperson of the Year in 2019.

Meanwhile talented athlete India Draper was named the Junior Sportsperson of the Year.

Lovett had a successful year in 2018 being selected for the national squad.

He also captained the NSW Under 21s team and represented the NSW Waratahs in Australian Hockey League, picking up a silver medal.

Lovett captained the NSWIS team that travelled to India, and was chosen as man of the match in the second game.

It’s not the first time the now 22-year-old has received the top prize in Parkes sport, taking out the same title in 2015.


Teenage hockey star India Draper rose to national ranks after a silver performance at the 2017 Pacific School Games in Adelaide.

Draper lined up as a striker and impressed for the NSW 16 years and under schools team, which earned her an Australian All Schools selection.

She toured South Africa last June with the 2018 U16 Australian All School Girls Team.

Draper is also a member of the 2018/19 NSW U18 Accelerated Athlete Program (AAP) Squad.

She was selected in the AAP Invitational Team to play against ACT Academy Squad in the Australian Hockey League curtain raiser game in October.

Besides hockey, Draper was a key member of the 2018 Parkes Spacecats Group XI League Tag winning team.

On Saturday, Parkes youngster and excelling all rounder athlete Ellen Dolbel received a special commendation for her extensive list of representations across several sports.

She’s competed at local, regional and state level in tennis, swimming, cross country, athletics, hockey, indoor hockey, netball, cricket and touch football.

The 2018 Under 13 champions took out the Team of the Year accolade.

The Parkes Under 13 Boys Hockey Team finished first in the state in the 2018 Under 13 Boys Division 1 Champions at Wagga Wagga in July.

The side also won the 2018 Under 13 Boys Division 1 at the Canberra long weekend carnival.

Golden hockey veteran Graeme Tanswell was certainly deserving of his Senior Sportsperson title on Saturday after claiming gold for Australia in the Over 50s men’s team at the Hockey Masters World Cup in Spain in August.

His side was undefeated throughout the tournament.

The Referee, Umpire or Official of the Year Award was presented to athletics official Kim Robinson.

Kim was an official at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, where she was a technical field judge for the javelin and hammer throw, and judging the bar in high jump.

Physiotherapist Sharon Dixon claimed the Coach, Trainer or Manager of the Year Award, following years of service to hockey, in particular men’s masters teams, on the state, national and international stage.

She’s managed to keep many senior hockey players on the pitch and performing at their best over many years. This included tournaments such as Trans Tasman Masters and World Cups.

2018 was Dixon’s 14th year representing NSW men’s masters hockey as a physiotherapist – the last six as head of medical, with six to nine therapists under her guidance. 

She has also represented Australia at eight international championships, including Trans Tasman Masters tournaments and world cups, selected from a field of medics from around Australia.

Hockey stalwart Aaron Huppatz was honoured with the Administrator of the Year Award after years of promoting hockey in Parkes.

Such effort has led to increased participation locally in the sport.

Huppatz works tirelessly to ensure Parkes continues to attract and host major hockey events, as well as oversees the running of the canteen on a weekly basis.

He plays an integral role in the coaching of individual players and junior representative teams, as well as the Rovers Hockey Club.

One of NSW’s most respected touch football selectors, Don Green, has earned the Long Service and Dedication Award.

He was awarded life membership with the NSW Touch Association (NSWTA) at its annual general meeting in 2018.

Green has been a major contributor in the selectors ranks of the NSWTA and Hunter Western Hornet Region, as well as contributed at grassroots association level continuously for more than 25 years.

In total he has dedicated more than 30 continuous years to the sport.

After a brief time as a representative player in the early 1990s, Green soon found enjoyment selecting representative teams for affiliates, regions and schools across the Hunter and Western areas of NSW.

This led Green to become the Director of Selectors for Region 2 in 1995, until the region merged with Hunter (Region 5) at which time he oversaw the selecting arm for the entire Hunter/Western Hornets Region from 1998 to 2013.

At the height of Green’s involvement in the junior arm of the sport, the Hunter Western Hornets bestowed the honour of naming the Western Junior Championships after Green.

In 1999 he was awarded a NSWTA ‘Blues Award’, for his voluntary services to the sport and is one of only few people to hold the Level 7 selectors pin.

Meanwhile the Ron Harrison Sports Bursary has been awarded to Maddison Spence (cricket), Matty Price (swimming) and Tyannua Goolagong (rugby league).