Fremantle footballer Michael Walters and Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams have presented three proud local sportspeople with awards in recognition of their contribution to sport in 2017-2018.
The awards, held at Medina Hall, were also hosted by Mark Reading with around 80 members of the Kwinana sporting community in attendance.
Mayor Adams said that the awards are conducted yearly by the City to recognise talented local athletes and volunteers. Three categories were awarded - Mitchell Pianto for BMX (Junior Sports Person of the Year), Alicia Kelly (Club Person of the Year) and Sydney Fricker (Sports Person of the Year).
"These awards are about promoting the role of sporting clubs within the City of Kwinana and supporting our local sporting community," she said.
"This year we saw nominations for community members who have succeeded in a range of sports – from a local level all the way up to national representation."
Winners were selected by a judging panel of five representatives, including Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Peter Feasey, Freeman John Iriks and the Kwinana Citizen of the Year, Bram Ziegelaar. The panel interviewed nominees and assessed information provided with each of their nominations.
"The sports awards are one of the many ways we recognise and support local sporting clubs," Mayor Adams said.
"In more recent years the City has invested extensively in new infrastructure at many of our sporting facilities, giving clubs an improved sense of home and assisting in meeting our community's sporting needs."
From left to right - Fremantle Football Player Michael Walters, Club Person of the Year Alicia Kelly, Sports Person of the Year Sydney Fricker, Junior Sports Person of the Year Mitchell Pianto and Mayor Carol Adams.
Junior Sports Person of the Year 2018 – Mitchell Pianto for BMX
Mitchell has been BMX racing since he was 4 years of age. In September 2017 he won the Junior Elite Championship at the Western Australian State Championships, which means he is currently ranked number 1 in WA. In March this year he raced the National Australian championships where he was ranked 6th in Australia.
Mitchell is always striving to further his skills and to grow and improve in his sport. He has just started an apprenticeship this year but is still balancing his work and study obligations with hours of racing.
Mitchell proudly funds his racing and competition fees himself and has a great ambition to compete in the 2024 Olympics, once he has completed his apprenticeship.
Club Person of the Year Award 2018 – Alicia Kelly for Women's Ice Hockey
Alicia has been described as 'one of the most amazing people to ever grace the ice hockey community', contributing in a variety of ways to the development and competition of women's teams in ice hockey in Western Australia.
She's the team manager for the Australian national women's team and one of only two people selected to represent Australia this year at the IIHF high performance international camp in Finland.
She's been described as a selfless mentor who put her own hockey career on the backburner for the sake of supporting other women in the development of their ice hockey careers.
Sports Person of the Year Award 2018 – Sydney Fricker for Women's Ice Hockey
Sydney Fricker was named Assistant Coach of the Western Australian Phil Ginsberg Team 13 & Under in August 2017. She played for WA as goalie and took part in the Australian Tier 2 Women's Ice Hockey League, with her team winning the entire competition to become the 2017 champions.
Sydney also organised the "IIHF World Girls Ice Hockey Weekend" where women of all ages came to try ice hockey for free and the "IIHF Global Girls Game" - a weekend long international game of ice hockey which included nearly 30 different countries across multiple timezones.
She coached the Division 3 Redhawks to a Premiership Cup in 2017 with a perfect season winning 22 of 22 games. And she represented Australia in the 2017 Land of Smiles Ice Hockey Classic Tournament in Thailand, placing 3rd in the Women's Open Division.
Sydney also organised her own hockey league and played for the Perth Inferno, Perth's semi-professional women's ice hockey team in the Australian Women's Ice Hockey League. As well as playing and coaching, Sydney organised a fundraiser exhibition match for Perth Inferno and played in the ANZAC day exhibition match between Perth Inferno and the ADF Ice Hockey Team, with all proceeds going to Veterans in need.
And because she wasn't busy enough over the last year, she also graduated from her Bachelor of Science and was accepted into a Master of Exercise Science at Edith Cowan University.