Geoff Smith presents the Gold Coast Sport Star Awards
On behalf of fellow board members of Sports Gold Coast and the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame Tamara Morris, Gordon Watson, Trina Hockley AM, Wayne Hickson, Garry Goodman, and Greg Norman, welcome to the 53rd Gold Coast Sports Star Awards.
Tonight’s awards are significant in the history of our city’s sports on several levels. Apart from honouring our champion athletes, volunteers and administrators in sport, we also tonight honour the great legacies of the late Daphne Pirie, President of the Hall of Fame since its establishment in 1999; the late Dr. Alan Mackenzie (the first recipient of the Pirie Medal) who served for 49 years as president of the Southport Sharks taking it from a membership base of some 400 to 64,000 ; and the great Andrew Symonds, Australian, Queensland and Gold Coast cricketer who inspired so many to play cricket with his passion, skill and unpredictability, so typical of the Gold Coast. I’m sure their spirit will be with us here tonight.
Last year was the first year in the history of the Gold Coast Sports Star Awards that we were unable to celebrate sport due to the lack of international competition in 2020 because of the Covid pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic Australia has come to realise the importance of sport in our society, and tonight as Gold Coasters we celebrate the return of sport and the achievements of its stars both on and off the field.
I trust that tonight’s awards will enhance your appreciation of sport’s contribution to the wellbeing, pride and identity of our city and inspire you all to build on the great legacies of Daphne, Andrew, and Alan.
We thank our sponsors for contributing to tonight to make the event as affordable as possible and recognising the importance of these awards in our Gold Coast Community. Your support of them will encourage them to renew their sponsorship of the event.
Finally, I urge all of you not to take sport for granted. The future of our city will rest on how much we support sport – by participation, volunteering, and simply taking our families to more sporting events.