NSW Swifts’ midcourter Maddy Proud was on hand to present 30 young athletes with medals at the 18th annual Sydney Archdiocesan Primary School Sports Awards.
The star netballer and children’s author acknowledged the students from a pool of 116 Sydney Catholic primary schools who have excelled at sports during the school year at a ceremony held at St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School Hurstville.
To receive an award, students must have represented the Sydney Archdiocese in a NSW Catholic Primary Schools (NSWCPS) MacKillop team or NSW Primary Schools Sports Association (NSWPSSA) State team and demonstrated a high level of sporting achievement in their schools.
The awards are a wonderful occasion to recognise and celebrate the outstanding sporting achievements of our students before their peers and family. – Anna-Kate Turnbull
During the ceremony, Proud told students about becoming the youngest netball player in the South Australian Thunderbirds team history at age 16 and balancing professional sport with Year 12 study.
Her book, Grace on the Court, about the transition to high school and dealing with school, sport, siblings and social issues.
Her advice to the young athletes was to listen to their coaches and have fun with their chosen sports.
“As long as you keep trying and enjoy it, that’s all that matters,” she said. “It’s good to try to play as many sports as you can. You learn a lot of skills from different sports.”
Sydney Catholic Schools’ Sydney Archdiocesan Primary Sports Coordinator Anna-Kate Turnbull said many of the students who received awards had broken records in their fields.
“The Archdiocesan Primary Schools Sports awards are a wonderful occasion to recognise and celebrate the outstanding sporting achievements of our students before their peers and family,” she said.
Year 5 students Nathan Barbara (St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School Marsfield) and Rhiannon Bellette (St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School Panania) both broke records in their classifications in national athletics competition. Nathan placed first in the 100m sprint, while Rhiannon blitzed the 800m event.
Year 5 student at St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School Ashfield Stephanie Bruzzese was among the students who received a Primary Sports award two years in a row. She won 12 medals at national level competition this year.