YOUNG achievers from weightlifters to basketballers and rowers to pistol shooters have united to celebrate the future of Tasmanian sport.
The Examiner’s IGA Junior Sports Awards were presented on Tuesday night when more than 160 guests were treated to a priceless insight into elite sport from one of their own.
Evandale’s Nathan Grima delivered an inspirational message about the highs and lows of his life as an AFL footballer and how he dealt with the numerous injuries that delayed, interrupted and prematurely ended his 86-game playing career.
The 30-year-old former North Melbourne defender also helped present awards at Country Club Tasmania with an Oceania basketball champion and Olympic hopeful pistol shooter claiming the top accolades.
Female individual winner Taylor Mole was in the Australian under-17 team that won this year’s Oceania championships in New Zealand, is also a member of the Hobart Lady Chargers SEABL team and took part in a Basketball Tasmania tour to the US.
Male individual winner Bailey Groves was a member of Shooting Australia’s high-performance squad and invited by the Australian Olympic Committee to the Road To Rio Ignite Tour event after being identified as a potential team member for the 2016 Olympic Games.
A multiple Tasmanian champion, Bailey claimed six medals at the national junior 25-metre championships.
The rising star awards went to brother and sister Sam and Bonnie Talbot.
Sam won all-schools and LSSSA cross-country championships and represented Tasmania at nationals as well as claiming the state 800m and two middle-distance little athletics titles.
Bonnie is ranked number one in Australia for the under-10 1km and 1.5km and holds club and state little athletics records.
She won the LSSSA cross-country and finished second in the state all-schools 800m.
The team award went to the Scotch Oakburn senior boys rowing crew who won their category in the senior four and eight at both club and school championships and narrowly missed a medal by finishing fourth in both the under-19 four and eight finals at the national championships.
Trevallyn rower Jack Barrett won the all-rounder award after claiming four gold medals at the state championships while also a state representative in under-age football and athletics.
The encouragement award went to PCYC weightlifter Telyshia Jones who claimed a bronze medal at the national championships and the sportsmanship award went to Waverley Primary School’s little athletics state shot put champion Jaxson Stone.
Following an illustrious list of Tasmanian guest speakers including Richie Porte, Jake Birtwhistle, Tim Paine, Scott Brennan, Wes Sulzberger and Tristan Thomas, Grima reflected on being one of four siblings who all played elite team sport and hoped his unconventional career path could provide a valuable lesson to aspiring athletes.
- Male individual: Bailey Groves
- Female individual: Taylor Mole
- Male rising star: Sam Talbot
- Female rising star: Bonnie Talbot
- All-rounder: Jack Barrett
- Team award: Scotch Oakburn senior boys rowing crew
- Encouragement award: Telyshia Jones
- Sportsmanship award: Jaxson Stone