AIS Sport Performance Awards


The ASC held the second AIS Sport Performance Awards (ASPAs) on 24 February 2016, recognising and celebrating the outstanding achievements of Australian athletes, teams, coaches and administrators. Awards were presented across 10 categories, including two people’s choice awards decided by public vote, for performances during the 2015 calendar year.

Male athlete of the year

Jason Day – golf

Jason’s extraordinary 2015 peaked with his first Major win at the 2015 US PGA Championship and achieving the world No. 1 ranking. His score of 20-under in the PGA was the lowest score in a Major and he was only the fifth Australian in history to win the prestigious tournament. It was one of five US PGA wins for the year and he finished in the top 10 in three of the four Majors. He memorably finished ninth in the U.S. Open having collapsed on the course with vertigo on the second day.

Female athlete of the year

Emily Seebohm – swimming

Emily dominated at the 2015 FINA World Swimming Championships, winning gold in the 100-metre backstroke, 200-metre backstroke and the 4 x 100-metre freestyle relay. She broke the Commonwealth 200-metre backstroke record and became the first Australian to win the 100-metre/200-metre backstroke double at the world championships. At the 2015 Australian Short Course Championships she became only the second woman in the world to beat two minutes in the 200-metre backstroke, just 0.26 seconds outside the world record.

Team of the year

Women's team pursuit – cycling

Australia’s women's team pursuit squad members Annette Edmondson, Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amy Cure and Melissa Hoskins beat the world record by 2.9 seconds at the Paris 2015 Track World Championships in February. The team has been together since 2011 and after increasing the squad’s support network in the past 12 months it has lifted to another level. Part of the team’s success has come from the members’ commitment to base themselves at Cycling Australia’s high performance unit in Adelaide one year out from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The Australian Diamonds – netball

In 2015 the Diamonds successfully defended the Netball World Cup when they defeated arch-rivals the New Zealand Silver Ferns 58–55 on home soil. This performance clinched Australia’s third successive world title and its 11th Netball World Cup. The Diamonds capped off the year by retaining the Constellation Cup: while drawing the series 2–all with New Zealand, Australia won the Cup on goal difference.

Emerging athlete of the year

Ben Simmons – basketball

Ben graduated from US high school Montverde Academy and earned selection in the 2015 All American Game. He received several high-profile awards including the USA High School Player of the Year and was selected in the World Team for the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit. Ben joined Louisiana State University and was named the Southeastern Conference Preseason Player of the Year and named on the Associated Press preseason All-America team. In June 2016 Ben was the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

Para performance of the year

Alistair Donohoe – cycling

Throughout 2015 Alistair not only excelled in the most competitive classification within para-cycling, C5, but his personality, attitude and behaviour proved exemplary and he greatly contributed to the positive team culture. His 2015 highlights included first place at the Para-cycling Road World Championship C5 Road Race and six Para-cycling Road World Cup gold medals. He also won the scratch race at the Para-cycling Track World Championships and three gold medals at national track and road events during the year.

Coach of the year

Michael Bohl – swimming

Michael coached six Australian athletes for the 2015 FINA World Championships who went on to win five gold, two silver and three bronze medals at the meet, including Mitchell Larkin, Madison Wilson, Bronte Barratt, Madeline Grove, Emma McKeon and Grant Irvine. He also coached Mitchell to a world record in the 200m backstroke at the 2015 Australian Short Course Championships and received Swimming Australia’s Olympic Program Coach of the Year award.

Award for leadership

Mark Anderson – swimming

Mark has brought highly valued management and business acumen to swimming that has seen the sport attract and secure new commercial and innovative partnerships, highlighted by a renewed multi-year television broadcast arrangement involving free-to-air television and digital platforms. During preparations for the Rio Olympic Games Mark has overseen key changes in the high performance team and secured key staff for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. He has driven cultural change that has led to positive results in and out of the pool.

Sporting moment of the year – media vote

Jockey Michelle Payne wins the Melbourne Cup

Michelle Payne rode Prince of Penzance into history by becoming the first female jockey to win
the Melbourne Cup, a major triumph for women in sport.

Destination NSW team of the year – public vote

The Australian Diamonds - netball

The Diamonds successfully defended their world championship title when they defeated arch-rival New Zealand 58–55 in Sydney.

The ABC sports personality of the year – public vote

David Pocock – rugby union

After losing two years to two major knee injuries, David Pocock returned to competition in 2015 as one of world rugby’s finest players.