Year Awarded: 2015
Category: Act of bravery and mateship
Spirit Of Sport Award

Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson - Act of bravery and mateship

Courage is an essential requirement for success in many sports and it comes in different forms. Surfing is no exception. Braving the monster swells that crash onto the shores of beaches in many parts of the world is dangerous and not for the faint-hearted.

However, there are other ways of putting your life at risk in the ocean, where nature rules. Two of the world’s finest surfers Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson, discovered this when a large shark, believed to be a great white, dramatically interrupted their final of the J-Bay Open event of the World Surf League in South Africa in July.

This was a life-or-death moment that the sport had never experienced before, and it was played out live for the world to watch in horror.

As Fanning fought off the predator, fellow Australian, competitor and good friend., Wilson put his own life at risk by coming to his rescue. This raw courage and mateship demonstrated by the two men has earned them, jointly "The Spirit of Sport" Award for 2015.



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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.