Dual Olympian Alex Croak and dual Commonwealth Games representative Prashanth Sellathurai were named 2010 Sydney University Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year at the annual Sports Award presentations held in the Great Hall on Wednesday night.
Croak, who is undertaking a Master of Health Science degree having graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy), is the first Australian athlete to win gold medals in two different disciplines (diving and gymnastics) at the Commonwealth Games.
She is also one of the few Australians who have represented at the Olympic Games in two disciplines, having competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics as a gymnast and at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a diver.
Croak, who is competing at FINA diving competitions in Russia and China during March, in the hope of qualifying for the World Diving Championships in Shanghai in July, thanked Sydney University Sport and Fitness for the assistance she has received as a Sports Scholarship holder.
“I’d like to acknowledge the opportunities and support I’ve been given as an athlete and a scholar at this wonderful institution,” she said through a message read by her mother.
Other females nominated for the Sportswoman of the Year award were Jess Brooks (fencing), Keesja Gofers (water polo), Olivia Kennedy (soccer) and Lara Tamsett (athletics).
Sellathurai was also absent from the Sports Awards night, but sent a message from
“I’m humbled most grateful for the support, not just as a scholarship holder but as an individual, and the great network the scheme provides to help us fulfil our goals,” he said.
Sellathurai has competed at the Commonwealth Games in
He is a member of the NSWIS Gymnastics program and the NSW Men’s High Performance program at Homebush where he is coached by Songliang Xiong. He is presently studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Diagnostic Radiography.
Other athletes nominated for the Sportsman of the Year award were Sasha Belonogoff (boat), Matthew Mitcham (diving), Nick Phipps (rugby
The Valediction Toast was given by Will Hay, a B.Comm (Hons) graduate, former Sports Scholarship holder and present captain of the University First XI.
During the course of the evening, the new Sports Scholars were announced, including the two Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship holders for 2011 – Alex Croak (diving) and Andrew Giltrap (athletics).
And the President of Sydney University Sport and Fitness, Bruce Ross, made presentations to two long-serving SUSF office-bearers, Anne Mitchell and Denise Wee for their untiring contributions to sport at the university and their roles in the successful merger of the men’s and women’s sports bodies.
Other 2010 sports awards included:
Female Club Administrator of the Year – Pat Sharp Award: Gillian Blackburn (swimming). Others nominated: Roisin McNulty (women’s rugby), Libby Saddler (women’s AFL) and Anne Simmons (hockey).
Male Club Administrator of the Year – Rosenblum Family Award: John Chow (fencing). Others nominated: Andy Elton (hockey), Craig Fear (rugby union) and David Jordan (velo – cycling).
Club of the Year: Women’s Rugby Union. Others nominated: Athletics and American Football.
Premier Club of the Year: Football (rugby union). Others nominated: AFL and Boat.
Coach of the Year: Dean Gleeson (athletics). Others nominated: Ben Chiarella (hockey), Patrick Cunningham (women’s rugby) and Stephen Dunne (American Football).
Premier Coach of the Year: Roger Moten (men’s AFL). Others nominated: Jack Farrer (rugby union) and Mark Prater (boat).
Photos of the night can be found here