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Finalists revealed for 2017 AIS Sport Performance Awards

20 Nov 2017

Australia’s Winter Olympians and Paralympians dominate the list of finalists for this year’s AIS Sport Performance Awards, a promising sign of form ahead of the 2018 Games in South Korea.

The AIS Sport Performance Awards celebrate the nation’s sporting achievements and this year’s gala ceremony will be held at The Star, Sydney, on December 12.

The Australian public still has until December 10 to vote for the ABC Sports Personality of the Year and Public Choice team of the Year at but a panel of AIS experts has determined finalists for the other awards.

Australia’s Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard team had a record-breaking year in 2017 and that success is reflected by having seven finalists nominated across six categories for the AIS Sport Performance Awards. Australia’s winter athletes snared a total of 35 World Cup and World Championship medals in the 2016-17 season, 10 more than Australia’s previous best in 2012-13.

World champion mogul skier Britt Cox has been named a finalist in the a Female Athlete of the Year category, with an extremely strong field that includes Matildas striker Sam Kerr and fellow world champions Sally Pearson (athletics) and Jessica Fox (canoeing).

World champion snowboarder Scotty James is a finalist for Male Athlete of the Year, along with Paralympic world champion skier Mitchell Gourley, Tour de France cycling Michael Matthews and Paracanoe world champion Curtis McGrath.

Gourley and McGrath have been nominated for both Male Athlete of the Year and Para Performance of the Year. They are part of a strong Paralympic representation in contention for AIS Sport Performance Awards, with eight finalists among athletes, coaches and administrators.

Australia’s women’s football team, the Matildas, also feature prominently with three finalists: Kerr, Team of the Year and Coach of the Year with Alen Stajcic.

Australian sport fans are encouraged to join the judging process and vote online for the ABC Sports Personality of the Year and Public Choice Team of the Year. The vote will remain open until 5pm AEDST on Sunday December 10.

All winners will be announced at the AIS Sport Performance Awards, which will be broadcast on ABC Grandstand Digital, online and via the ABC Listen app.

Finalists for 2017 AIS Sport Performance Awards

Female Athlete of the Year: Britteny Cox (winter sport); Jessica Fox (canoeing); Sam Kerr (football); Sally Pearson (athletics)

Male Athlete of the Year: Mitchell Gourley (winter sport); Scott James (winter sport); Michael Matthews (cycling); Curtis McGrath (canoeing)

Team of the Year: Australian Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard (winter sport); Australian Rowing (rowing); Australian Track Cycling (cycling); Matildas (football)

Para Performance of the Year: Carol Cooke (cycling); Mitchell Gourley (winter sport); Curtis McGrath (canoeing); James Turner (athletics)

Emerging Athlete of the Year: Tess Coady (winter sport); Matthew Hauser (triathlon); Kelland O’Brien (cycling); Ariarne Titmus (swimming)

Coach of the Year: Stephen Desovich (winter sport); Alen Stajcic (football); Tom Westgarth (rowing); Andrea King (nee Wood) (canoeing)

Award for Leadership: Susan Alberti (Australian football); Lynne Anderson (Australian Paralympic Committee); Elizabeth Broderick (gender equity in sport); Peggy O’Neal/Brendon Gale (Australian football).

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