Past award winners

This page lists the 2015 Northern Territory (NT) Sports Awards winners. 

You can get historical data for all winners and categories by emailing

Nominated award winners

NT Sportsperson of the Year

Jeremy Hayward - hockey

An elite athlete at the top level, Jeremy Hayward’s career continued to blossom in 2014, making his debut for the Kookaburra’s in March. 

Jeremy’s greatest achievement came in May when he was selected to play in the Hockey World Cup in the Netherlands, and he didn’t disappoint. 

He scored two goals, was named ‘Junior player of the Tournament’ and eventually won a Gold Medal after the Kookaburra’s defeated the host country 6-1 in the Cup Final.

NT News - NT Junior Sportsperson of the Year

Tom O’Neill-Thorne - wheelchair Basketball 

Described as being ‘the future of wheelchair basketball in Australia’ Tom O’Neill-Thorne continued his rapid rise in the sport when he was accepted into the ‘Sport Australia Hall of Fame’ scholarship and mentor program. 

That honour comes on the back of becoming the youngest ever member selected in the Australian Rollers squad, who won the Gold Medal at the World Championships in July. 

Tom now has his eyes set on the 2016 Paralympic games in Rio De Janeiro.

NT Masters Sportsperson of the Year

Ryan Coppola - road cycling

A husband and father of two working full time, Ryan Coppola’s dedication saw him reach new heights on the bike, winning all but one local Alice Springs competition in which he competed – including a new course record in July.

His quest for greater challenges saw him venture as far as Slovenia, where he finished 13th in his age group at the Amateur World Cycling Championships – the second fastest rider in the Australian team.

Colemans Printing - NT Team of the Year

NT Men’s ‘Walter Rachuig Trophy’ Team - tenpin bowling

For Tenpin Bowlers the Walter Rachuig Trophy is the pinnacle of the sport on a National level, and in 2014 the Northern Territory men’s team were able to take home the highly coveted award for just the second time in its 52 year history.

Comprised of four players from Darwin and two from Alice Springs, it was the first time the Territory had won the trophy with a ‘completely Territory based team’.

The side gelled very well considering the distances separating them to win 13 of 18 match-ups at the tournament.

Carlton & United Breweries - Eric Johnston Coach of the Year

Matthew Roberts - tennis 

Based in Alice Springs, Matthew Roberts had a significant impact on Tennis in the Territory and across Australia in 2014.

Available to young stars and experienced campaigners alike, Matt doubled the amount of nationally ranked players from the area creating a strong club culture and a wider range of interstate travel opportunities. 

His efforts were recognised in November with Alice Springs taking out five of the six awards at the NT Tennis presentation night.

Minister for Sport and Recreation - Official's Award

Samantha Hacon - touch football 

Samantha Hacon officiated touch football at the highest possible level in 2014, finishing the State of Origin series as the leading female referee. 

A level 6 referee, Samantha has achieved the highest rank possible in the country, and was selected to referee at the 2015 World Cup.

Along with officiating at a local level in Alice Springs, Samantha also spends a lot of time mentoring junior referees.

Centralian Advocate - Volunteer of the Year

Ian Berry - hockey

A man who simply immerses himself into everything Hockey, Ian Berry is the volunteer that every club needs. 

As big supporter of ‘Commerce PINTS’ hockey club, Ian co-ordinates fundraising efforts and remains an involved committee member. 

At a Hockey NT level, Ian volunteers as a technical official, he also has been appointed ‘umpires co-ordinator’ of the Darwin Hockey Association for the upcoming season.

104.1 Territory FM - Local Performance of the Year

Rebecca Voukolos - tenpin bowling 

Clearly the number 1 ranked female bowler in the Territory, Rebecca Voukolos wasn’t satisfied with just dominating the women’s competition in 2014.

A stellar year saw her finish with a bowling average of 226, the highest of any male or female in Darwin – topped off by bowling two 'perfect games' in May and September.

Not simply settling for great individual results, Rebecca has also invested a great deal of time into junior bowling in the area.

2015 Non-nominated Award Winners

Steve Abala Role Model

Desmond Abbott - hockey

A Territory sport superstar, Des Abbott has been inspiring future generations since making his Kookaburra’s debut in 2007. 

A three time winner of the NT Sportsperson of the year award, Des played 111 games for the Kookaburras winning an Olympic Bronze Medal, as well as World Cup and Commonwealth Games Gold Medals.

Actively involved in promoting the Territory, and seeing Territorians succeed, Des continues to give back to the sport since retiring in 2013.

Karyn Bailey - netball

A fantastic role model for Territorians, women and all athletes, Karyn Bailey's career continues to blossom on and off the Netball court. 

After accepting a scholarship with the NTIS in her early teens, the current Melbourne Vixen and Australian Diamonds Goal Shooter represented the Northern Territory at under-15, 17, 19, and 21 levels before pursuing a career at a higher level. 

Karyn was named the Australian Netball League Player of the Year in 2011, before moving to the Melbourne Vixens in 2012. She has also been named in the Australian Diamonds squad on three occasions.

Hall of Champions

Mark Hickman - hockey

A Territory Olympic Gold Medal winner, Mark Hickman had a brilliant hockey playing career with 85 caps for the Kookaburras over a 10 year span. 

Considered one of Australia's best ever goal keepers, Mark was relentless as the last line of defence, further demonstrated by two Commonwealth Games Gold Medals in 1998 and 2002. 

In his early years Mark represented and captained the Territory at under 21 and Senior level, he is now an Assistant Coach with the Australian Women’s Hockey team.

Mark Davies - athletics

The first man to represent the Territory in a sport for the blind, the late Mark Davies was a pioneer for athletics in the Top End and Paralympic sports in general. 

Before the era of professional sport institutes or facilities, Davies won two Paralympic Gold Medals at the 1984 New York games, in the 100m and Pentathlon B2 class. 

He then went on to compete at a further four Paralympics before his retirement. 

Mark also worked tirelessly as an administrator and athletics coach, and also assisted other blind sportspeople in the NT.

Roll of Honour

Sharyn Smith - sports medicine

Sharyn Smith's name has become synonymous with sports training in the Territory since she first arrived in Darwin in 1979. 

A life member of the St Marys football club, Sharyn has worked with nearly every sport in Darwin - including Aussie Rules, Netball, Softball, Cricket and Basketball just to name a few. 

Along with umpiring and coaching numerous sports, Sharyn's work with Territory teams has seen her travel across the world as far as Greece, China and Thailand to keep our athletes in peak condition.

Clare Labowitch - swimming

Clare Labowitch has been a committed contributor to swimming for the past 25 years, and is the former President of Swimming Northern Territory. 

Passionate, driven, and wanting the best for Territorian swimmers, Clare has played a significant role in promoting, growing and sustaining the sport through her coaching and administrative work. 

Clare has also worked tirelessly at convincing the NTIS to re-instate their elite swimming program so Territory swimmers weren’t required to move interstate.

Action Against Violence Award

Nightcliff Football Club - AFL

A proud family club, The Nightcliff Tigers have paved the way when it comes to ‘action against domestic violence’ after the issue came to the forefront during the 2014 season.

As a club, Nightcliff implemented an ‘action plan’ and approached the playing group asking them to become involved in the process. 

The club now hopes that other teams will follow suit in developing ‘action plans’ to not only become better equipped in dealing with issues of domestic violence, but eradicating from our lives completely.

Winner’s summaries have been written by Jake Hauritz.

Last updated: 21 November 2016