2019 Western Australian of the Year Awards

Sport Award Finalists

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The Sport Award is presented in celebration of excellence in achievement, development or promotion of sport at a state, national or international level, with a focus on contribution to the Western Australian community.

Meet our 2019 Sport Award finalists:

David Hatt AM

David Hatt AM has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in both the Western Australian and national sporting arena. In leadership, advocacy and administration, he has demonstrated excellence both on and off the field, most notably in his long association with field hockey and AFL.

David’s outstanding contributions have seen him awarded a 2001 Australian Sports Medal by the Prime Minister, and in 2018 he was among the Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients for his ‘significant service to hockey as a senior administrator, to Australian Rules football, and to sport in Western Australia.’

A former hockey player, coach and team manager at both state and national levels, David was also the Fremantle Dockers’ very first CEO, serving as Chief Executive of the Fremantle Football Club from 1994 through to 2001, during which time he helped to set the club up commercially.

On the field as a hockey athlete, he won a club record of six Best & Fairest awards, and a club record of WA titles with YMCA. David’s off-field achievements were no less prolific, with legendary hockey coach Ric Charlesworth naming him Kookaburras’ team manager in 2008 during a remarkable four-year period when the team won the 2010 World Cup, a 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medal, and were ranked world number one.

David’s more than five decades of involvement and dedication to his work has had a profoundly positive influence that continues to be widely felt across WA and national sporting communities.

Samantha Kerr

Sam Kerr is a professional soccer player representing the Chicago Red Stars in the United States, and is captain of both the Perth Glory and the Australian women’s national soccer team, the Westfield Matildas. At just 24 years of age, Sam’s incredible sporting success makes her stand apart from her peers, with Football Federation Australia CEO, David Gallop, describing her as “one of the best female footballers in the world right now.”

Sam started playing soccer at a community level in Western Australia at the age of 12. Once she joined the Western Knights in Mosman Park, it only took three years for her to become recognised as a future prodigy for the women’s soccer game in Australia. This led to her debut with Perth Glory in 2008 when she was 15, and in the following years Sam has competed at the sport’s most elite level – representing Australia over 70 times.

She has given back to the community of female soccer players by strongly advocating gender equality and female participation in sport, and is a proud ambassador of Female Football Week. She has been an inspiration to junior female soccer players since her debut and has claimed numerous awards for her efforts in promoting women’s soccer.

Sam views her awards as an endorsement not only of her own talents but also as recognition of how far Australian women’s soccer and women’s sport, in general, have progressed.

Grant Manzoney

Born with a congenital deformity in both legs, Grant Manzoney was not going to allow disability to stop him achieving his dream of becoming a champion Para-badminton and cricket player. An inspiration to his past teammates and an example of sportsmanship to his younger peers, Grant’s career success has had a significant impact on the para-sports community in Australia.

He held the number one position in Oceania and Australia’s para-badminton rankings in 2018, and in that same year achieved a world ranking of number 20. His meteoric rise in the sport culminating with a nomination to the Australian Paralympic team ‘long list’ – athletes identified as having the potential to make the 2020 Paralympic team.

However, it’s not just on the badminton court, or cricket field, where Grant continues to shine. He makes a significant contribution to the sporting community as a board member of Badminton WA, as well as being awarded life membership of the North Suburban Community Cricket Association in 2016.

Since Grant started playing para-badminton, he has given talks on behalf of Rebound WA to the Spine & Limb Foundation on how the deformity in both of his legs has not hindered his opportunities when playing sport.

Christina Matthews

Christina Matthews has excelled in driving gender equality, promoting inclusivity in sport, and running a successful elite sporting association.

As CEO of the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) since 2011, this former Australian cricketer, with a distinguished international playing career, has inspired players of all abilities and genders while actively helping transform the previously male-dominated sport.

Christina is the country’s most capped female test player and is one of only two women in the world to hold the position of CEO of a first-class cricket association. Her influence and impact are evident for all to see. In the first seven years as WA’s top cricket administrator, WA cricket has excelled both on and off the field, with the Perth Scorchers named the world’s most successful T20 team after winning three Big Bash League (BBL) titles.

Christina’s strategic focus on creating a genuinely gender-equal sport has proved overwhelmingly successful. During her tenure, female cricket participation numbers have increased by a staggering 550% across the state, and the Women’s BBL finals have run consistently strong campaigns, with attendance figures for women’s cricket games almost tripling.

Under Christina’s stewardship, the WACA also runs a number of dedicated programs that include the Perth Scorchers Culture Cup, the Integrated Cricket League and the Balladong Cricket Academy – all focussed on helping to grow diversity in cricket across WA. In just the past year alone, the programs have led to a sizeable 13% increase in the number of players coming from female, disability, Aboriginal and multicultural backgrounds.

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