2017 Annual Academy Awards Night

The 25th Northern Inland Academy of Sport Annual Academy Awards was held at the West Tamworth League Club on Saturday 5th August 2017.  It was a very successful night as this gave NIAS athletes, coaches and managers an opportunity to share their sporting achievements throughout the program both on and off the field.  With a special thanks to the Northern Daily Leader you can CLICK HERE to view the list of award recipients. 

The NIAS Chairman’s award recognises an athlete in the Academy who has displayed outstanding sportsmanship on and off the field.  This individual may encourage or support others in the Academy and will often show leadership in their given sport.  This year, the recipient of the award is Amelia Mazzei for her continued efforts with the Lone Star program.

The NIAS Volunteer of the Year award recognises a member of the NIAS community who has provided outstanding service and contribution to the Academy throughout the past year, but it may also recognise someone who has been volunteering for some time.  This year Helen Willis from the Northern Daily Leader was the winner of this award, for her tideless efforts volunteering her time to the NIAS Hockey Program.

The Sarah Heagney Award is in memory of a young woman, an Academy graduate who then stepped into the role of Trainee Coach and Assistant Coach for the Academy Triathlon program.  Unfortunately, she was tragically killed in 2010. This scholarship is funded by Sarah’s family and is in recognition of a NIAS Graduate that had continued to be involved in the Academy as a volunteer, Coach and Manager.  This year Josh Chisholm was awarded this scholarship for his commitment to being a coach with the Mountain Biking Program.

The Communicator of the year award was introduced to the Academy in 2012. The award was initiated through the strong associate partnership NIAS has with the Telstra Store Tamworth.  The award recognises excellent communication an engagement via our Team App communication system with coaching staff and the Academy over the program year.  This year Isla Folpp was the recipient of this award for her contribution to the Netball Program.

The Scott Campbell Memorial Lone Star Athlete of the Year is awarded to an athlete recognised as a top competitor in his/her given sport. Scott worked at NIAS for five years and was actively involved in the management of the Lone Star Program, so it is fitting this award which was introduced in 2015 is named in his honour. The athlete recognised will be a top competitor in his/her given sport. They display exemplary sportsmanship on and off the field.  The Lone Star athlete awarded for their efforts was Stuart Geddes, for his continued efforts with Athletics/Long Distance.

In the 2016-2017 athletics season Stuart made two NSW state teams to complete at a National level. These being the Australian All Schools Championships and Australian Athletics Championships. Stuart also competed in both the NSW State Championships and Queensland Championships winning the U18's 2000m in both competitions and held two state titles.  Some of Stuarts other achievements were winning the silver medal in the U18's 3000m at the NSW State Junior Championships as well as winning gold in the U18's 800m, 1500m, 3000m and 2000m steeple, picking up a silver medal in the steeple, at the NSW Country Championships. Stuart recently competed in Fiji at the Oceania Championships for the second year in a row as he placed silver in the 2000m steeple chase and bronze in the 3000m. Stuart was chosen to carry the Australian flag at the closing ceremony, which was a big honour.

2017 Northern Daily Leader Athlete of the Year:

Eliza Perkins - NETBALL (Gunnedah)

Eliza was selected in the 2017 NSW development squad. 250+ girls trialled at the first phase, Eliza made it to the final 30. She missed out on the NSW team of 12 who attended nationals. She was selected instead as part of the development program for athletes identified as having potential for future state representation. This meant attending a training session every Friday night in Sydney for 12 weeks and specialist camps in the future.  Eliza was the captain of the NIAS netball squad and gain selection in the div 1 academy games team, and following this performance the academy games merit squad- nominated by other academy coaches for MVP performances.  Eliza capped off her wonderful season with being selected in the final phase of CCC (combined catholic college).


The Northern Daily Leader Male Athlete of the Year:

Andrew Osmond - TENNIS (Gunnedah)

Andrew has been a member the NIAS tennis program since 2011.   He has enjoyed a very success tennis season this year.  His results include








The 2017 Col Burt Coach of the Year Award:

AFL – Alan Martin


Winners of Athlete of the Year for  2018 were:

AFL Boys – Morgan Dunn (Walcha)

AFL Girls – Kyla Hamilton (Inverell)

Athletics – Amelia Mazzei (Armidale)

Basketball boys- Connor Watt (Tamworth)

Basketball girls- Anika Earsman (Tamworth)

Golf – Toby Cooper (Uralla)

Hockey boys – Alex Taggart (Tamworth)

Hockey girls - Lily Neilson (Armidale)

Mountain Biking - Isla Maidment (Tamworth)

Netball- Anna Atkinson (Scone) and Elizabth Chard (Glenn Innes

Scott Campbell Memorial Lonestar Athlete of the Year- Jack Davis

NIAS Chairman’s Award- Kyla Hamilton

Coach of the Year Award- Helen Willis