Pool master wins city’s top sporting award
Queensland swimming masters champion Ahlanna Hayes has beaten the city’s elite sports men and women to claim the title of Townsville City Council Senior Sportsperson of the Year.
In her first return to swimming in 18 years, Hayes broke a 21 year old Queensland record for the 400m medley at the Cairns Mudcrabs Short Course Meet. Days later she competed in the Masters Pan Pacific Games held on the Gold Coast where the mother of five made a triumphant return to swimming.
Hayes’ impressive performance at the games saw her walk away with a total of 12 medals with five gold, four silver and three bronze.
Giving up the sport at the age of 13 due to a shoulder injury and weak immune system, Ahlanna returned to swimming to distract herself during her husband’s deployment in Afghanistan.
Hayes has since participated in many open water events, getting a podium finish in all races for her age group and is the current Queensland champion for the 5km open water swim in her age category.
Mayor Jenny Hill paid tribute to Ahlanna’s commitment and determination in swimming and the amazing results she has achieved in the pool.
“Ahlanna is proof that despite any obstacles you may face it is never too late to work towards achieving your dreams, making her a fantastic ambassador for Townsville,” Cr Hill said.
“Achieving outstanding results while raising five children and with her husband was away from home proves her determination and makes her a deserving winner for our most prestigious sporting award.”
The Townsville City Council Sports Awards is sponsored by Clean It Industrial Services and Win Network.
Other winners are as follows:
Veteran Sportsperson of the Year - Dorelle Fox
At the age of 68, Dorelle Fox is ranked number one in the world for her field archery skills. In November 2012 Dorelle won the gold medal for the veteran ladies barebow category and the world champion badge at the World Field Archery Championships held in Argentina. Dorelle, who is a great grandmother, has won the past five world field titles and has gone undefeated in her position since 1997 an impressive feat for someone whose competitive life began at 51.
Junior Sports Person of the Year - Adam Modrzynski
At 18 years old, Adam Modrzynski has represented his country in the sport of Field Archery, winning a gold medal at the World Field Archery Championships in Argentina. Adam took out the junior boys freestyle limited recurve category at the world championships while being a relative newcomer to the sport. Adam started archery at the age of 15 and managed to qualify for the world championships a year later.
Townsville Green and Gold Award - Nathan Burgers
At the age of six, Nathan began playing hockey and since then has represented Australia on the men’s hockey team, the Kookaburras as goalkeeper. Nathan attended both Kelso State School and Thuringowa High School in Townsville and has represented Queensland for every year from the age of 12 until he was 21. His career highlights include winning the gold medal at both the 2010 World Cup and Commonwealth Games. Nathan made his Olympic debut at the 2012 London Olympic Games last year, he has recently started his own coaching business benefiting goalkeepers across Australia.
Volunteer of the Year - Frank Maidorn
Frank Mairdon has devoted all his time and effort culminating in up to 2100 hours to the Rowes Bay Archery Club. With Frank’s commitment the club will be able to re-open two years ahead of schedule. His new found skills have been instrumental in the transformation of new shooting ranges, clearing land, creating 600 steel and wood marker pegs as well as making, and repairing arrows of the club members. Frank has managed to do all of this while having his own health challenges proving he is valuable member of the Rowe’s Bay Archery Club.
Volunteer of the Year – Tony Jacobs
Tony Jacobs was instrumental in the creation of the Western Suburbs Rugby Union Club. Devoting countless hours in creating a new rugby club, the club now boasts six teams. The club that has now been running for five years has won four premierships, with a number of kids going on to representative teams. Tony’s focus behind the club has been to get kids of the Western suburbs off streets and into a sport that teaches discipline and respect. Tony is currently still heavily involved in the recruitment of the young players to the club that is set to expand in future years.
Team of the Year - Aus 26 Sailing Team
The Aus 26 Sailing team has taken out Team of the Year for the second year in a row. The pair comprised of Michael Guinea and Viv Haydon placed first at the Australian National Nacra Championships held in January 2012, defending their title. The pair also took out first place at the Thailand National F18 Championship winning the Varuna Cup despite facing the challenges of bad weather and a borrowed boat that required “plenty of work”. The duo won the Queensland Championship for the second year in a row in Redcliffe.
Proudly sponsored by Cleanit NQ through the Together Townsville program.
For more information on the 2013 Sports Awards, contact council's Sport and Recreation Officer or email us.