About the Cootamundra Sports Foundation

The Cootamundra Sports Foundation was formed in February 1974 meaning the organisation celebrated its 42nd birthday in 2016.

The inaugural committee was formed with President Jim McDonald, Secretary Max Rudd, Treasurer Adrian Bradley, Vice-Presidents Peter Rowe, Wal Ward and Frank Smith and Directors Roger Creagh, Eddie George, Jim Lenehan, Brian O’Malley, Ray Shurmer, Mick Sheil, Tommy Spain and Ross Sterland.

The aim of the Cootamundra Sports Foundation was to promote sport, bring sporting guests to town and most importantly to foster “Charity in Sport”.

It was a vision of the first Executive that the Foundation would raise funds to help sportspeople who were financially disadvantaged to follow their sporting goals.

Noted sportspeople were guests at a dinner, that would help raise funds for the organisation which were then given to community sporting groups and also provide an opportunity for locals to meet these people.

The first guest speaker was dual international footballer Rex Mossop and the second was Australian Cricket captain Ian Chappell. Other early guests were yachtsman Jim Hardy, tennis player Evonne Goolagong, rugby union international Trevor Allen and ABC sporting commentator Norman May.

In 1984 the first Sportsperson of the Year Presentation Dinner was held with Paul Field named as the inaugural Cootamundra Sportsman of the Year after he represented NSW in the State of Origin series in 1983.

The Junior Sportsperson of the Year was first named in 1985 and the Team of the Year first awarded in 1992.

There are also awards for Local Sportsperson, Junior Encouragement Award, Best Performed Local Team and Sports Administrator.

In 2011, the current committee also decided to award the Max Rudd Memorial Trophy for “Service to Sport”.

Father and son Clive (Ned) and Paul Miller were named as the first recipients for their outstanding contribution to sport in the media and community.

Simon Sutherland was named the 2012 winner for his tireless work with the highly successful annual Coota Beach Volleyball carnival.

Basketball stalwart Paddy Ballard was named the 2013 winner and Bob Holder collected the 2014 award for his 70 years of involvement in rodeo.

The 2015 winner was Eric Thorburn for his 60 year involvement with cricket in Cootamundra and southern NSW and other sports in Cootamundra.

Cootamundra Community Support

The Cootamundra business community continues to be very generous in their support of the Foundation and their donations have allowed the organisation to maintain its support to local young sportspeople, schools and sporting groups.

Dunk Insurance was the major sponsor of the Foundation for five years and we have now welcomed our new major sponsor Bayer Australia Ltd.

Agland, Palmer Ford, Cootamundra Herald, South West Slopes Credit Union and Cootamundra Milk are proud associate sponsors and a host of other business houses and individuals continue to provide financial assistance to the organisation.

This support is greatly appreciated by the committee.

All money raised from the presentation dinner is used to provide financial support to young sportspeople in the Cootamundra Shire and maintain two honour boards, which are situated in the Town Hall foyer.

In recent years the level of donations has increased significantly, with funds directed toward junior sportspeople in a variety of individual and team sports and the Foundation has donated over $62,000 to the sporting community.

Following the passing of the inaugural Vice-President, Frank Smith, the Foundation named its major award in his honour and his wife Margaret and son, Jim, a former Cootamundra Sportsperson of the Year himself, providing valuable assistance to the organisation each year.

The current committee is Christine Leahy, Graeme Worboys, Eric Thorburn, Phil Nott, Craig McTavish, Angela Trinder, Jim Slattery and Ray Godbier.