Canberra Raiders star Jack Wighton and Australian freestyle skier Laura Peel have been named the Male and Female Athlete of the Year respectively at the 2020 CBR Sports Awards after outstanding performances in a difficult year.
After winning the Clive Churchill Medal in 2019, Raiders five-eighth Wighton took his game to another level in 2020 and was rewarded with the Dally M Medal and sharing the Meninga Medal with Josh Papalii.
Two-time Olympian Peel became the first Australian to win skiing’s Crystal Globe since 2009 after being crowned the overall champion of the season back in March. The world number one picked up where she left off with an opening round victory at the 2020-21 World Cup in Finland earlier this month.
The Para Athlete of the Year went to German-born Vanessa Low, who won a gold medal in the T61-63 long jump at the 2019 World Championships in Dubai. Low followed up her gold medal with domestic performances that are listed as the best for any T-61 athlete in history.
The Capitals enjoyed a sensational 2019-20 season that saw them claim their second straight WNBL title and ninth overall.
The Brumbies season was thrown into chaos when COVID struck, but once the rugby resumed, they took all before them on their way to being crowned winners of the inaugural Super Rugby AU competition.
Sixteen-year-old triathlete Chloe Bateup took out the Rising Star Award after becoming the youngest ever female to cross the line first in the Nepean Triathlon in October.
The Outstanding Service to Sport was shared between Nick Hunter, Lorraine With and Rosanna Horn.
The Gungahlin Jets Netball Club took out the Minister’s Award for Inclusion for their Shooting Stars Program, while Orienteering ACT won the Innovation Award for their COVID return to play.
Chairman of the CBR Sport Awards Selection Committee Rob de Castella congratulated the winners and all of those involved who make ACT sport so great.
“Congratulations to all the 2020 nominees and winners. Canberra again has demonstrated the depth, talent and diversity that we have here in sport,” said de Castella.
“It is inspiring and exciting to see the success our sports men, women and teams continue to demonstrate, and the selection committee wants to congratulate all involved, especially the families, coaches, administrators and all the many volunteers that make the ACT one of the best communities in the country to achieve and contribute to sporting excellence.”
Full list of winners:
- Athlete of the Year – Women’s Sport – Laura Peel (Snowsport)
- Athlete of the Year – Men’s Sport- Jack Wighton (Rugby League)
- Athlete of the Year – Para Sport – Vanessa Low (Athletics)
- Team of the Year – Joint Winners – UC Capitals (Basketball) and ACT Brumbies (Rugby Union)
- Outstanding Service to Sport – Joint Winners – Nick Hunter (Rowing), Lorraine Wuth (Swimming) and Rosanna Horn (Table Tennis)
- Rising Star– Chloe Bateup (Triathlon)
- Minister’s Award – Inclusion – Gungahlin Jets Netball Club for the Jets Shooting Stars Program
- Minister’s Award – Innovation – Orienteering ACT for COVID return to play