Umina PCYC boxer Anja Stridsman has been named runner-up in the Sportsperson of the Year award by the Central Coast Sport organisation at a ceremony at Gosford RSL Club on November 29.
She was runner up to Winter Olympic silver medallist skier Matt Graham.
“Anja had a huge year in the ring,” said awards organiser Ms Mardi Love.
“She is a wonderful boxer who earned many accolades this year including her Commonwealth gold medal in the women’s 60kg division and two international titles in Turkey and Spain.
“At the national level, Anja is the current Australian champion, the NSW state champion and she also took out the South Australian Super 8 Tournament,” Ms Love said.
Team of the Year went to Central Coast Heart, the Coast’s combined netball squad.
Comprised of the best players from the regions three Netball Associations (Woy Woy, Gosford and Wyong), the Heart is the only team outside of Sydney to be granted a licence to compete in the Netball NSW Premier League which they won this year, Ms Love said.
Umina Surf Life Saving Club member Mr Garry Mensforth was named the Volunteer of the Year for his commitments to surf lifesaving and the Donnica Clarke Foundation.
“Garry’s commitment to volunteering with Surf Life Savings is outstanding,” Ms Love said.
“Not only does he volunteer at a club level with Umina SLSC, but also at a branch level with Central Coast Branch, at state level with NSW Surf Lifesaving and at national level with Surf Lifesaving Australia.
“During the past 12 to 18 months, Garry has volunteered in the following capacities: investment committee with Surf Lifesaving Central Coast, a patrolling member of Umina SLSC, member of the selection panel for surf sports with Surf Lifesaving NSW involving extensive travel to carnivals across the state, managed the Australian Lifesaving Open Representative team at multiple international competitions including travel to Germany, Poland and New Zealand.
“Garry has held some of these voluntary positions for up to 20 years.
“On top of his voluntary work with Surf Lifesaving, Garry is also a founding board member, and director of administration, with the Donnica Clarke Foundation, which awards scholarships to outstanding athletes.
“Garry’s work with the foundation over the past 10 years has been in a completely voluntary capacity.
“It is estimated that Garry contributes at least 20 hours each week to his various voluntary positions with Surf Lifesaving and the Donnica Clarke Foundation,” Ms Love said.
The Woy Woy Wolves Baseball Club were named the Club-Association of the Year.
“This year the Wolves made history by being the first club in 62 years in both winter and summer competitions to win all four premierships and the club championship in a single season,” Ms Love said.
“The Wolves have celebrated a win-loss record of 61-4 games across the four grades with both third and fourth grades having perfect winning seasons.
“Three Wolves players also represented Australia in baseball this year, with Parker Robinson playing in the Under-15 World Cup Team, Elodie O’Sullivan in the Emerald Whites Australian Women’s Team and Claire O’Sullivan in the Emerald Greens Australian Women’s Team.
“Other members also signed to professional teams including the Sydney Blue Sox and the Canberra Cavalry Professional Baseball Teams.
“Several players have also been selected for NSW Country Teams for national championships.
“Two Woy Woy Wolves Baseball coaches have also been selected to NSW Country coaching staff roles for the National Youth Baseball Championships,” Ms Love said.
Umina Surf Life Saving Club’s Mr Brett Harrod and Umina PCYC’s Michaela Pendleton were honoured with Recognition of Service to Sport Awards, special awards given only to those who’ve volunteered in their sporting code for 15 years or more.
“For 42 years, Brett has been an outstanding and committed member of the Surf Life Saving movement on the Central Coast,” Ms Love said.
“Brett started out patrolling Central Coast beaches, and over the years and decades progressed on to holding various positions on club, branch, and state executive and management committees.
“At a club level with Umina, Brett has held a variety of positions on the executive committee including club captaincy for three years, secretary for four years, president for four years and director of surf sports for five years.
“Brett was elected Chairman of the Organising Committee for the 2005 State Titles, held at Umina Beach.
“The success of this huge event was largely due to Brett’s passion and dedication to Surf Life Saving on the Central Coast.
“At a branch level, Brett has again held multiple positions on various committees, including a stint as Central Coast branch president.
“Brett was awarded Life Membership with Umina in 1987 and Life Membership at a branch level with the Central Coast branch in 2005,” Ms Love said.
Michaela is the gymnastics coordinator at Umina PCYC and has spent more than 25 years coaching Central Coast gymnasts at various facilities across the Coast.
“With coaching and judging accreditations across multiple gymnastics disciplines, Michaela has been heavily involved in coaching gymnastics programs on the Central Coast since 1993, and has spent 13 consecutive years as the NSW coach,” Ms Love said.
“From 2005 to 2017, Michaela was the coordinator of the schools program servicing both primary and secondary schools on the Central Coast, as well as Special Needs and Active After School programs.
“Michaela was responsible for programs at Gosford Gymnastics and Central Coast Gymnastics Academy being awarded GNSW Quality Schools Provider Accreditation.
“On top of all of this Michaela, has been involved in the development and mentoring of junior coaches and has consistently supported her athletes at local, state, national and international competitions,” Ms Love said.
Several young coaches, referees and advisors also picked up Recognition of Young Official Awards on the night including Umina PCYC’s Lachlan Tolhurst and Rhianna Howlett.
“At the just the age of 17, and while studying for his HSC, Lachlan is already an accredited intermediate coach in trampolining and tumbling, and an advanced coach in recreational gymnastics,” Ms Love said.
“Lachlan coaches approximately 100 young gymnasts, aged five to 14 years, across both Umina and Hornsby PCYCs four days per week in classes ranging from recreational gymnastics, trampolining, tumbling and Free G, a variation of Parkour.
“Lachlan’s trampolining and Free G athletes competed this year with podium finishes in both categories.
“In the lead-up to the World Boxing Championships, Lachlan was asked to start a class for PCYC boxers, including Commonwealth Gold medallists, focussing on flexibility and stability of joints.
“Lachlan also coaches a gymnastics performance team, uses his school holidays to visit gymnastic clubs in the Hunter and Lower Hunter to assist in establishing programs, and is on the Gymnastics NSW youth leadership team, even running a session at their recent camp for junior coaches to learn about Free G,” Ms Love said.
“Rhianna is a judge in Women’s Gymnastics and Sports Acrobatics.
“Rhianna spends her weekends at local competitions, processing entries, judging or coaching, or at competitions in Sydney officiating as a judge or assisting with computer entry.
“Not only does Rhianna devote hours of her time to officiating at a competitive level but she is also coaches several gym sports at Umina PCYC and is the secretary of the Hunter Region Gymnastics and on the Gymnastics NSW LEAP Panel.
Media release, 30 Nov 2018
Mardi Love, Sport NSW