Shot put champion Emma Berg has joined an elite group as a multiple winner of the H.H. Hunter Athlete of the Year for Athletics Bendigo Region for the 2020-21.
A silver medal in shot put at the national championships in Sydney capped another outstanding track and field season by South Bendigo Athletics Club’s star.
The H.H. Hunter Athlete of the Year, proudly sponsored by the Gill family, honours a champion sprinter who was killed at Gallipoli.
Emma won gold at nationals in 2019 and made decision to switch from glide technique to rotation.
A bold move by her and coach Peter Barrett, but aimed at achieving long-term goals. Berg achieved a great mark of 14.70m to win open discus at Victoria Country titles in Ballarat. Berg first won the award in 2018-19 and joined previous winners such as Tim Driesen who competed in the hammer throw at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games, and dual Olympic race walker Duane Cousins.
Dual winners of Athlete of the Year for Flack Advisory Services Group-backed Athletics Bendigo are Annabel Thomson, Denise Snyder, Blake Pryse, Joseph Baldwin and Andy Buchanan.
Sprint star Sophie Taylor achieved a hat-trick of titles.
The Anne Flack Memorial most outstanding junior female was Caitlin Evans.
A top competitor in sprints and hurdles, Evans was seventh in the under-17 400m hurdles at nationals and third in the event at the country champs.
The Bendigo Harriers’ young gun ran 59.28 to be third in the under-17 400m at the state titles.
The Anne Flack Memorial award honours an outstanding administrator and contributor to athletics.
Previous winners include Danielle Dillon, Denise Snyder, Sophie Taylor, Teleah and Zahra Hayes, Taryn Furletti, Tullie Rowe and Emma Berg.
The Alby Jack Memorial most outstanding junior male award was won by Jake Gavriliadis.
The Bendigo Harriers’ rising star excelled at discus and shot put.
A mark of 53.49 metres earned fourth place in the under-16 discus at nationals.
Gavriliadis was a dual silver medallist at state titles as he hurled the discus 50.22m, and put the shot to a mark of 13.06m.
A brilliant all-round athlete, Alby Jack was a champion baseballer and is in Bendigo’s Sports Star of the Year Hall of Fame.
Previous winners of the Alby Jack Memorial award include Callum Healey, Josh Shaw, Kye Jenkyn, Blake and Jemuel Pryse, Kyle Murphy, Kye Mason, Jayden Padgham and James Woods.
Another highlight was life membership of Athletics Bendigo being awarded to Annette Major from Eaglehawk AC and to long-time AB president Craig Burnett.