2018 Academy Awards-


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



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 the following athletes were awarded these awards.


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 Amelia Mazzei for her continued efforts with the Lonestar 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 his 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 awarded this award for her contribution to the Netball Program.


The Scott Campbell Memorial Lonestar Athlete of the Year awarded to an athlete recognized 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 Lonestar Program, so it is fitting this award which was introduced in 2015 is named in his honour.   The athlete recognized will be a top competitor in his/her given sport.   They display exemplary sportsmanship on and off the field.  The Lonestar 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 been the Australian All Schools Championships and Australian Athletics Championships. Stuart also competed in both the NSW state Championships and Queensland Championships winning the U18 2000m in both and held two state titles.  Some of Stuarts other achievements were winning the silver medal in the U18 3000m at the NSW state juniors Championships as well as winning gold in the U18 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.



The 2017 Sports Awards:



Most Improved:               Scott Thomas                    (Inverell)

Most Dedicated:              Dylan Moore                     (Armidale)

Coaches Award:               Brayden Bloomfield        (Walcha)


Basketball Girls

Most Improved:                Grace Whale                 (Tamworth)

Most Dedicated:               Samantha McCubbin     (Tamworth)       

Coaches Award:                Ruby Murphy                   (Tamworth)


Basketball Boys:

Most Improved:                William Meyers              (Tamworth)

Most Dedicated:              Ben Pearce                         (Armidale)         

Coaches Award:               Nathan Clark                      (Tamworth


Football Girls:

Most Improved:               Amy-Louise Armstrong (Tamworth)

Most Dedicated:              Maddison Simon              (Tamworth)

Coaches Award:               Jessica James                    (Tamworth)


Football Boys:

Most Improved:              Max Model                           (Armidale)

Most Dedicated:             Angus Brown                       (Nundle)

Coaches Award:              Ben Schubert                       (Moree)



Most Improved:             Bailey Milford                         (Coonabarabran)       

Most Dedicated:           Taryn Maher                            (Gunnedah)

Coaches Award:            Toby Cooper                            (Rocky River)


Hockey Girls:

Most Improved:                Alison Chapman                (Armidale)       

Most Dedicated:               Ellynie Cameron              (Clarenza)

Coaches Award:                Millie Sherwood             (Daruka)


Hockey Boys:

Most Improved:                Andrew Cross                  (Tamworth)         

Most Dedicated:               Angus Doyle                     (Bective)

Coaches Award:                Sam Wright                       (Armidale)


Mountain Biking:

Most Improved:                Isla Maidment                   (Tamworth)

Most Dedicated:               Justin Robets                     (Moore Creek)

Coaches Award:                Nick Chisholm                    (Tamworth)



Most Improved:                Briannah Donaldson                      (Tamworth)       

Most Dedicated:               Bella Gallagher                                (Gunnedah)

Coaches Award:                Emma Higgins                                  (Tamworth)


Rugby League:

Most Improved:                Daniel Kelly / Blake Ginman         (Both from Tamworth)

Most Dedicated:              Jhett Butler                                        (Tamworth)

Coaches Award:               Blair Maloney / Brad Fernance  (Tamworth / Moree)


Rugby Union:

Most Improved:                Josh Stackman                                   (Caroona)

Most Dedicated:              Hayden Maher                                (Coonabarabran)

Coaches Award:               Campbell Hancock                           (Narrabri)


Rugby 7’s Girls:

Most Improved:                Chelsea Hancock                             (Narrabri)

Most Dedicated:               Miah O’Sullivan                               (Tamworth)

Coaches Award:                Molly Kennedy                                (Warialda)


Rugby 7's Boys:

Most Improved:               James Roach                                 (Scone)

Most Dedicated:             Jed Englert                                     (Tamworth)

Coaches Award:            Lochie Smith                                   (Mungindi)



Most Improved:                Danielle Bishop                               (Moore Creek)

Most Dedicated:              Ben Butler                                          (Inverell)

Coaches Award:                Ben Northey-Baldwin                   (Gunnedah)





Athletes of the year for each sport:

AFL –Morgan Dunn         (Walcha)

Basketball Girls – Sienna Kennedy            (Tamworth)

Basketball Boys – Ryan Bath        (Tamworth)

Football Girls – Piper Rankmore                 (Gunnedah)

Football Boys – Peter William      (Tamworth)

Golf – Thomas Gill            (Tamworth)

Hockey Girls – Meg Lye                 (Armidale)

Hockey Boys – Calvin Farmilo      (Tamworth)

Mountain Biking – Nick Chisholm              (Tamworth)

Netball – Eliza Perkins                    (Gunnedah)

Rugby League – Jack Todd            (Moree)

Rugby Union – Hayden Maher                    (Coonabarabran)

Rugby 7’s Girls – April Smith        (Narrabri)

Rugby 7’s Boys – Sam Gray           (Coonamble)

Tennis – Andrew Osmond            (Gunnedah)



The Northern Daily Leader Female Athlete of the Year:


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:

TENNIS – Andrew Osmond - 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