The “best of the best” of Australian sport gathered at the MCG on Wednesday June 4 to acknowledge some of our greatest Olympians and sporting teams at the Melbourne ‘Olympic Moments’ lunch.
Media interest peaked with TV coverage on all news broadcasts, plus articles in both the Herald Sun and The Age. This interest was also reflected in IOC Vice President Kevan Gosper’s encouraging words “Congratulations to John Bertrand and his Executive Team on significantly raising the profile of SAHOF to a new level of professionalism”.
A highlight was an interview with Kevan, who gave the 400 plus guests an insight into the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics in August. Special guests,2008 Australian Team Members, were acknowledged and wished success at the Games.
Olympic Gold medallists Nick Green, Mike McKay, Peter Antonie, Jon Sieben, Claire Mitchell -Taverner, and Danni Roche shared their memories and joined with Chairman and fellow Olympian John Bertrand to award three Team Sport Australia Awards to members of the 1989 VFL Premiers Hawthorn, the 1950 Winning Davis Cup Team and the 2007 Australian Cricket team victorious at both World Cup and Ashes Series competitions.
Team Sport Australia Awards.
Each year The Sport Australia Hall of Fame salutes the skill and commitment of our sportsmen & sportswomen who have so often and so successfully have taken Australia to the top of world sport through their abilities to deliver winning team results. Winning as a team at the highest level of competitive sport requires discipline, trust and a never say die commitment to achieve the ultimate result.
Framed Certificate Presentations were made by Wayne Dunne, CEO of Australia air Express, our Principal Sponsor.
Hawthorn 1989 Premiership Team Captain Michael Tuck and Coach Allan Jeans along with 15 premiership team mates were present to receive the award. This team was renowned for its ferocity, with Dermott Brereton flattened in the opening minutes of the match and Robert Dipierdomenico famously receiving a punctured lung. Under Alan Jean’s tutelage, the team was determined to “pay the price” and do whatever was required to defeat Geelong and win Hawthorn’s 8th premiership.
In the 1950 Davis Cup, against the odds, at Forrest Hills in New York a young Frank Sedgman, help to demolish the Americans 4 -1 and launch the golden era of Australian tennis. Over the next 18 years, under the guidance of Coach Harry Hopman, Australia went on to win 15 Davis Cups, dominance not likely to ever be seen again in the truly global sport of tennis. As the only surviving member of the 1950 Davis Cup team, Frank Sedgman accepted the Team Sport Australia Award. Also in attendance was Zenda Bromwich, wife of his late team mate, John Bromwich.
In 2007, who can forget Australia regaining the Ashes so convincingly on home soil? Highlights included Shane Warne retiring from test cricket as the greatest wicket taker in test history with 708 wickets. Following the Ashes victory, the Australian Cricket team then went on to dominate One Day cricket and win the World Cup in the West Indies. Glenn McGrath ended his career in spectacular style as Man of the Series. Cricket Australia Director Geoff Tamblyn accepted, on behalf of the 2007 Australian Cricket Team, the third Team Sport Australia Award.
Special congratulations to Event Manager Sue Stanley on pulling together such a wonderful lunch.