On 15 November the Diocesan Sports Council staged the 23rd Annual CDF Sports Awards to recognise the outstanding achievements of students from primary and secondary schools across the Diocese. It was a fitting culmination to a busy sporting year and a positive advertisement for the pathways and structures available to our students and teachers.
This year’s event, proudly sponsored by the Catholic Development Fund (CDF), attracted over 500 guests to St Mary Star of the Sea in Wollongong. Over 170 students, seven teams and one teacher were presented on the night with awards.
The annual presentation ceremony is a significant event where teachers, parents, support staff and all others who contribute as coaches, trainers, officials and administrators are acknowledged and thanked for their time, expertise and practical support to the young people who compete as individuals and team members.
This included St Francis of Assisi Warrawong teacher, Brett Murphy, who received a Teacher Service Award for his outstanding contributions to primary sport. Brett was recognised for his professionalism, dedication and unending support of the students in his care. Brett was also noted as a wonderful role model and for his significant service to his school and the Wollongong Diocese.
To inspire educators, parents and students alike, the special guest for the evening was St George Illawarra player, Tristan Sailor who made his National Rugby League debut as fullback this year.
Tristan, a regular winner at the CDF Sports Awards while attending both St Francis Xavier Wollongong and Edmund Rice West Wollongong, spoke of his early years in school sport and his climb into the ranks as a first grade rugby league player.
In an on-stage interview, Tristan shared stories, experiences and insights with the student athletes and their parents, highlighting the importance of setting goals, persistence, working hard and maintaining a balance between sport and study commitments. Currently 21 years of age, Tristan is nearing the completion of a commerce degree at the University of Wollongong.
The promising sports star stressed the importance of blending training and playing commitments with his educational pursuits. Tristan encouraged students to enjoy their sport but not to neglect their studies.
Tristan was congratulated on his personal successes and achievements and wished well for the future, particularly with only very recently signing a new contract with the St George Illawarra Dragons for the 2020 season.
The Vince Villa Trophy was awarded to the champion secondary schools across all sports with St Mary Star of the Sea Wollongong winning the girls trophy, Edmund Rice West Wollongong winning the boys trophy and for the twelfth year running, Holy Spirit Bellambi winning the overall champion secondary school.
Vince villa trophy
St Mary Star of the Sea Wollongong
Edmund Rice West Wollongong
Holy Spirit Bellambi
In the audience, Bishop Brian Mascord attended the evening along with Peter Turner, CEDoW Director of Schools; Trevor Kellam, from the CDF; Catholic Education Office Team Leaders; principals; sports coordinators and staff.
“Tonight, we recognise the many talented and skillful young people who have excelled in their chosen sports, and give thanks for the support and care afforded them by our dedicated teaching and support staff and volunteers,” Mr Turner said, after mentioning significant milestones of the past year including increased sporting participation from students at Mater Dei Camden, and multiple gold medal wins for St Francis Edmondson Park across the athletics season.
Mr Turner acknowledged Bishop Mascord for his “strong and active support” of schools, students, their families and our staff. He also sincerely thanked the CDF for their continued sponsorship of the awards.
Further, Mr Turner recognised the outstanding contribution and dedicated service of John Sparks as Executive Officer of the Wollongong Diocesan Sports Council. “I thank you John for the outstanding work you do and the strong advocacy you give to sport across our Diocese and the broader Catholic education sector. John is most ably supported by Lindy Davis whose effort and invested time behind the scenes is immense.”
“What we celebrate here today is testament to the strong character and sense of community that exists in our excellent Catholic schools and I, like you, am immensely proud of the young people at this event,” said Mr Turner.
“It was a great evening to celebrate the tremendous achievements of our student athletes, and the significant contributions made by teachers in our schools, showcasing courage, perseverance, dedication, commitment and resilience, and when it happens, winning.”
FATHER WARD TROPHY - OUTSTANDING GIRL PRIMARY SPORT
Emily Benefiel - St Joseph's Bulli
JOHN GAMBLE TROPHY - OUTSTANDING BOY PRIMARY SPORT
Harrison Satara - St Anthony’s Picton
2018 PARA ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Luke Small - Magdalene Narellan
TERRY WHITE TROPHY - OUTSTANDING SECONDARY SPORTSWOMAN
Delta Amidzovski - Corpus Christi Oak Flats
BISHOP MASCORD TROPHY - OUTSTANDING SECONDARY SPORTSMAN
Alexander Bonetig - Edmund Rice West Wollongong
Feature image: Major Award Winners with Special Guests
Back row: John Sparks, Bishop Mascord, Tristan Sailor, Peter Turner and Trevor Kellham
Front row: Emily Benefiel (St Joseph's Bulli), Harrison Satara (St Anthony’s Picton), Luke Small (Magdalene Narellan), Delta Amidzovski (Corpus Christi Oak Flats) and Alexander Bonetig (Edmund Rice West Wollongong).