Karratha’s sport stars honoured on gala night

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Dean Jones, City of Karratha Sporting Club of the Year Karratha Junior Rugby League President Nic Rolle and City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long.
Camera IconDean Jones, City of Karratha Sporting Club of the Year Karratha Junior Rugby League President Nic Rolle and City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long. Credit: Shannon Beattie

It was a who’s who of Karratha’s sporting world at the Community Sports Awards held at the Leisureplex on Saturday night.

The invitation-only event recognises the best sportspeople, coaches, volunteers, officials and clubs that make up the city’s sporting community.

City of Karratha partnerships and engagement manager Leigh Cover was the MC for the night, detailing the achievements of each worthy recipient.

Dean Jones, Junior Sportswoman of the Year Sophie Taylor and Shannon Harding from Novo Resources.
Camera IconDean Jones, Junior Sportswoman of the Year Sophie Taylor and Shannon Harding from Novo Resources. Credit: Pictures: Shannon Beattie, Shannon Beattie

The main award of the night, sporting club of the year, went to Karratha Junior Rugby League for the initiative it took to create a combined junior league in the hopes of increasing player participation and interest from around the Pilbara.

“Their player numbers grew from 84 in 2016 to over 210 in the 2018 season, plus in 2018 they were awarded the opportunity to host the second ever North West Championships, which saw Karratha host over 10 teams and 140 players over two days,” Mr Cover said.

In the player of the year awards, eight-year-old “small fry” Max Grasso caused a wave of emotion when he won the Rio Tinto junior sportsman of the year award for his efforts in fishing.

Junior Sportsman of the Year Max Grasso and Andrew Barrow from Rio Tinto.
Camera IconJunior Sportsman of the Year Max Grasso and Andrew Barrow from Rio Tinto. Credit: Shannon Beattie

“Max currently holds 10 national records, nine State records and with two records currently pending, he will soon hold five world records — with those stats he is arguably the best junior fisherman in the world,” Mr Cover said.

Junior sportswoman of the year went to Sophie Taylor, boxer Cody Scale took home sportsman of the year, and sportswoman of the year was awarded to Cheyenne Wailu.

Dean Jones, Sportswoman of the Year Cheyenne Wailu and Andrew Barrow from Rio Tinto.
Camera IconDean Jones, Sportswoman of the Year Cheyenne Wailu and Andrew Barrow from Rio Tinto. Credit: Shannon Beattie

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries coach of the year award went to Gavin O’Brien, who had to have his son collect the award for him, as he was busy coaching.

“It is fair to say there would be very little junior sport coming out of Dampier if not for the time, efforts and relationships of this man,” Mr Cover said.

Other award recipients included Simi Cagilaba, who received Sport and Recreation WA official of the year for basketball, and Auskick coordinator Lisa Moore who won the Red FM and Spirit volunteer of the year award.

Dean Jones, Sportsman of the Year Cody Scale and Glen Roberts from CITIC Pacific Mining.
Camera IconDean Jones, Sportsman of the Year Cody Scale and Glen Roberts from CITIC Pacific Mining. Credit: Shannon Beattie

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