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Women’s Four crowned Female Crew of the Year at the 2019 Hancock Prospecting Rower of the Year Awards

Kathryn Ross named Para-Athlete of the Year while Men’s Pair win Male Crew of the Year; Jessica Morrison wins Gina Rinehart Rowing Leadership Award; Joshua Booth named 776 BC Rowers’ Rower

New South Wales’ Neil Holmes named Coles Volunteer of the Year; Fremantle Rowing Club named Aon Club of the Year; Greg Smith wins inaugural Official of the Year Award

Australia’s World Championship winning crews won the top awards tonight at the 2019 Hancock Prospecting Rower of the Year Awards. The World Championship winning Women’s Four of Lucy Stephan, Sarah Hawe, Katrina Werry and Olympia Aldersey were named the Female Crew of the Year, while fellow World Champion Kathryn Ross was named the Para-Athlete of the Year at the glittering function held in Sydney.

The Men’s Pair of Joshua Hicks and Sam Hardy, who won bronze at the 2019 World Rowing Championships, were named the Male Crew of the Year, while Tom Westgarth, the coach of Australia’s Women’s Four, was named Coach of the Year. Renae Domaschenz, coach of Kathryn Ross, was named Para-Coach of the Year, while Joshua Booth was named the 776BC Rowers’ Rower of the Year Award – the latter an award voted for by Booth’s Senior Australian Rowing Team colleagues.

Dual World Rowing Championships medallist, Jessica Morrison, received the prestigious Gina Rinehart Leadership Award from Rowing Australia Patron and Hancock Prospecting Executive Chairman, Mrs Gina Rinehart.

Olympia Aldersey of the Women’s Four said, “It’s an amazing award to win, the whole team is strong and it’s very hard to differentiate between us all. This really is everyone’s award, the whole women’s team have been sensational this season.”

Sam Hardy of the Men’s Pair added, “We’re really grateful to win this award and to be honoured tonight. Thanks to Mrs Rinehart for her continued support of our sport, we couldn’t do it without you.”

Winner of the Para-Athlete of the Year Award, Kathryn Ross commented, “I didn’t expect to win tonight, it’s been a wonderful journey since returning to the sport. I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve received from my coach and the whole community behind our sport.”

Jessica Morrison was surprised to win the Gina Rinehart Leadership Award, “I didn’t expect to win tonight’s award. It really is a great honour and to have been able to compete in two boats this season was awesome. It’s fantastic to be part of a team that has qualified virtually double the amount of boats for Tokyo 2020 in comparison to 2016.”

Rowing Australia Patron and executive Chairman of the Hancock Prospecting Group, and Roy Hill and S. Kidman & Co, Mrs Gina Rinehart said, “I’m delighted to recognise Jessica Morrison with the Gina Rinehart Leadership Award. She is a perfect example that hard work, dedication, sacrifice and perseverance pays off. Jessica is an outstanding role model. It is an exciting year to look forward to as we approach the Tokyo Olympics, with hundreds of kilometres of rowing practise ahead!”

In addition to the elite awards this evening, New South Welshman Neil Holmes was named the 2019 Coles Volunteer of the Year, winning a $750 gift card from Coles in the process. The Aon Club of the Year was announced as Fremantle Rowing Club of Western Australia, with the club picking up the award and a $2000 cheque from Rowing Australia sponsor, Aon Australia.

This year also saw the addition of a new award, Official of the Year, which was awarded to Greg Smith. The current Chair of the RA Umpires’ Commission, Smith officiated in 26 domestic and international events in 2019. A FISA umpire, Smith uses his experience to further enhance the learning of his fellow state and national colleagues and is the only Australian Boat Race Official selected to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Jury.

The Pathway Coach of the Year, which recognises the integral part the Pathways Program plays in developing the future talent of Australian rowing, was awarded to Queensland Academy of Sport Head Coach, Ben Southwell. Southwell coached Ria Thompson to her U23 World Rowing Championships title in the Women’s Single Scull.

The 2019 Pathways Crew/Athlete of the Year Award was jointly awarded to Australia’s U23 World Champions – the Men’s Coxed Four and the Women’s Single Scull. Adam Bakker, Angus Dawson, Mitchell Hooper, Ben Canham and Caitlin Hockings won gold in Sarasota, along with their team-mate Ria Thompson who won gold in Women’s Single Scull.

The 2019 Hancock Prospecting Rower of the Year Awards also saw a special presentation to dual Olympic silver medallist Will Lockwood, Olympians Hannah Every-Hall and Jessica Lockwood (née Hall) and former World Champion Alice McNamara for their contribution to the sport.

Award Winners at the 2019 Hancock Prospecting Rower of the Year Awards

Award Winner
Female Crew of the Year Women’s Four – Lucy Stephan, Sarah Hawe, Katrina Werry and Olympia Aldersey
Male Crew of the Year Men’s Pair – Joshua Hicks and Sam Hardy
Para-Athlete of Year PR2 Women’s Single Scull – Kathryn Ross
Coach of the Year Tom Westgarth
Para-Coach of the Year Renae Domaschenz
Gina Rinehart Leadership Award Jessica Morrison
776BC Rowers’ Rower Joshua Booth
Pathway Crew of the Year Joint winners: U23 Men’s Coxed Four – Adam Bakker, Angus Dawson, Mitchell Hooper, Ben Canham and Caitlin Hockings & Women’s Single Scull – Ria Thompson
Pathways Coach of the Year Ben Southwell
Coles’ Volunteer of the Year Neil Holmes
Aon Club of the Year Fremantle Rowing Club
Official of the Year Greg Smith