#ASPAs set to celebrate
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#ASPAs set to celebrate Australian sport

Commonwealth Games Australia is proud to support the Emerging Athlete of the Year Award at the 2019 AIS Sport Performance Awards in Sydney in December.

2019 will be the third year in which Commonwealth Games Australia has been the presenting partner of the emerging athlete award at the ASPAs.

Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Craig Phillips describes the emerging athlete award as “the perfect fit” for Commonwealth Games Australia support.

“The Commonwealth Games are often the commencement point for a long and successful international career, as has been the case for athletes such as Anna Meares, Petria Thomas and Cathy Freeman,” Phillips said.

“As we saw on the Gold Coast last year with Ariarne Titmus, Brandon Starc and Kelsey-Lee Roberts, athletes regularly emerge from the Commonwealth Games and go on to the achieve outstanding success on the world stage following their Commonwealth Games experience.”

“Whilst the winner of the AIS emerging athlete award doesn’t have to be from a Commonwealth Games sport, the concept of supporting our young and emerging athletes is something that is very important to Commonwealth Games Australia so we are pleased to once again partner with the AIS in presenting this award,” Phillips said.

Finalists in the Emerging Athlete of the Year Award will be announced shortly.

The Australian Institute of Sport, in partnership with ABC Grandstand, is calling on the Australian public to determine the ABC Sport Personality of the Year and the Best Sporting Moment of the past 12-months, which will be announced at the AIS Sport Performance Awards in Sydney on Tuesday 10th December.

Titmus is a finalist for the ABC Sport Personality of the Year award following her triumphs at the world swimming championships in South Korea in July where she won the 400m freestyle, beating legendary U.S swimmer Katie Ledecky who hadn’t been defeated in a 400m free at a major event since 2012. Titmus also led off the Australian team which won gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay, with the team setting a new World Record

She joins cricket superstar Ellyse Perry, who could make her Commonwealth Games debut in Birmingham where women’s T20 is on the program for the first time and world tennis number one Ash Barty on a stellar list of Australian athletes as finalists with the winner to be decided by popular vote.

The finalists in the best sporting moments of 2019 include the Kookaburras inaugural FIH Pro League victory, Kelsey-Lee Barber’s world javelin championships win, the Sydney Swifts maiden Super Netball title, the men’s and women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team gold at the world championships in South Korea along with Barty’s French open party, our women’s Ashes glory.

Female Athlete of the Year finalists include Barber and Titmus, and the Coach of the Year finalists include Kookaburras coach Colin Batch who guided the Australian men’s team to victory at the inaugural FIH Pro League and cycling coach Tim Decker who leads the track endurance program and coached the Australian men to world titles at the 2019 Track World Championships in the team pursuit in world record time.  Decker also guided the women’s team pursuit to gold.

Finalists for Male Athlete of the Year category include swimmer Kyle Chalmers, world time-trial champion Rohan Dennis and kookaburras captain  Aran Zalewski who was named the 2019 ‘Best Player of Pro League’.

Finalists for Female Para-athlete of the Year include Para-swimmer Tiffany Thomas Kane, Para-cyclists Paige Greco and Emily Petricola and Para-triathlete Lauren Parker.

The AIS has also announced finalists for Team of the Year with the Australian men’s hockey team, the Kookaburras in the running for the title for the fifth time, having previously captured the honour in 2004, 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Other finalists include the Men’s Team Pursuit cycling team of Leigh Howard, Kelland O’Brien, Samuel Welsford and Alex Porter who smashed their own world record by nearly two seconds on the way to reclaiming the rainbow jersey at the 2019 Track World Championships.

The AIS has also announced the introduction of the Athlete Community Engagement Award, a celebration of the outstanding positive influence an athlete has on the community. Gold Coast basketball gold medallist Jenna O’Hea is amongst the finalists.

After losing her uncle to suicide, Jenna worked with Lifeline and the WNBL to create Lifeline Round where every three point shot scored converted into a $1,000 donation to assist Lifeline train more crisis supporters. Jenna is also involved in the AIS Lifeline Community Custodians program and delivers important messages about suicide prevention and mental health at events throughout the country.

The ABC Sport Personality of the Year and Best Sporting Moment of the past 12 months are open for public vote at aisawards.abc.net.au until 5pm AEDT on 5 December, 2019.

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