A two-way tie has led The Examiner and Woolworths Junior Sport Awards which were presented overnight at the Country Club Tasmania.
After months of nominations highlighting the best young talent in Northern Tasmania and the painstaking work of club volunteers it all came down to the final night attended by finalists from across the region.
The male sportsperson of the year award was a tie between cyclist Hamish McKenzie and athletics star Alexander Creak after judges could not split the pair's impressive sporting feats.
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McKenzie was selected by the Australian Cycling Academy (ARA Pro racing team) in their professional cycling team based on the Sunshine Coast after some impressive performances.
McKenzie said that he was thankful to be adjudged a winner of the award.
"It's really awesome, there's been so many good winners of this award that have gone onto past success ... to get reward for all the hard work we put in is a great honour," he said.
Fellow awardee Creak has produced a barnstorming 12 months which has seen him selected in the Athletics Australia Target Talent Program.
The multiple state under-20s record holder said he was thrilled to receive the recognition after a great year on track.
"It's a great honour, I am very, very happy to be able to have it with Hamish," he said.
The Examiner editor Corey Martin commended all the finalists on their achievements in the past 12 months.
"It's great to see the winners and finalists acknowledged for their hard work on and off the field in their chosen sport," he said.
"The Northern Tasmanian sporting community wouldn't be as strong as it is today without their efforts and dedication."
Tasmania's most successful Olympian and 2014 female sportsperson of the year winner Ariarne Titmus was the night's guest speaker.
Other awards to be presented on the night included the female sportsperson of the year, Ricky Ponting Service to Sport shield, Club of the Year and the male and female rising star awards.
Cricket sensation Ava Curtis was recognised for her outstanding year at the Junior Sport Awards to take out the female sportsperson of the year.
A prodigious bowler and batter, the 15-year-old has starred at South Launceston and the Greater Northern Raiders level in recent seasons.
Curtis tasted premiership success with South Launceston in the Cricket North competition last season where she starred in the grand final.
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The all-rounder is widely regarded within Tasmanian cricket and has found herself featured in the Hobart Hurricanes' squad in the early stages of the WBBL.
Curtis said she was honoured to be part of an exclusive group of winners, which included the night's guest speaker Ariarne Titmus.
"It means a lot to me because I put a lot of hard work and effort into my sport so to get the recognition is really good," she said.
"It's really inspiring to hear [Titmus'] story of how she got into swimming and had to do to get the results, hopefully if I can do that I'll be able to get to the highest level I can.
"Hopefully I can continue to be a part of the Hurricanes and hopefully one day play for Australia."
The female rising star award was a hotly contested field but the talented Chloe White was adjudged a worthy winner.
The hockey star enjoyed a successful year on-field and had was recognised for her leadership qualities as the vice-captain of the girls' under-15s state side at the national championships.
It proved to be a White delight as her brother Damon claimed the male rising star award for his efforts in hockey and Little Athletics.
"It's absolutely amazing, at home we always have a bit of competition just because we're brother and sister but it's really nice to share an award like that," Chloe said of the sibling double act in the category.
"Dad got me into hockey, he's always been playing hockey pretty much since he was our age just on an off and one year he asked us to come out and we went from there."
Damon was the youngest player selected in Hockey Tasmania Tigers Academy in 2020 and maintained his place in this during 2021.
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Damon said it was the competitive side which drew him to hockey.
"I like the social aspect and being able to be a bit competitive against my friends and family," he said.
Damon said it was a memorable moment to be able to share the night with his sister and family.
"It's a pretty special occasion, it's not often we both get to stand up on stage together," he said.
"I am absolutely stoked, I wasn't expecting to be here let alone win it."
Jamari Lockhart certainly seems to be inexhaustible but those efforts secured the Ricky Ponting Service to Sport award.
The youngster spends his weekends on a diet of soccer as he plays, coaches or referees at various levels throughout the weekend with Launceston City Devils.
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Lockhart has also tried his hand behind the lense taking photos for the NTJSA and his efforts at all of these disciplines secured him the award.
"It's a major name in sport, it's a real pleasure to be awarded this award," he said.
"I've got time, I've got siblings in the sport and the club is great so I help out where I can."
The Examiner and Woolworths Junior Sport Award night was held at the Country Club Tasmania. Picture: Phillip Biggs
Launceston United Junior Soccer Club secured the Club of the Year award for their efforts in growing the game.
The club is the largest in Northern Tasmania and has over 600 players, including 150 female players in an ever-growing girls' program.
Club president Anthony Coulson paid tribute to the team effort which made sure the club operated smoothly day-to-day.
"We've got a large number of volunteers, all the coaches, team managers, parent group, committee members all put in a lot of hard work so this is recognition for their efforts," he said.
"We couldn't do it without all these volunteers and coaches getting the kids on the park during the week for training and on the weekends as well."
Evie Cheney was awarded the Phil Edwards Bursary award for her submission on how soccer helped her get through the pandemic.
The Launceston United player explained how soccer was the was the "one thing I could control when everything else felt beyond my reach," in her submission for the award.
The judges also commended Isabella Shaw for her bursary submission about her journey with sport and type 1 diabetes.
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Scotch Oakburn girls' rowing crew put on a masterclass on the water as they beat all before them to claim this year's Head of the River. The victory was Scotch's first in the event in 24 years.
Some of the recorded times from Scotch's first eight crew performances this season were among the fastest in Tasmanian history to be the deserved team of the year winner.
"We had a really challenging year last year with COVID-19. we didn't get to compete in the Head of the River so this year to be able to win Head of the River after 24 years was a real achievement," Team member Heidi Schouten said.
"We've been rowing together since under-14s so we've been really close and especially in the last two season, we've become even closer through COVID-19 and everything."
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