Chair John Bertrand AO sends our Members, Sponsors and supporters the very best for 2021.
Firstly, a congratulations and warm welcome to our major supporter, Sport Australia who have announced their newly appointed Chair, Josephine Sukkar AM who takes over from a retiring John Wylie AM.
Ms Sukkar has joined at a pivotal time for sport in Australia and brings extensive corporate and commercial experience to the role as co-founder and principal of construction company Buildcorp and President of Australian Women’s Rugby.
Sport Australia Hall of Fame looks forward to continuing our collaborative work with Ms Sukkar and her team throughout 2021.
Our thoughts are with sporting organisations here in Australia and around the world who continue to address one day at a time as the global pandemic continues. Numerous organisations have been responsible for making critical decisions. These aren’t decided lightly and are often criticised regardless of the outcome. While understanding competition is imperative for athletes, leaders in sport have a responsibility to ensure first and foremost that their athletes and participants can undertake their duties in a safe, COVID free environment. Everyone understands and is feeling the frustration of the current situation. Many major sporting events have been cancelled including most recently, the Under-20 Rugby World Championship, Australian Cricket Tour of South Africa, Special Olympics World Winter Games, World Aquatic Championships, World Games among many others.
There have been some fortunate enough to carry on including; Winter X Games, Road Nationals, 2021 AFLW season, BBL and WBBL tournaments as well as our women’s and men’s domestic cricket seasons, 2021 Australian Open, and the 36th America’s Cup, which will proceed in March.
Whilst the Australian Open experienced a speed bump, players; fans, umpires and employees were grateful of the opportunity for it to continue. With, without and then again with fans in the stands. It was wonderful to see 47 Aussies compete at the Australian Open this year. Some of our very own had great successes; The Don Award winner of 2019, Ash Barty won the Yarra Valley Classic earlier this month and made it to the quarter finals in the AO. 2011 Scholarship Holder and 2020 and 2016 The Don Award finalist Dylan Alcott, won his seven consecutive quad singles and fourth consecutive doubles at the AO.
Listing these vastly different results; disappointments and major wins, just reiterates these times are more important than ever to unite together through sport, and collaborate to help one another.
There is further excitement on the horizon; the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games. They may not be showcased as the Games we are accustomed to witnessing or participating in, but they are important for our athletes. They bring a morale boost for spectators and assist greatly with the global unemployment rate. Both Japanese Prime Minister, Suga and IOC President, Bach, strongly reaffirmed their commitment to the Tokyo Olympic Games going ahead in July this year. The AOC held a press conference to address the proceedings of the Olympics and its continuous plan to ensure the Australian Olympic Team arrives in Tokyo, competes and returns home. Full press conference available to watch here.
There is also a decade of major events coming to Australia including the Women’s World Cups of Basketball and Football and even a potential bid for the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics, which brings hope and excitement to a time of ambiguity.
I am also delighted to welcome back our Sponsors; Victoria University and Sportscover who have both decided to extend their partnership with SAHOF. Sport Australia and AIS will of course continue to support our Scholarship & Mentoring Program with 2022 applications opening in mid-2021. Other planned joint ventures include: the 2021 National Sport Integrity Forum; continuing as a virtual forum in May and the fourth edition of Chairs’ Round Table. Stay tuned for more information about the 2021 Annual Induction & Awards Program.
We also look forward to collaborating with our Sponsor, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) who celebrate turning 40 in 2021. The AIS’ focus for this anniversary is to respect and celebrate the pioneers who fought to establish the AIS. People such as then-Sports Minister The Hon Bob Ellicott AC, inaugural Chair Kevan Gosper AO and the first Director, the late Don Talbot AO OBE. All of whom are SAHOF Members.
John Bertrand AO
Chair, Sport Australia Hall of Fame
SAHOF Legend Spotlight | John Landy AC CVO MBE
We were delighted to be able to chat recently to Legend of Australian Sport, John Landy AC CVO MBE who re-told the story, 65 years later, of his iconic ‘Act of Sportsmanship’ moment; one he never thought would be voted as the finest sporting moment of the century in 1999. On that day, John Landy stopped in front of over 20,000 people to help teammate and fellow SAHOF Member Ron Clarke AO MBE after Ron had stumbled on another racer’s heels.
“There were over 20,000 people watching. We were on track and Ron fell, it happened so suddenly that I stumbled over him and my spikes went into Ron’s shoulder. I went straight back to help him up and Ron said keep going. I went on to win that race and I don’t think of it as a completely happy time, more as a sad time as Ron had to get a tetanus injection from my spike going into his shoulder.”
John reflected that “the moment was instinctive, no more than anyone else would do. And I never realised that it would make history. At that moment, I was only thinking about Ron.”
We thank John for taking the time to re-tell this incredible story which celebrates its 65-year anniversary on March 11, 2021. Meanwhile, John will celebrate his 91st birthday on April 12, quietly at home with his wife and children will dial in from overseas to help celebrate (“if I make it” John said in his quiet humour!).
Member Foundation | Finnan’s Gift
In 2011, Alisa Camplin AM and her husband Oliver lost their son, Finnan, to Congenital Heart Disease at just 10 days old. Now approaching its 10th year, the charity created in his honour, Finnan’s Gift, has raised almost $3million for the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne (RCH).
Each year, Alisa and Oliver work closely with the team at the RCH to identify a cutting edge piece of equipment, a new world class initiative or advanced training for Doctors/Nurses – which they can fundraise for and then deliver!
With the help of family, friends and an ever-growing community of volunteers, Finnan’s Gift has helped to save and improve lives by providing almost 25 pieces of equipment to The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, over 10 years.
“We wanted Finnan’s fight for life to stand for something, so to have raised almost $3 million to help other patients needing critical cardiac care, is something we are so proud of. We’re incredibly grateful and humbled by the support, dedication and passion of our Finnan’s Gift community. We hope, given the huge impact we are achieving, that people will continue to give,” said Alisa.
To donate to this years project, or to find out more, visit www.finnansgift.com.
SAHOF Scholarship & Mentoring Program | Spotlight
There have been some outstanding results for some of our current and former SAHOF Scholarship Holders over the Summer months. They have shown themselves to truly be the next generation of elite sports people in Australia.
For more details on what each of the our featured Scholarship Holders have been up to, click the images below.
Finished 3rd at the the Great Otway Gravel Grind 100k Race.
Has been training, racing and hitting PB’s, as well as securing new partnerships.
Won the U23 Criterium Championship at the 2021 Aus Cycling Road Nationals in Ballarat, VIC.
Came in 12th position at the Deer Valley World Cup, setting a new PB time. Ranked 17th in the world.
Won the Elite Men’s Time Trial at the Australian Road Championships.
Has been training hard and is continuing to build her strength and technique.
Recently won a season’s best at the Para Open ACT State Champs, then met Mentor George Gregan AM.
Has been training in preparation for her next fight. Is currently ranked #4 in the world in her class.
Won the 2021 Great Lakes Pro event – her first WSL Qualifying Series win.
Tied for 9th in his first div 1 national tour & took home a bronze medal in the U21’s.
Has been training and working hard in the gym, in between racing events, with her NSWIS teammates.
Won his 7th consecutive singles, and 4th consecutive doubles, title at the Australian Open.
The Australian Sports Commission (ASC), comprising Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), welcomes the appointment of Josephine Sukkar AM as ASC Chair.
Ms Sukkar, who started on 8 February, brings extensive corporate and commercial experience to the role as Principal of Buildcorp and is a passionate advocate for Australian sport. In 2019, she was appointed Chair of the Sports Diplomacy Advisory Council to spearhead the Government’s Sports Diplomacy 2030 strategy.
Ms Sukkar has also been a driving force behind the unprecedented growth in women’s Rugby across the country in her role as President of Australian Women’s Rugby.
Sport Australia Acting CEO Rob Dalton said Ms Sukkar joins the ASC Board at a pivotal time for sport in Australia.
“Josephine’s career in sport extends from the community level right through to the Boardroom and when coupled with her outstanding record in business she is well positioned to lead the rebuild of sport as we look to emerge from the pandemic in a position of strength,” Mr Dalton said.
AIS CEO Peter Conde said: “We look forward to the leadership Josephine and the ASC Board will provide, which will be instrumental in the ongoing evolution of the AIS and Australian sport.” [Read more]
AFLW Research a Game Changer
Research by Victoria University reveals new insights into how female Australian Football League players kick compared to male players, with future implications for injury-avoidance and improved performance.
Led by Dr Emily Cust, An Investigation into Kicking in Women’s Australian Football is the first study of its kind with AFLW players.
Dr Cust completed the unique three-year study in 2020 as part of the VU-Western Bulldogs research partnership. A 3D motion-capture system measured foot and ball velocities, and kick impact efficiency, movement patterns and strategies.
The results show differences in movement patterns between women’s and men’s kicks: the women had a greater knee and hip range of motion, faster knee action speeds and less knee bend on the support leg during higher impact kicks.
The study is important because of the high impact and repetitive nature of kicking in the elite sport, leading to athlete-specific strengthening programs to avoid injuries and tailored coaching strategies that could result in more accurate and powerful kicks.
Dr Cust says, “The AFLW has a unique set of constraints such as altered rules, reduced training and sport science support structures, less defined athlete development pathways, and a high number of cross-code athletes transitioning from another sport. Consequently, the transferability of men’s research to the women’s game has been questionable and largely unknown.”
Find out more about Dr Emily Cust’s research and Victoria University’s Institute for Health and Sport.