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We should recognise our stars of sport

Saturday, 3rd March, 2012

SPORTS STARS NIGHT: (from left) Steve Burton, Olympic Games gold medallist Clair Mitchell-Tavener, Carmel Mackay and Margaret Lesjak. SPORTS STARS NIGHT: (from left) Steve Burton, Olympic Games gold medallist Clair Mitchell-Tavener, Carmel Mackay and Margaret Lesjak.

A gala awards night to acknowledge the role of sport and the people involved in it might soon be on the city’s events calendar again.

Members of Active Broken Hill recently attended the 20th Annual Northern Mallee Sports Star Awards in Mildura and believe the concept should be replicated here.

“Celebration of a night like this, acknowledging the role of sport within a community and all those who make it happen, is something we would like to see in Broken Hill one day in the not too distant future,” said BH Active Secretary, Margaret Lesjak.

Acknowledging the feats of sports people isn’t new to Broken Hill. The Broken Hill Sports Council once hosted the city’s own Sports Star Awards up until a couple of years ago.

Ms Lesjack and Active BH chairman Steve Burton attended the Mildura gala presentation dinner at which awards in more than 10 categories were presented.

Active BH Management Committee signed a mentoring partnership agreement with Mallee Sports Assembly 12 months ago at the same event.

“We were particularly impressed by how hotly contested the various awards were and how well the night was organised,” Mr Burton said.

“It was a big night with over 300 people attending the dinner.”

He said the guest speaker was Claire Mitchell-Taverner, the Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medallist hockey player.

“Claire’s main messages as a highly successful athlete were simple: Control the things in your life that you can and don’t get caught up with the things you can’t.

“It is important to dream and to go for your dreams - don’t die wondering if you could have or should have. 

“Claire reminded the gathering that dreams don’t happen overnight and spoke about the effort and work it took to reach her Olympic dream, and how disappointments along the way were part of the journey.

“Another strong theme that came through in Claire’s speech was not to worry about what everyone else is doing and thinking. If there is something you really want to achieve, put any energy you might otherwise waste on worrying into going all out for what you want to achieve.

“Ms Mitchell-Taverner also acknowledged the indispensable role played in sport by the coaches, administrators and other volunteers, as well as the amazing role played by parents, especially in rural areas, who regularly drive their children long distances to compete or train.”

The night also saw the induction into the Northern Mallee Sports Hall of Fame of 80-year-old Brian Weightman, father of former Richmond AFL player Dale Weightman, for his services as an administrator to a number of sports in the Mallee.

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