14 December 2016
Teenage swimming sensation Kyle Chalmers collected two major honours at the AIS Sport Performance Awards in Sydney tonight, while the Australian public connected with two more fairy tale sporting stories of 2016.
Chalmers was named Male Athlete of the Year for his stunning gold medal performance in the 100m freestyle at the Rio Olympic Games, which was also voted by national media as Australia’s Best Sporting Moment of the Year.
Australia’s sporting public also had the chance to judge their biggest winners of 2016. The Australian public cast more than 20,000 votes to judge Olympic modern pentathlete Chloe Esposito the ABC Sports Personality of the Year, while AFL premiers the Western Bulldogs claimed Public Choice Team of the Year.
More than 350 guests attended the black tie gala event at The Star, Sydney, to celebrate Australia’s sporting achievements for the year.
Olympic and Paralympic gold medallists featured highly among the winners, rower Kim Brennan named Female Athlete of the Year for her dominant performance in the single sculls for 2016. Michael Blackburn was acknowledged for his partnership with Olympic gold medal sailor Tom Burton and named Coach of the Year.
It was a great night for Australian rugby teams. In awards judged by an expert AIS panel, the Australian Women’s Sevens team and the Australian Steelers wheelchair rugby squad won Team of the Year and Para Performance of the Year respectively.
Chef de Mission of the Australian Paralympic Team, Kate McLoughlin, received the Award for Leadership after leading a successful Rio campaign. Danielle Woodward received an accolade for Service to Sport and, in a touching tribute, Anna Meares’ long-time cycling coach Gary West was inducted into the ‘AIS Best of the Best’ along with former hockey mentor Ric Charlesworth.
Curtis Luck, who won this year’s US Amateur Championship, was named Emerging Athlete of the Year.
2016 AIS Sport Performance Awards
- Female Athlete of the Year – Kim Brennan (rowing)
- Male Athlete of the Year – Kyle Chalmers (swimming)
- Team of the Year – Australian Women’s Sevens Rugby (sevens rugby)
- AIS Best of the Best – Gary West (cycling)
- AIS Best of the Best – Ric Charlesworth (hockey/high performance consultant)
- Service to Sport – Danielle Woodward (canoeing)
- Award for Leadership – Kate McLoughlin (Australian Paralympic Committee)
- Coach of the Year – Michael Blackburn (sailing)
- Para Performance of the Year – The Australian Steelers (wheelchair rugby)
- Emerging Athlete of the Year – Curtis Luck (golf)
- Team of the Year (public choice) – Western Bulldogs (Australian rules football)
- Best Sporting Moment (media vote) – Kyle Chalmers (swimming)
- ABC Sports Personality of the Year – Chloe Esposito (modern pentathlon)