Annual Awards 2016

Alicia Quirk with the 3 major award winners Stephanie Cooper, Michaela Webb and Alyssa Armstrong

Alicia Quirk with the 3 major award winners Stephanie Cooper, Michaela Webb and Alyssa Armstrong (Photo courtesy of Gerry O'Brien))

2016 Frank Smith Memorial Sportsperson of the Year

Stephanie Cooper – Reining

Stephanie had a successful year competing in the sport of Reining.

To explain Reining, it is a competitive sport riding horses in an arena & to quote the National Reining Horse Rulebook
‘To Rein a horse is not only to guide him, but to control his every movement’.

Simply put, Reining is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch type horse, completing multiple disciplined movements in the confines of a show arena.

Stephanie competed at Tamworth in the Reining Australian National Championships & came away with several wins.

Stephanie Cooper the 2016 Sportsperson of the Year won the Frank Smith Memorial Trophy and received her award from Australian Rugby 7's star Alicia Quirk )

Stephanie Cooper the 2016 Sportsperson of the Year won the Frank Smith Memorial Trophy and received her award from Australian Rugby 7's star Alicia Quirk (photo courtesy of Gerry O'Brien)

Stephanie’s first win was in the open non-pro ladies event, which was contested by 42 riders & she came away with the National Title.

Following this event, Stephanie contested the feature open non-pro categories, winning the limited & the intermediate non-pro derbies before finishing 3rd in the open non-pro derby.

She rode the six year old quarter horse stallion
‘Cromed by Custom’. He is owned & trained by her husband Graham, who is a professional reigning horse trainer.

Multiple titles at National level are a great achievement.

In 2017 Stephanie will ride in the Open Professional events to see how far she can progress with this horse.

2016 Junior Sportsperson

Alyssa Armstrong – Soccer

Alyssa had another very successful year playing soccer.

Early in the season Alyssa was selected for the NSW Country U15 team which she captained at the FFA National Youth Championships held in Coffs Harbour in July.

This was her third year at this tournament.

Junior Sportsperson of 2016 soccer star Alyssa Armstrong with Alicia Quirkn

Junior Sportsperson of 2016 soccer star Alyssa Armstrong with Alicia Quirk (photo courtesy of Gerry O'Brien

Alyssa then qualified for the Riverina U16 squad & contested the NSW state titles held in Mudgee in September. At this event Alyssa was voted ‘Player’s Player’ by her peers.

Returning to club level, Alyssa was a member of the Western Mariners Football Club who competed in the FNSW state league competition. Although only 15 years old, Alyssa was promoted to a fulltime member of the women’s first grade team & started every week.

Her team finished third overall, just missing a grand final appearance. Alyssa plays in this team under head ladies coach, Mick Godbier.

Alyssa also played in the FNSW state futsal titles held in Penrith in September 2016.

Alyssa undoubtedly will say her highlight for last year was being invited to join a FNSW institute squad to play in an International tournament in Dallas, Texas. At this tournament Alyssa was exposed to many international teams with her NSW team
losing in the quarter finals.

Encouragement Award

Michaela Webb – Athletics

Michaela is a talented all round sports star whose highest achievement in 2016 was in athletics, more specifically in high jump.

Early in the year Michaela broke the Cootamundra Little Athletics record with a jump of 1.52 metres.

Once the school year commenced Michaela worked her way through each level of competition, winning the high school carnival & then the zone competition which was held in Temora.

From zone, athletes progress to the Riverina CHS championships held in Albury, where competitors must finish first or second to qualify for the state CHS carnival which is held at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre in Homebush. Michaela qualified & competed in her age high jump at the state carnival.

Michaela Webb who won the Junior Encouragement Award with Special Guest Alicia Quirk

Michaela Webb who won the Junior Encouragement Award with Special Guest Alicia Quirk (photo courtesy of Gerry O'Brien)

Michaela has all round sporting talent & during 2016 she not only went to state in athletics, she was the high school age champion in swimming, athletics & cross country & went on to Riverina level in swimming & cross country.

She was the recipient of the Wendy Drummond Trophy for
Junior Sportswoman of the Year at the high school.

Michaela also played soccer & was the junior club winner of the John Clune medal for showing team spirit, dedication to training, club spirit & putting back into the sport while still a junior.

2016 Team of the Year

Strikers First Grade – Soccer

The Stirkers First XI were the winning team and the other nominations were The Tricolors Rugby Union Team and the Ron Johnson & Mike Barber Lawn Bowls Team.

The Strikers Pascoe cup team went into the 2016 season knowing that they didn’t have the strike power as some of the other top teams in the Pascoe cup.

With this in mind a strong defensive pattern of play was implemented and this was the basis of winning games.

This proved to be the case as the team did not concede large numbers of goals and finished the regular season with the best defensive record in the league.

Alicia Quirk presents the 2016 Team of the Year to Cootamundra Strikers First Grade Coach Luke Dickinson

Alicia Quirk presents the 2016 Team of the Year to Cootamundra Strikers First Grade Coach Luke Dickinson (Photo courtesy of Gerry O'Brien)

Having beaten every team in the competition throughout the year, except for Lake Albert, the team made it through to the Grand Final, after the Strikers finished second on the Ladder.

In the major semi-final played at Rawlings Park Wagga, Lake Albert defeated the Cootamundra team 2-0.

Getting a second chance in the preliminary final and playing at their home ground O’Connor Park, the Strikers won 2-1 over another Wagga team Tolland, with Brent Farnsworth and Adam McPhail scoring the goals.

This meant another clash with Lake Albert.

The Grand Final was played in atrocious conditions at McDonald Park Wagga.

The Strikers scored first through defender Rowan Davidson, but the lead was short lived with Lake Albert replying soon after.
Lake Albert scored 2 more goals in the second half to extend the lead and won 3-1.

The Strikers continued to pressure the Lake Albert goals with a number of shots either hitting the post or narrowly missing.
It was a game that luck did not favour the Cootamundra team.

Team members were:

Brent Farnsworth(Captain), Kayne Cassidy, Steven Armstrong, Rowan Davidson, Josh Purtell, Derek Krough, Adam McPhail, Mark Rogers, Brenton Forsyth, Luke Dickinson, Zac Craw, Cal Breslin, Nick Ashe, Luke Izzard, Bevan Collins, Nick Ashe,  Lachlan Cook, Andrew Parkinson and Kasey Medway.

Coach: Luke Dickinson

Manager: James Philpott

On the back of such a successful season the Strikers were rewarded at the Football Wagga Gala night, with a number of players receiving awards:

Brent Farnsworth was named player of the year in the Pascoe Cup
Kayne Cassidy was named goal keeper of the year in the Pascoe Cup
Luke Dickinson was named as coach of the year in the Pascoe Cup.
The Cootamundra Strikers is largely a local team with manly local players playing for the club over many years.
During 2016 there were many milestone games for the players in the Pascoe Cup team.
Derek Krough 200 games, Josh Purtell 150 games, Andrew Parkinson 150 games, Nick Ashe 100 games, Mark Rogers 100 games

Strikers Women’s Second Grade

The Strikers also nominated the women’s second grade team who were also defeated in the Grand Final.

Cootamundra Tricolours First XV

The Cootamundra Tricolours made the decision to leave the Southern Inland Rugby Competition and moved to Central West Rugby Union competition and playing in the second division GrainCorp Cup.

It was evident early in the season that the Tricolours were going to be very competitive in 2016 with a new found enthusiasm and commitment.

Throughout the regular season the Tricolours played 14 games resulting in 9 wins, 3 losses and 2 draws which saw them finish in 3rd position on the ladder.

Week 1 of the finals saw the Tricolours host West Wyalong in front of a very vocal and loyal home crowd which resulted in a win and the right to play Temora in the preliminary final.

It was prior to this game that the Tricolours tragically lost one of the clubs great clubmen and supporter in Dougal Hill.
The courage and toughness from every player to take the field that day was immense. 

Not only did they take the field they defeated Temora with a try 3 minutes after time had elapsed to win 26-22 and qualify for the Grand Final.

This was a truly great day in Tricolours history under such demanding circumstances.

John Scott, who has been part of the Rugby Club for 50 years described this win as the best ever effort from the Tricolours players.
The Tricolours then travelled to Blayney with a Grand Final Victory their focus.

Unfortunately the run did not continue and Blayney, the standout team all year were able to maintain their undefeated season defeating the Tricolours 31-12.

Overall the 2016 season presented the Cootamundra Tricolours with many challenges including a new competition, the inclusion of a women’s team to the club, the tragic passing of one of their great supporters and a Grand Final appearance.

But with each challenge there was a goal to conquer and 2016 will be seen as a season of success for the Cootamundra Tricolours and their supporters.

Ron Johnson and Mike Barber

Ron and Mike qualified for the NSW State Champion of Champion Pairs after winning their zone final.
The zone covers bowling clubs from a large area of southern inland NSW.

There are only 16 zones in NSW from both country and metropolitan areas and to reach the final 16 in the State is a great effort.
Ron and Mike won their local pairs championship at the Country Club and then won the District Champion of Champions title to qualify for the Zone play offs played at Howlong.

Ron and Mike combined very well as a team and against tough opposition won through to the State final.

2016 Junior Team of the Year

Sacred Heart Small Schools Rugby League team

There were several outstanding performances from junior sporting teams in 2016 and the Foundation received several nominations.

Sacred Heart Under 16’s Small Schools State Champions

After playing two sets of pool matches in southern NSW the Sacred Heart Year 10 Small Schools team qualified for the Schools Country Cup and Small Schools Knockout Final which were played at Apex Park, Dubbo on Wednesday August 10.

Some of the best school-aged Rugby League talent in New South Wales was on display with five finals played on the day.

The strength of rugby league in southern NSW Catholic schools was highlighted with Hennessy Catholic College, Young playing in the Under 13’s final, Red Bend CC from Forbes playing in the Under 15’s final, McAuley Central School at Tumut playing in the Under 13’s Small Schools Final and Cootamundra’s Sacred Heart CS played arch rivals Holy Trinity School from Inverell in the under 16’s Small Schools Final.

Alicia Quirk presents the Junior Team Trophy of 2016 to Sacred Heart's Patrece Maxwell for the school's open Rugby League team who won the NSW Small Schools title in 2016

Alicia Quirk presents the Junior Team Trophy of 2016 to Sacred Heart's Patrece Maxwell for the school's open Rugby League team who won the NSW Small Schools title in 2016 (Photo courtesy of Gerry O'Brien)

The local boys did it the hard way in the final before winning 26-16, coming back from 16-0 deficit. The team did not panic after a slow start and on the back of some enterprising play and stoic defence they fought their way back to win by 10 points and claim the trophy.
It was a great team effort throughout the competition and all players showed determination, team work and most of all sportsmanship.
The boys gelled into a talented team and achieved their success with lots of hard work and application both on and off the field.

This is the fourth year in a row that this group of players has made the finals at Dubbo – a great achievement for the school and boys involved.

There was plenty of support from team manager Andrew Alderman, their coach Jason Wilson and assistants Stephen Howse, John White, Mick Sheahan and Paul Miller.

The other nominations were :

SW Slopes Under 12 girls soccer team

South West Slopes Soccer Association (SWSSA) consisted of 5 Clubs with around 200 female players (5-16 years).  It is the smallest Association in NSW. 

The Under 12 SWSSA representative team was selected in January and comprised of 15 players aged from 10-12 years. Of the 15 players, 11 were from Cootamundra, with Kristian Bodycott coaching the team and Jacinta English was manager.

In May 2016 the team competed at Riverina’s Branch Championships in Griffith against representative Association teams from Albury, Wagga Wagga and Griffith. 

The team finished second to Albury Association but as Albury was unable to compete at the FNSW Country Cup, the runners-up were eligible to attend.  Eight players from the team were also selected to trial at a later date for the Riverina team.

Over the cold June long weekend the team played at Goulburn in the FNSW Country Cup.  The team played the best representative teams from the Western and Southern Branches which was Bathurst Football Association (FA) (Western Branch) and Eurobodalla FA (Southern Branch). 

At the conclusion of the matches, the SWSSA team was crowned Country Cup Champions narrowly defeating Bathurst FA on points.

Under 11’s Bears Rugby Union team

This team won the Southern Inland Rugby Union competition for the third consecutive time in 2016 defeating Temora in a gripping Grand Final at Leeton. The Coota Bears have set the standard in the under 11’s competition which has 11 clubs playing from Albury, Wagga, Tumut, Temora, Griffith, Leeton, Young, West Wyalong, Grenfell and Hay. To win the trophy three years in a row speaks highly of the playing group, coaching staff and supporters.

Under 9’s Bears Rugby Union team

The Bears under 9’s team also won their division after a consistent season. The team does not play a final series and they finished the year with only 2 losses and a huge for and against record. Coached by Anthony Shepherd and Paul Clancy, the boys and girls really developed their skills and played great team rugby throughout the whole season.

Sacred Heart Year 3&4 Rugby League team

It should also be noted that the school’s Trent Barrett team had a successful series as well, winning the Riverina and South West Slopes division.

Cootamundra Swimming and Lifesaving Club

For a small Club of 40 swimmers and 15 regular attendees at carnivals, the Cootamundra Club had a very successful 2016.The Club competes in the Southern Inland Swimming Association against 41 other clubs.

During the year the Club won the Skidmore Relay at Junee, finished fourth overall in the individual point score, third in the Club relay score and fourth in the Premiership Point score.

Several members of the Club represented SISA at Brophy and Speedo events and there were five individual SISA title holders – Jed Guthrie, Charli Leggett, Elizabeth Bragg, Macey Leahy and Cassandra Parkinson.

Congratulations to the Club and President and coach Sue Parkinson.

Cootamundra Cougars – Under 14 Girls basketball

This team continues to impress with its success in the Western Junior League and in 2016 finished runners-up in the Division 2 competition. Paddy Ballard is the coach and all the girls continue to improve their skills and match it with teams from larger regional centres than Cootamundra.

2016 Local Sportsperson

Graham Davidson – Lawn Bowls

Graham Davidson has been a standout bowler at the Country Club in recent times.

In 2016 he became the first bowler for 60 years to win 3 Major Singles Titles in a row.

At the Country Club, the late Don Doidge was the last bowler to achieve this feat in 1954, 1955 and 1956 whilst at the Ex-Services Club the last person was Steve Bateup (who no longer resides in Cootamundra) back in the 1980’s.

There have been a few top line lawn bowlers who have won two consecutive titles at Club level but it indeed rare to see the one bowler win the major title 3 times in a row.

In fact Graham has won the title 4 years out of 5 having also won the title in 2012.

Alicia Quirk presents the 2016 Local Sportsperson of the Year Award to Graham Davidson

Alicia Quirk presents the 2016 Local Sportsperson of the Year Award to Graham Davidson (Photo courtesy of Gerry O'Brien))

In 2016 he also won the District Champion of Champion singles titles and was beaten in the Zone semi-finals.

Graham has also had success in other titles as well. In 2014 he won the singles, pairs and fours and mixed pairs titles in the same calendar year. The only title that eluded him was the triples, where his team made the semi-finals.

Graham has represented the Club at player level in Pennents and played in the State Grade 3 pennants in 2009 and Grade 2 level in 2013.

He has also been involved in administration, being Club President from 2006-2011 and is now doing his second stint, having been re-elected to the position in 2015.

He has also served as South-West District President from 2011-2013.

In a former life Graham was an outstanding cricket umpire and has officiated at three Prime Ministers XI one-day matches in Canberra where the Australian team played the current overseas touring side.

Max Rudd Trophy – Service to Sport

Mark Elia

Since his arrival in Cootamundra in 1997 as coach of the Cootamundra Bulldogs, Mark Elia has made a significant contribution to sport in the town and to the region.

A Kiwi Rugby League International, no one could doubt his ability on the football field.

He has been involved with the Bulldogs in a coaching capacity for most of the time with the First Grade, Under 18’s and more recently the league tag team.

He also had a much larger role at both a Group 9 and Riverina Regional level and also had coaching stints at Junee and Gundagai.
He instigated, organised and coached the Riverina under21 team on tours of New Zealand.

These tours received positive feedback and allowed players to develop their skill level enormously which in turn was beneficial to the local football clubs.

There have been plenty of local and regional rugby league players who have benefited greatly from Mark’s expertise and to have someone of his calibre in the town for 20 years has been pleasing.

When it comes to cricket, Mark has also had a significant influence on the sport.

Being honoured with Life Membership to the Cootamundra District Cricket Association earlier this year shows the contribution he has made to the sport.

Mark has played club and representative cricket for most of his time in Cootamundra.

Elia has continued to play club cricket mostly for Big O for the best part of his two decades in town.

From 2002/03 until 2006/07, Mark was president of the Cootamundra District Cricket Association, and during the same period was president of the Northern Riverina Cricket Council.

He was part of Cootamundra’s representative cricket side from 1997 until 2008 playing for the O’Farrell Cup, SCG Country Cup, Country Plate, and Stribley Shield. On several occasions, he captained the representative side.

At 54 years old last year, he made a representative cricket comeback as the side struggled for numbers.

He was in peak form in the 2002/03 season when he was Cootamundra’s leading representative cricket run scorer.

That season he notched up 331 runs and also scored his only century in any form of the game - 100 runs against Tumbarumba in the Stribley Shield match played at Albert Park.

In 2004, he became an accredited umpire and officiated for the Cootamundra District Cricket Association during the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons.

He assisted a ground curator for the association for four seasons from 2005/06 until 2008/09.

Mark has operated the Come Alive gymnasium in town, which has had enormous benefit to many people of all ages in terms of their personal fitness and healthy lifestyle.

2016 Sports Administrator Award

Steve & Annette Brien – Cootamundra Turf Club & Cootamundra Little Athletics

Both Steve and Annette Brien have made significant contributions to sport in the Cootamundra district.
Steve started his voluntary duties at the Cootamundra Turf Club in 1993 as Clerk of the Scales, after Club stalwart Mick Donoghue passed away.

In July 1997 at the Annual AGM Steve was than elected President of the Turf Club and held this position until 2012.

Being President of the Club for 15 years with a small committee had its challenges but Steve always put his hand up and was a tireless worker for the Club during a time of great change in the country racing industry in all of NSW.

During Steve's time with the Turf Club he has been Clerk of the Scales, organised ground maintenance and equipment through the Stud at which he worked and assisting in any way possible to ensure the smooth running of Race Meetings in Cootamundra.

Sports Administrator Award winners Steve and Annette Brien with Alicia Quirk

Sports Administrator Award winners Steve and Annette Brien with Alicia Quirk (Photo courtesy of Gerry O'Brien)

The facilities at the local racecourse are excellent. It is a popular venue for owners and trainers to come to and the track condition is first class. Facilities for the public are also very good with large spacious grounds and a covered betting ring.

Steve has also made an enormous contribution to racing on a broader scale being on the Southern District Racing Association committee for close to 15 years.

There are almost 30 race clubs under this banner covering an area from Harden to Albury and Tumbarumba to Balranald.
According to SDRA President Stuart Lamont, Steve’s racing knowledge and common-sense approach has been huge assets to the SDRA committee, with his opinion always highly regarded.

He has played a key role in taking racing forward in the SDRA district at a time when there have been significant challenges for country racing.

Steve is still on the committee, where he holds the position of Vice-President to new President Brad Shields, with Brad freely admitting he benefits from Steve’s experience and input.

It is hoped that under Brad and Steve’s leadership the Club can continue to conduct their annual Cootamundra Cup TAB meeting and gain opportunities to hold more meetings.

Annette Brien’s association with Little Athletics started in 1997 when her daughters both wanted to join the club.

She held the role of Club Secretary of Cootamundra Little A’s from 1997-2010 and was made a Life Member of the Club in 2007 – a significant achievement.

Little A’s is still a popular sport in the town and the efforts of Annette over her time with the Club was very significant and led to the Club being put in a strong position.

During this time with Little Athletics Annette (along with Steve) would set up all equipment for the afternoon events, cook the BBQ, time keep and generally help where needed.

Annette also helped at other LA’s Carnivals and would assist in field events like shot put, discus, javelin and long jump as a Judge for Zone and Regional Events.

Her input into Cootamundra Little A’s was significant and her willingness to help at all levels of the sport was a major benefit to the sport.

2016 Medal Winners














The finalists for the Sportsperson of the Year Awards 2016

The finalists for the Sportsperson of the Year Awards Back left to right: Pat Drew, Stephanie Cooper, Sonia Commins, Michaela Webb, Lachlan Sedgwick, SPECIAL GUEST ALICIA QUIRK, Laura Miller, Brooke Dodwell Front left to right: Sam Gash, Will English, Alyssa Armstrong Also finalists James Doyle, Samantha Graham, Sam Sheahan were unable to attend the Dinner due to sporting commitments (Photo Courtesy of Gerry O'Brien)

Cootamundra Sports Foundation Committee

The committee with Alicia Quirk - Craig McTavish, Christine Leahy, Phil Nott, Eric Thorburn, ALICIA QUIRK, Graeme Worboys, Angela Trinder, Ray Godbier (Absent: Jim Slattery) (Photo courtesy of Gerry O'Brien)