Blake Govers receives top academy award

Champion hockey player Blake Govers has been presented with the Illawarra Academy of Sport’s highest honour, the Tobin Family Award.

The award is presented to the Academy’s athlete of the year across all programs, in memory of Illawarra sporting stalwarts Ted Tobin, who was one of Wollongong’s most respected sporting and civic leaders, and his son, Glenn, who was a sports reporter at the Illawarra Mercury.

Editor Alistair Langford-Wilson presented Govers with the prestigious award at the Academy’s annual presentation function at the Novotel Northbeach last night.

Awards were also presented to the athlete of the year in each of the Academy’s programs.

The winners were: lawn bowls – Natalie Noronha, cricket – Adam Ison, cycling – Cameron Scott, golf – Connor Bond, individual athlete program – Mecenzi Howard, netball – Emily Osborne, hockey (female) – Mikaela Patterson, hockey (male) – Paul Counsell, rugby union – Tim Lewis.

Academy general manager Carolyn Dews said the awards cap off an exceptional year for the IAS.

During 2012 the Academy reviewed the structure of its programs, introduced innovations such as a new musculoskeletal screening project, and IAS athlete Mecenzi Howard received Wollongong’s inaugural Australia Day Sports Award, while Academy cyclist Bridget Mullany took out Shoalhaven’s Junior Sports Award.

‘‘We also hosted the ClubsNSW Academy Games, which brought hundreds of outstanding athletes to our region for three days of competition,’’ Ms Dews said.

‘‘I congratulate Blake Govers, all the award winners and every Academy scholarship holder for their hard work which has helped to ensure our region continues to be represented at the highest levels in sport.’'

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