PORT Macquarie’s Paralympic star Ryley Batt is among a long list of gold medallists from London in line for recognition tonight at the annual New South Wales Institute of Sport Awards.
If Batt wins it it will be a Port Macquarie one-two as Olympic swimmer and world champion James Magnussen won the very same award last year.
The awards night, to be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground’s Indoor Centre is considered the state’s premier annual sports awards and recognises achievement in 12 categories including academic excellence, career development, team and individual performances.
Batt is a finalist in the team athlete of the year and male athlete of the year awards.
He helped the Australian wheelchair rugby team win gold at the London Paralympics but will tonight face competition from able-bodied athletes, too.
The field for the ClubsNSW Male Athlete of the Year is:
Ryley Batt – Wheelchair Rugby:
During the nomination period, Ryley Batt confirmed his place as the world’s best wheelchair rugby player by winning gold in the event at the 2012 Paralympic Games. Batt, who led Australia to gold at the Paralympic test event prior to the Games, scored an unbelievable 160 goals in five matches during the London tournament, leading the Australian team to its maiden Paralympic gold following a fifth place in Athens and silver in Beijing.
Iain Jensen/Nathan Outteridge – Sailing:
The NSWIS sailing duo of Iain Jensen and Nathan Outteridge enjoyed an outstanding nomination period that culminated in Olympic gold. Skippered by Outteridge, the pair won two world championship gold medals in the men’s 49er, as well as two gold and one silver medal in the same class on the world cup circuit. The nomination period ended with the duo winning their maiden Olympic gold medal in the men’s 49er, securing victory before the final race had been sailed.
Matthew Levy – AWD Swimming:
Matthew Levy’s nomination period was highlighted by one gold, one silver and three bronze medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games, making him the most successful male NSWIS athlete at the London Games. Levy won gold in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay 34 points, silver in the men’s S7 100m freestyle and bronze in the men’s SB7 100m breaststroke, SM7 200m individual medley and 4x100m medley relay 34 points, an excellent display at his third Paralympic Games.
Malcolm Page – Sailing:
Malcolm Page furthered his status as one of sailing’s greatest ever athletes by winning Olympic gold during the nomination period. Page secured gold in the men’s 470 class with compatriot Mat Belcher at the 2012 Olympic Games, successfully defending his title from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. To couple his Olympic winnings, Page also won two world championship gold medals, and four world cup gold medals in the same class.
Tom Slingsby – Sailing:
Sailor Tom Slingsby fulfilled his Olympic dream during the nomination period, by winning sailing gold at the 2012 Olympic Games. Competing in the men’s laser class, Slingsby dominated his competitors to cement his maiden Olympic gold in London. Slingsby’s Olympic victory was complemented by two world championship gold medals in the laser class, a world championship bronze medal in the etchells class and two world cup gold medals.
Murray Stewart – Canoe Sprint:
Making his Olympic debut at the 2012 Olympic Games, Murray Stewart overcame a severe sinus infection to win gold in the men’s K4 1000m. Along with three fellow Australians, Stewart powered home ahead of Hungary to make history by being part of the first Australian crew to win gold in the event. Prior to the Games Stewart won one gold and two silver medals on the prestigious canoe sprint world cup circuit.