A thrilled Athletics Australia President David Grace QC has extended his congratulations to Sally Pearson after she was announced as the winner of the coveted ‘The Don’ Award at the 30th Annual Induction and Awards Gala of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in Melbourne tonight.
Edging out an illustrious shortlist of nominees including her athletics teammate and Glasgow 2014 marathon gold medallist Michael Shelley, Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo and tennis young-gun Nick Kyrgios, Pearson’s victory adds a second ‘The Don’ Award to her amazing trophy cabinet after she won the honour for the first time following her Olympic success in the 100m hurdles in 2012.
“This award is a wonderful acknowledgement of yet another golden year for Sally Pearson that culminated with her dominant performance at the Commonwealth Games,” Grace said.
“The win at Glasgow 2014 followed what would have been a difficult preparation for Sally, and her ability to deliver such a strong result despite the year that was is a testament to her natural focus and determination to be the best she can be when representing her country. She has once again done the sport of athletics proud and we couldn’t be more excited for her.”
Grace also acknowledged Shelley as a nominee for ‘The Don’ Award, and Sport Australia Hall of Fame inductee Dick Telford AM.
“Michael’s nomination was also a great result for our sport. It was an honour for track and field to have two athletes considered for ‘The Don’ amongst what was a very illustrious shortlist,” Grace continued.
“And to bring to a crescendo what was a brilliant night, we were lucky enough to witness the induction of Dick Telford as a General Member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame alongside former greats of our sport including Betty Cuthbert, Catherine Freeman, Ron Clarke and Rob de Castella.”
For more information on the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, and tonight’s ceremony, please visit their website sahof.org.au.
What is ‘The Don’ Award?
In 1998 The Sport Australia Hall of Fame created 'The Don' Award, named after Sir Donald Bradman, to honour a current Australian athlete who, by their achievements and example over the last 12 months, are considered to have had the capacity to most inspire the nation.
Athletes who have won the Award are not inducted into the Hall of Fame, however once they have retired from the highest level of competition, they become eligible for nomination, the same as all other athletes.