Hough and Fox honoured at Sports Awards

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Hurdler and sprinter Nicholas Hough was named 2012 Sportsman of the Year and Olympic canoeist Jessica Fox was named 2012 Sportswoman of the Year at the annual Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF) Sports Awards held in the University of Sydney Great Hall on Tuesday evening.

Hough faced stiff opposition for the award from premiership-winning rugby captain Tim Davidson, NSW Waratahs rugby captain Dave Dennis, Australian Under 23 rower Sasha Belonogoff and Olympic modern pentathlete Ed Fernon, but earned the award with some stunning performances during 2012.

The 19-year-old Bachelor of IT/Laws student and SUSF Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder recorded the seventh-fastest time ever in the 110m hurdles when he finished second in the event in 13.27 seconds at last year’s World Junior Athletic Championships in Barcelona.

The time also went into the record books as the Under 20 Australian record. Hough also moved to No.3 on the Australian all-time junior ranking list for the 200m with a run of 20.60sec pushing him within arm’s reach of a B-qualifying standard for the 2013 World Championships. Only fellow NSW athletes Fred Martin (20.48sec in 1985) and Darren Clark (20.49sec in 1983) have run faster in the junior ranks.

Fox also faced stiff competition in being Sportswoman of the year. London Paralympic 100m freestyle gold medallist Prue Watt, Australian 10,000m and half-marathon representative Lara Tamsett, and Olympic water polo representative Hannah Buckling were also in contention.

But 18-year-old Fox earned the title on the back of her silver medal in the women’s K1 canoe slalom at the 2012 London Olympic Games, along with a string of dominant performances at World Cup events in 2012, including a silver in World Cup 1, and gold medal efforts in the K1 and C1 events at the Oceania Championships.

The other major awards presented on the night were:

Pat Sharp Award for Female Club Administrator of the Year: Melissa Neumaier (velo), with other nominees being Alex Roberts (women’s AFL), Sam Dawes (netball) and Jo Pollett (rowing).

The Rosenblum Family Trophy for the Male Club Administrator of the Year: David Mifsud (women’s cricket), with other contenders being Andrew Heil (athletics) Stephen Rowntree (rugby) and Chris Noel (rowing).

The Inaugural Professional Administrator of the Year Award: Baden Stephenson (rugby), from Nathan Kosmina (soccer).

The Ann Mitchell Award for the Best Team Performances at the Australian University Games and Australian University Championships:
Athletics, with other contenders being Rugby 7s, Badminton, Tennis (women) and Water Polo (men and women.

Club of the Year:
American Football, from Cricket (women) and Velo.

Premier Club of the Year: Athletics and Rugby joint winners from Cricket and Boat clubs.

Coach of the Year: Rod Cutler (women’s rugby) from
James Walsh (women’s cricket) and Andrew Ogborne (American Football).

Premier Coach of the Year: Todd Louden (Rugby) and Mark Prater (Boat) joint winners, from Gary Whitaker (Cricket) and Liam Dixon (Women’s Hockey).

The 2013 sporting scholarships were also announced at the dinner, with the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships for Academic and Sporting Excellence being awarded to High Distinction scholars Nicholas Hough (Athletics – Bachelor of IT/Laws)) and Nina Khoury (Hockey – Bachelor of Commerce/Laws).

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Rebecca Wilson; the welcome and acknowledgements were made by the President of Sydney University Sport, Bruce Ross; athlete interviews were conducted by Rodney Tubbs; and the Valedictorian’s Toast was made by rower and recent BA graduate Ed De Carvalho.

Please click here to access photos taken from the evening.