Albany sporting elite vie for top awards

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

An outstanding field of athletes will vie for top honours at the 45th Wellington and Reeves Albany Sportsperson of the Year Awards at Centennial Stadium tomorrow night.

Albany’s sporting elite will gather as the 2017 Albany sportsperson of the year is crowned in junior, senior and veteran categories.

A stellar field of junior nominees has been assembled, including last year’s overall winner Craig Wiggins, who is chasing his fourth junior honour in the past five years.

Wiggins won the junior title in 2013, 2015 and 2016, but faces a strong challenge from the likes of rising swimming star Tom Gawned, talented footballer and cricketer Jordan Clark, his own younger sister Danica Wiggins, and Jessica Waldron.

Olympian and 2016 senior winner Sonja Johnson is among 11 strong senior nominees, which also includes multiple former winner and shooting star Steve Hurley.

Returning water ski competitor Steven Moss, shooter Joel Evans, cricketer Nathan Crudeli and eight ball player Steve Brett are among the other fancies in the senior category.

Triathlete Dermot Buckley, swimmer Tony Stanton and table tennis stalwart Peter Muller head the list of veterans nominations, with Buckley a previous winner of the award in 2015.

From the three category winners on the night, an overall Albany sportsperson of the year will be named to join the likes of Emma Panizza, Rob Slattery, Hurley and Wiggins, who have taken the top prize in recent years.

The awards, sponsored by the Albany Advertiser, are run by the City of Albany, which has secured Perth Wildcats captain and Australian Boomers player Damian Martain as guest speaker.

The gala presentation will be held at Centennial Stadium for the first time, moving away from Albany Entertainment Centre, with tickets still available for $70, which includes entry, a two-course meal and canapes, and the chance to hear one of the nation’s best basketballers speak.

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