Inaugural awards celebrate Fraser Coast's sports success
AWARDS: If you need any indication as to the success of the first Fraser Coast Sports Awards, look no further than the organisers' scramble to find more tables just 10 minutes before the Brolga Theatre event started.
About 250 people were there to celebrate the year in Fraser Coast sport, and it is hoped this event will only grow more popular as it becomes a mainstay of the calendar.
It was an honour to be asked to MC the event alongside deputy mayor Darren Everard, who easily could be considered among the most hard-working sporting volunteers himself, given his role at Hervey Bay Surf Life Saving Club.
Judges faced a tough task picking winners in each of the categories - every nominee and finalist deserved to win.
It was not all about awards. This was about honouring, recognising and respecting the work done by volunteers across the entire region.
Whether they hold roles on their chosen sport's committee, work in the canteen, sell raffle tickets or mark the grounds, local sport could not happen without volunteers.
Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to every volunteer involved in sport.
FRASER COAST SPORT AWARDS WINNERS
Indigenous Athlete of the Year: Brandi Alberts
Event of the Year: Fraser Coast Invitational Rugby 7s
Team/Club of the Year: Wide Bay Buccaneers Juniors
All Abilities Sports Award: Daniel "Stix" Parker
Sports Volunteer of the Year: Edward Anderson (HBNA), runner-up Natasha Webber
Coach of the Year: Ben Villalobos (Wide Bay Gymnastics), runners-up Kerrianne Farrelly and Caleb Ryan
Sports Masters of the Year: Kym Lingard, runner-up John Street
Junior Sports Person of the Year: Teya Rufus, runner-up Matthew Taylor
Female Athlete of the Year: Hannah Karrasch, runner-up Brittany Roll
Male Athlete of the Year: Keith Ashcroft, runner-up Harry King