PHOTOS

Lovett and Simpson Parkes' Sportspeople of the Year

From international, national and state stars to local mentors influencing the next generation - the Parkes Shire's outstanding athletes, coaches, managers and administrators were all celebrated once again on Sunday.

The 2019 Parkes Shire Sport Awards were held during the Australia Day official ceremony in Cooke Park.

New Kookaburra and former Parkes hockey junior Kurt Lovett has been named Parkes' Sportsperson of the Year for a second consecutive year.

While world silver medallist in wheelchair basketball, Victoria Simpson, at just 13 years old is very deservedly the town's Junior Sportsperson of the Year.

Both stars were unable to be present at the ceremony on Sunday because, as would be expected, they were away competing or in preparations for upcoming competitions.

Simpson was in Sydney competing at just her second marathon wheelchair road race, the GIO Oz Day 10K, and won the junior section.

Lovett is preparing to make his debut with the Kookaburra's next weekend in the FIH Pro League at Sydney Olympic Park against Great Britain.

The now 23-year-old has had a big 2019 - he was selected on the NSW Pride team which won the inaugural men's Hockey One competition, the new Australian Hockey League.

Lovett finished the year off in style with a Kookaburras selection on the 27-man squad, whose duties for next year includes the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Simpson attended the 2019 Women's Under 25s Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in Thailand last May, representing the country in four of its six games and returning with a silver medal.

That wasn't the only thing that kept the teenager busy last year - she made her debut and placed second in the juniors at the GIO Oz Day 10K last Australia Day and she represented Red Bend Catholic College at the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges (CCC) swimming and athletic carnivals in Homebush.

She qualified for the NSW Athletics Championships, winning silver in discus, shot put and the 100m, 200m and 800m wheelchair races - and ultimately landing her a spot at nationals in all events at Perth last month.

And at Easter she travelled to Townsville in Queensland to compete in the Kevin Coombs Cup with the NSW mixed wheelchair basketball team, claiming a bronze medal.

Team of the Year

Parkes' Team of the Year title went to theParkes Public Boys Hockey team, who are 2019 state champions after winning the NSW Primary Schools Sports Association Boys Hockey Knockout in September.

The side is made up of students from Years 3-6, who since late Term 1 last year had been training every Wednesday after school for the competition.

Senior Sportsperson

The Senior Sportsperson Award was jointly presented to Parkes hockey veteransDenise Gersbach and Maureen Massey this year.

Both said at the ceremony it was an honour to play alongside one another - though in different age groups - at a high level in a sport they love.

"And with the quality of juniors coming through, Parkes hockey is in very good stead," Gersbach added.

Gersbach is not only a bronze medallist from her first Indoor Hockey World Cup in Hong Kong with the Australian Over 45s last February, she also captained the side.

She then joined Massey in representing Australia in the Over 45s and Over 65s sides respectively at the Trans Tasman Challenge on the Gold Coast, both returning with gold.

The pair headed to nationals in October in their age groups, also on the Gold Coast, with Massey bagging another gold and Gersbach the silver.

Referee, Umpire or Official of the Year

Familiar touch football referee Cody Reynolds is Parkes'Referee of the Year.

The teenager, who referees for the Parkes Touch Association on a weekly basis, was inducted into the NSW Touch Association's Talented Referee Youth Squad (TYRS) program in May 2019.

The two-year program is for the 10 best 15-20-year-olds NSW-based referees progressing to be a state level 4 referee.

Reynolds also refereed at the NSW CCC championships - looking after the Open Boys grand final; the national Under 15 All School Touch Championships in Canberra - umpiring the Boys Under 15 grand final and was ranked number one student referee overall; and the national Indigenous Touch Knockout in 2018 and 2019, refereeing the mixed grand final.

Coach, Trainer or Manager of the Year

2019 Trundle Boomers captain-coach Josh Miles was named Parkes' Coach of the Year.

Going from the Parkes Boars Rugby Union Club to the Boomers, Miles led his side to victory in the Woodbridge Cup competition - following in the footsteps of 2017 and 2018 coach Adam Hall.

It was the Boomers' third premiership in a row, a feat not seen in country rugby league since the early 90s and not in the Woodbridge Cup since the late 1960s.

Administrator of the Year

Parkes Hockey junior director Cherie Johnstone is Parkes' Administrator of the Year.

"Cherie's administrative capabilities for Parkes Hockey have been outstanding," her nomination read.

Johnstone has been instrumental in submitting applications and successfully gaining state championship allocations for Parkes Hockey.

She's travelled to Sydney to deliver a presentation to Hockey NSW executives to share the success story that Parkes Junior Hockey is, demonstrating the Parkes junior model. Hockey NSW is now adopting the Parkes model for promotion to other associations.

Johnstone is in regular contact with the Hockey NSW Office and is heavily involved with the development of juniors in the Western Region.

"Cherie dedicates herself tirelessly to running the junior hockey competition in Parkes which is one of the most successful junior competitions in the state," her nomination continued.

"Cherie is always giving up her time to volunteer in the canteen and spends many hours in there every weekend.

"Parkes Junior Hockey is one of the most successful junior sports in Parkes with Cherie's administrative work a large factor contributing to its success. Parkes Junior Hockey has grown by 15 per cent in the last four years."

LONG SERVICE AND DEDICATION: Parkes Tennis Club "canteen ladies" Val Glasheen, Pauline Nicholson and Lyn Pengilly. Absent: Pat Drabsch. Photo: Christine Little

LONG SERVICE AND DEDICATION: Parkes Tennis Club "canteen ladies" Val Glasheen, Pauline Nicholson and Lyn Pengilly. Absent: Pat Drabsch. Photo: Christine Little

Long Service and Dedication

The prestigious Long Service and Dedication Award on Sunday was presented to the Parkes Tennis Canteen Ladies - those being Pat Drabsch, Pauline Nicholson, Val Glasheen and Lyn Pengilly.

Their dedication began more than 40 years ago but "the canteen ladies" as many know them as today started their volunteer journey in 1989 when the Parkes Tennis Club's existing small kitchen was renovated, providing these four ladies with ample room to congregate.

Every Tuesday afternoon at 3.30pm during the school terms for the ensuing 30 years they meet, regardless of the weather and give their time voluntarily to service the tennis club.

They have also continued to staff the canteen at all of the club's tournaments during the years and any school or special events.

The women have contributed more than 160 years collectively of volunteer time to the Parkes Shire through the Parkes Tennis Club.

"Boasting such loyalty of four ladies, all aged over 75 years of age, to a sporting club is unprecedented across the Parkes Shire," their nomination read.

"They not only run the canteen department but also take the playing fees each week, hand out draws, balls and score sheets and keep the toilets and club house maintained during the school terms selflessly making lifelong contributions to the Parkes Community."

The canteen ladies have their own financial account and they contribute to the club's overall strategic plan, deciding how they will spend their profits to benefit the wider tennis club community.

Over the years the canteen has funded a ride-on lawn mower, roller for the courts, tables and chairs for the clubhouse, a television and DVD player for the players and visitors, as well as most recently sourcing on-court scoring systems from the USA for all 15 courts, enhancing the players and spectators competition and tournament experience.

Ron Harrison Bursary

The Ron Harrison OAM Memorial Sports Bursary has been running since 1985 and this year's recipients are Henry Kross in squash, Matty Price in swimming and Kyan Redfern in karate with $650 each.

Ron's daughter Kristine Nock was present to represent the family and presented the scholarships to the athletes.

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