2018 Local Sports Stars The Finalists

25 Sep 2018

2018 Local Sports Stars The Finalists

Meet the finalists in our Local Sports Stars Award. The winners in each category, and the overall Local Sports Star chosen from all our mastheads across Sydney and the Central Coast, will be announced at a gala ceremony held on Tuesday, October 30. Congratulations to all our finalists and good luck!


Sam Fricker


DIVER Sam Fricker is on his way towards his goal of representing Australia at the next Olympics. The 16-year-old competed at the 2018 Australian Open Championships, placing first in 1m springboard and second in the open platform and 3m synchronised competition. The Trinity Grammar student juggles his studies with a weekly 26-hour training schedule.


Tara Phillips


TARA Phillips is well versed in four forms of martial arts and holds multiple championship titles, even though she’s only been training on and off for three years. The 14-year-old Summer Hill resident’s achievements include gold medals in three different styles of kickboxing at the 2018 Arnold Classic competition in Melbourne.


Ella Smith


EMMA Smith’s achievements in jiu jitsu include a gold medal at the Arnold Classic in Melbourne. The Lewisham resident, 17, who has placed first in national and state competitions, said she has also forged valuable friendships along the way. “Everyone is so kind and caring to each other — it’s created a beautiful environment to be a part of,” she said.


Amelia Roufas


WHEN Amelia Roufas stepped into Team Perosh Mixed Martial Arts in Five Dock for the first time two years ago, she was frightened. But fear quickly dissipated and soon the 10-yearold Concord West resident was eager to have a go. She now trains at least twice a week, competes regularly and is on the verge of achieving a yellow/black belt.


Nioka Thomas


NIOKA Thomas, a 15-year old water polo player from Leichhardt, has a laundry list of athletic accomplishments that outweigh her four years in the water. Nioka, who plays with the Balmain Tigers, was this year named in the Australian Born 2000 Women’s squad and also trained with the Aussie Stingers at a one-week camp.


Makayla Ward


MAKAYLA Ward is an up-and-coming rugby league star. The Abbotsford resident, 17, started playing when she was 10, but after being told girls could only play up to 12, she decided to start an all-female team with the Leichhardt Wanderers. “Girls rugby league is becoming such a big thing now,” she said. “It’s the perfect time to be playing.”


West Harbour U17 Girls


THE Wests Harbour U17 Girls Rugby Union 7s team have had spectacular success in various tournaments over the past two years and have around 50 players registered. This year, the team was crowned the best in the state — earning the title in the first girls competition introduced into the Junior Rugby Union State Championships.


Marrickville Red Devils


HARD word and dedication paid off for players in the Marrickville Red Devils under 11 division squad in 2018. The team, which have been playing together since the under-8s, were undefeated in the 2018 season. The team’s head coach Luccas Pereira said the squad embodied fairness, sportsmanship and dedication — the mantra of the Red Devils.


Matthew Walters Robb


UP-and-coming rugby league player Matthew Walters Robb is not only a sporting star on the field. As well as playing for the Five Dock Dockers, Matthew dedicates his time to coaching junior players, volunteering in the club’s canteen and assisting with fundraising efforts. “To coach the juniors (and) see them improve… is the best part,” he said.


Inner West Courier, 25 September 2018