Full list of winners from Clarence Valley Sports Awards
THE 2020 Clarence Valley Sports Awards showcased the outstanding achievements of Clarence Valley athletes in without doubt the most challenging year the sporting world has faced in living memory.
About 120 people attended the awards hosted by former NBN presenter Mike Rabbitt at Grafton District Services Club on Saturday night, in one of the first large-scale post-COVID live events in the Clarence Valley.
The calibire of the 13 category winners on the night proved not even a pandemic can keep our vibrant sporting community down.
The sports awards are an initiative of the Clarence Valley Sports Councils and are supported by The Daily Examiner and Grafton Shoppingworld.
GSW Senior Sportsperson of the Year - Mitch Christiansen
This was Mitch’s fourth time up as a finalist at the sports awards, and last year was joint winner of the People’s Choice Award.
In 2020 he won three silver medals in the T37 classification at the NSW Athletics Para Championships. He was all set to travel to Oceania Games in Fiji for his first international event, before it was cancelled due to coronavirus.
Finalists: Belinda Hodder – Horse Racing, Ed McGrath – Rugby Union, Fraser Marsh – Golf/Football, Kelly Blanch – Crossfit, Kyle Hancock – Rugby Union, Laurelea Moss – Cycling, Lindsey Wall – Triathlon, Matt McGuren – Horse Racing, Mitch Christiansen – AWD Athletics.
Past winners: 2019 Andrew Landenberger - Sailing, 2018 Celia Sullohern - Athletics, 2017 Celia Sullohern - Athletics, 2016 Laurelea Moss - Cycling, 2015 Peter Connor - Campdraft, 2014 Michael Russ - Hockey.
FM 103.1 Loving Life Masters Sports Award - Laurelea Moss
Won five gold medals at the Queensland Masters Track Championships, two gold at NSW Masters, and two gold at National Masters, where she was named Women’s 40-44 Champion of Champions. She had her sights set on the World Masters titles in Manchester – where she took the world by storm in 2016 – but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.
Moss previously won this award in 2017 and was named Senior Sportsperson of the Year in 2016.
Past winners: 2019 Tom Hancock - Athletics, 2018 Kim Elvery - Cycling, 2017 Laurelea Moss - Cycling, 2016 Brad Clarke - Bodybuilding, 2015 Brian Elvery - Triathlon, 2014 Ray Hunt - Triathlon.
GSW Junior Male Sportsperson of the Year - Hayden Ensbey
The Harwood cricketer represented North Coast when Clarence Valley hosted the NSW CHS Open Boys Cricket Championships, North Coastal Zone at the NSW Country Under-19 Colts Carnival, and Coffs Coast Chargers in the Regional Big Bash including a semi-final at the SCG.
In rugby league Hayden represented North Coast Bulldogs Under-18s, and played for Casino Cougars under-18s in the NRRRL season after Group 2 and the Grafton Ghosts pulled the pin on the 2020 season.
Hayden was the inaugural winner of this award for cricket in 2014, when he shared it with Elliott Speed for hockey.
Finalists: Harley Walters – Surfing, Hayden Ensbey – Cricket/Rugby League, Jack Leeson – Swimming, Jamal Laurie – Rugby League, Josh Carige – Athletics, Maison Simmons – Cricket, Reilly Wunderlich – Golf.
Past winners: 2019 Dakoda Walters - Surfing, 2018 Ashdon Randall - Rugby League/Rugby Union, 2017 Keaton Stutt - Hockey/Cricket/Rugby League/Soccer, 2016 Sam Young - Hockey, 2015 Cody Walker - Rugby Union, 2014 Hayden Ensbey - Cricket/Elliott Speed - Hockey.
GSW Junior Female Sportsperson of the Year - Andrea Thomson
‘Torpedo’ Thomson broke eight South Grafton High records, won seven events at CHS Mid North Coast Zone, crowned 12-year girls age champion at CHS North Coast, and was all set to turn on the jets at NSW Junior State Age and NSW CHS before both were cancelled due to COVID-19. Andrea also represented Grafton and Far North Coast Zone at the Junior National Physical Culture Championships.
Finalists: Andrea Thomson – Physical Culture/Swimming, Hollie Fuller – Golf, Kalani Ives – Ironwoman/Swimming.
Past winners: 2019 Tahlia Marsh - BMX, 2018 Tahlia Marsh - BMX, 2017 Kalani Ives - Surf Lifesaving, 2016 Nathalie Avery - Athletics, 2015 Laura Moloney - Squash, 2014 Carly Leeson - Cricket.
GSW People’s Choice Award - Andrea Thomson
Tallied 357 (18 per cent) of the total 1979 votes in the People’s Choice online poll via The Daily Examiner website.
Top pollsters: 2nd Jamal Laurie 13%, 3rd Jack Leeson 10%, 4th Kalani Ives 8%, 5th Reilly Wunderlich 8%.
Past winners: 2019 Ashleigh Ensbey - Hockey/Mitch Christiansen - AWD Athletics, 2018 Carly Shanahan - Surfing, 2017 Georgia Breward - AFL, 2016 Brad Clarke - Bodybuilding, 2015 Di Ellis - Longboard Surfing, 2014 Tahlia Marsh - BMX.
Holly Butcher Memorial Volunteer of the Year - Tim Ryan
Tireless volunteer across several Lower Clarence sporting groups and organisations for the past 25 years, including touch football, junior rugby league, masters swimming, Rotary, Lions and Relay for Life, all while running a successful business with his wife and family in Yamba. A fierce advocate for many sporting bodies on the Lower Clarence Sports Council, and founding member of the Clarence Valley Sports Awards committee.
Finalists: Dena Hamilton - Grafton Redmen Rugby Union, Kerry Lee - Clarence Coast Magpies Junior Rugby League, Les Falla - Grafton Hockey Association, Tim Ryan - Yamba Touch Association.
Past winners: 2019 Ray & Janet Gould - Grafton Hockey, 2018 Marnie Brighton - Clarenc Valley BMX.
DEX Club of the Year - Harwood Cricket Club
Lower Clarence premiers and runners up in Under-12s, 14s and 17s in 2019/20, inaugural North Coast Premier League champions, fielded two Junior Male Sportsperson nominees in Hayden Ensbey and Maison Simmons.
Finalists: Clarence Coast Magpies Junior Rugby League, Clarence River Jockey Club, Grafton Athletics Club, Harwood Cricket Club, Maclean Football Club, Westlawn Tigers Football Club.
Past winners: 2019 Clarence Valley BMX Club, 2018 Clarence Valley Triathlon Club, 2017 Lower Clarence Rowing Club, 2016 Clarence Coast Magpies Junior Rugby League, 2015 Lower Clarence Pony Club, 2014 Grafton Hockey Association.
Telstra Grafton Team of the Year - Grafton Tigers AFL Seniors
After claiming the dreaded wooden spoon two years in a row, on July 18 the Tigers won their first match in 1183 days with a 17-point victory over Coffs Harbour Breakers. They won the AFL North Coast minor premiership, and as favourites defeated Sawtell-Toormina Saints 58-20 in the grand final.
Finalists: Clarence Coast Magpies U14 Rugby League, Grafton Ghosts U13 Rugby League, Grafton Tigers Seniors AFL, Maclean Green 2nd Div Women’s Football.
Past winners: 2019 Grafton Ghosts 1st Grade Rugby League, 2018 South Grafton Rebels Womens League Tag, 2017 Grafton Ghosts 1st Grade Rugby League, 2016 Yamba Breakers U16 Soccer, 2015 Grafton U15 Boys Hockey, 2014 Grafton Ghosts 1st Grade Rugby League.
The Athlete’s Foot Coach of the Year - Adi Campbell
Repeated history by coming back to the helm of Grafton Tigers and taking them from last to first in a single season, as he did in 2011.
Finalists: Adi Campbell – Grafton Tigers Seniors AFL, Evelyn Harris – Grafton Greyhound Racing Club, Shaun Davison – Hybrid Fitness/Rugby League, Wayne Sutton – Maclean FC Women Green/White.
Past winners: 2019 Ray Wiblen - Yamba Surfboats, 2018 Rick Sampson - Hockey, 2017 Scott Smith - Hockey, 2016 Mishika Randall - Lower Clarence Women’s Rugby League, 2015 Dallas Waters -South Grafton Rebels Rugby League, 2014 Ryan Farrell - Grafton Ghosts Rugby League.
Tooheys Ernie Muller Award for Contribution to Sport in the Lower Clarence - Matt Farrell
Incredibly dedicated sports administrator who is currently Maclean FC president, Lower Clarence Bowling Club director, Lower Clarence Sports Council representative and Iluka Cricket Club treasurer, a position he has held since he was 15.
Past winners*: 2019 Tracey Moran, 2018 Ashley Lindsay, 2017 Rob Sutherland, 2016 Anton Sluyters, 2015 Tim Ryan, 2014 Mick Corbett.
Clarence Canegrowers Association Max Godbee Award for Contribution to Sport in the Clarence Valley - Ken Maughan
Grafton Rowing Club captain with a history in the sport dating back almost 60 years.
Past winners: 2019 Lynn Rudder, 2018 Cathy Walls, 2017 Cheryl Kinnane OAM, 2016 Terry West - Athletics, 2015 Kerry Godwin, 2014 Roma Brotherson.
DEX Sports Contributor of the Year - Don Freeman
Entertaining, articulate On The Greens reporter on behalf of Yamba Men’s Bowling Club.
Past winners: 2019 Gary Nichols, 2018 Gary Nichols, 2017 Brad Ellis, 2016 Kelsey Burton, 2015 Peter Hughes, 2014 Gary Nichols.
DEX Contributing Sports Photographer of the Year - Gary Nichols
Retired photojournalist who continues to generously produce content for The Daily Examiner as a hobby. His main focus is Grafton Redmen Rugby Union Club, but Nichols also covers a broad range of sports and Clarence Valley’s beauty behind the lens.
Past winners: 2019 Chris & Shirleyanne Blanchard, 2018 Shirleyanne Blanchard, 2017 Gary Nichols, 2016 Chris Blanchard, 2015 Shane Sedger, 2014 Shane Sedger.
- Winners listed since Ernie Muller Award was reinstated as part of Clarence Valley Sports.