Tasmanian marathoner Meriem Daoui has been named as the recipient of the 2021 Peter Norman Humanitarian Award.
Awarded each year on Peter Norman Day (October 9) to honour the legacy of the famed Australian sprinter, the honour is given to a member of the Australian athletics community who exemplifies his spirit through their work in human rights, equality or humanitarian causes.
Daoui, 22, was presented with the award at the Athletics South's first track and field meet of the new season in Hobart, after leading a number of initiatives to raise funds and awareness for cancer causes as well as her work with the Muslim Women in Sport Network.
Born in Morocco, Daoui was 10 years old when her family relocated to Tasmania. Living in a community not previously exposed to the Muslim faith, Daoui was bullied at school for wearing full-length clothes and a hijab, and developed anxiety depression and an eating disorder. Daoui also has Type 1 diabetes.
Now a nurse at the oncology ward at the Royal Hobart Hospital, Daoui uses her love of running as a platform.
At the age of 16, she ran her first marathon, raising more than $5000 for displaced Syrians affected by the civil war. Since then, she has run the Hobart Marathon twice, raising funds for Cancer Council Tasmania and oncology outpatients at her hospital, and earlier this year ran the world's toughest half-marathon, Point to Pinnacle, every day for seven days to raise more than $12,000 for childhood cancer.
Daoui said it was a "great honour" to receive the award.
"Not only was Peter one of Australia's greatest sprinters, he was also an advocate for human rights who spoke out against racism which I believe is one of the greatest attributes a person can have," she said.
"His legacy in athletics and advocacy is truly inspiring and I hope that as a community we can use his legacy to make a stand in creating an inclusive environment in both sports and society.
"Much of my work comes from wanting to give back to society and to help causes close to my heart."