Editorial December 30 2017

If Wally Lewis was the king of rugby League, then we reckon it is only fair Kezie Apps be hailed as the queen.

Long live the Queen.

The Australian Jillaroo, NSW Origin and Helensburgh Tiger star has been voted by our judging panel as this year’s 2017 Illawarra Mercury Sportsperson of the Year.

It has been a hallmark year in what has been a remarkable career for the Wollongong-based Bega star, who has beaten a world-class field of nominees to take out the 2017 award.

Illawarra Hawks star import guard Rotnei Clarke took out a hotly contested People’s Choice vote. 

Congratulations to the other nominess for this year’s award _

Wollongong Wizard and world-class triathlete Jake Birtwhistle

Matilda and women’s soccer star Caitlin Foord

Dragons and State of Origin star Tyson Frizell

Olympic swimming champion Emma McKeon

Sydney-to-Hobart master sailor Ty Oxley

UFC and mixed martial art star Alex Volkanovski

World women’s surfing champion Tyler Wright (pictured)

International golf rising star Jordan Zunic

You can go online at illawarramercury.com.au to view videos with both Kezie Apps and Rotnei Clarke.

Congratulations Kezie and Rotnei, you both make this region very proud.


With the Illawarra Mercury Sportsperson of the Year now completed for another year we will be asking for your help on something different next week.

On Monday at illawarramercury.com.au we will launch our online voting for our Greatest Hawks of All Time campaign where you will have the chance to help us select the 12 Greatest Illawarra Hawks basketball players in the club’s 40 seasons of the National Basketball League.

One luck voter will get a signed heritage singlet that the Illawarra Hawks will wear for the Illawarra Mercury-sponsored heritage round featuring the names of every player who has ever pulled on a Hawks top during those 40 seasons.

Voting will only be open for a week.


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