Queensland netball has enjoyed outstanding success in 2015 and that’s been reflected in the winners of the annual state sports awards.
Netball claimed three awards – the most of any sport – at the 21st Queensland Sport Awards while former Australian captain Vicki Wilson was elevated to legend status in the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame.
Queensland Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke, pictured above, was recognised as Queensland’s Coach of the Year while the epic ANZ Championship Grand Final between the Firebirds and NSW Swifts at the Brisbane Convention Centre back in June was named the state’s Sport Event of the Year.
Pictures courtesy of Profile Photographics
Jencke beat out Australian swimming coach Michael Bohl and rugby league legend Mal Meninga while the ANZ Championship Grand Final won over sporting events such as the Brisbane International and the Asian Football Federation Cup.
The Queensland 17/U side, which claimed the state’s first national title in that age group since 2001, was crowned the Junior Sport Team of the Year.
Netball Queensland CEO Catherine Clark, pictured left, was delighted by the success.
“It’s great for our sport to be so widely recognised at Queensland’s peak sporting awards event of the year,” Clark said.
Wilson, who was the first Australian to reach 100 Test caps, is the 15th athlete to be elevated to legend status alongside Queensland sporting greats such as Cathy Freeman, Wally Lewis, Susie O’Neill, Kieran Perkins, Rod Laver, Greg Chappell and Greg Norman.
Having represented Australia in 104 Tests, won three world titles and a Commonwealth Games gold medal, Wilson said it was a special moment to be recognised in her home state for her achievements.
“It was a wonderful night for netball and to be elevated to legend status is indeed a great honor and huge thrill for me,” Wilson said.
“I always loved playing. The thrill of competition, being better than my opponent and trying to play the perfect game kept me in the sport.
“I’m proud of my longevity and standards I put on myself to stay in the Australian team for so long.”
The top award, the Sport Star of the Year, was won by golfer Jason Day while the Firebirds were beaten by National Rugby League champions North Queensland Cowboy for the Team of the Year award.