The Adelaide Thunderbirds have been recognised for their title-winning season with two major awards at the KPMG Celebration of South Australian Sport night.
The Thunderbirds were named South Australia’s Team of the Year after claiming their second ANZ Championship crown in July while retired premiership captain Natalie von Bertouch was voted as the winner of the People’s Choice Award.
Adelaide coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson and von Bertouch were on hand to accept the Team award that caps off the Thunderbirds outstanding season in which they lost just one game.
Fittingly, the award night was held inside the Adelaide Entertainment Centre – the same venue where the Thunderbirds created ANZ Championship history by becoming the first multiple winner of the competition.
They defeated the Queensland Firebirds 50-48 in front of a packed crowd of more than 9000, which also served as von Bertouch’s final match. She announced her retirement as a player the week after the Grand Final.
Another highlight of the night was the induction of former Australian captain Kath Harby-Williams into the SA Sport Hall of Fame.
Harby-Williams, now a Netball Australia board member, was one of five inductees on the night with Hall of Fame members to be showcased on a new `Wall of Fame’ at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval.
Netball was strongly represented in the awards categories. Woodlands-Thompson was a nominee for the Coach of the Year, Australian 21/U captain Maddy Proud was a nominee in the Junior Sport Star of the Year while youngster Olivia Dukalskis was a finalist for the Country Athlete of the Year.
Marie Little OAM is the inaugural winner of the Marg Ralston AM Golden Door Award, presented to pioneering women of South Australia who have opened doors leading to greater equality for women’s participation in sport.
Netball Australia’s All-Abilities netball competition is named after Marie.
(Picture courtesy of the SA Sport)