2019 has been Anna Gleeson's year.
The international touch football star, has won the 2019 Regional Australia Bank Sportsperson of the Year Award in the Port Macquarie Hastings Sports Awards organised by Rotary Club of Port Macquarie Sunrise.
Anna has achieved the pinnacle of sports recognition in the Hastings after playing for the winning Australian Women's 35 team at the Touch World Cup in Malaysia and receiving the Most Valuable Player of the final.
Anna was part of the NSW Women's 35 team to defeat Queensland 2-1 in the State of Origin; receiving NSW Senior Women's Touch Football player of the year and to top off a busy year, coaching the winning Port Macquarie Makos U10 girls' side in the touch football Junior State Cup Northern Conference.
"I definitely wasn't expecting this," Anna said on accepting the award.
"To be nominated for this award is really special. I feel very honoured to win this. I have had a fantastic year and I've travelled a lot.
"I got to represent my country this year - I just wanted to show my kids that anything is possible if you set your mind to it, you can achieve anything.
"I was lucky enough to coach my daughter and her under 10 State Cup team to a touch victory this year. To be able to give back to the kids and the community in my sport and to my children is pretty cool."
The nominees for the Sportsperson of the Year honour also included Sascha Arnberger, Merche Benson, Glenys Cummings, Cambridge McCormick, Matt Model, Tara Rowe and Jakob Webber.
President of the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie Sunrise, Carolyn Ireland, was full of praise for all entrants, the organising committee and the hard work that the judges had in assessing the 58 online nominations.
"The Rotary theme for this year is 'Rotary connects the world" and with these sports awards I see connections all around me; together with drive, enthusiasm and perseverance.
"With a total of $7,000 in prizes awarded to local athletes, I am sure the many recipients will be inspired to even higher levels of achievement.
"Congratulations to all the winners and nominees, and a special thank you to the organising committee and the judges."
Cross country and athletics were also highlighted this year with local talent Trent Alley being awarded AusSport Scoreboards Junior Sportsperson of the Year - Primary.
Trent has bagged a swag of medals for his exceptional representation at School Sport Australia cross country championships and gold at NSW Little Athletics Championships.
Jai Jones was announced winner of the Laing+Simmons Sportsperson with a Disability award for his representations and wins in cross country and state athletics competitions.
Another big winner was Donovan Oates Hannaford Junior Sportsperson of the Year - High School - Sascha Arnberger who won world championships U15-59kg Kumite - 2019 World All Styles Championships in the sport of karate and MacKillop College - Year 9/10 Boys Basketball team taking out the Patterson Real Estate Junior Team of the Year award.
Flamin' Dragons Port Macquarie capped off a strong year, securing the Donovan Oates Hannaford Senior Team of the Year. This follows the Club being voted NSW Dragon Boat Federation 2019 Club of the Year and the Flamin' Dragons being selected to represent Australia in 2020 at the World Championships in France.
Local identify Nik Lipovac was recognised as Hastings Physiotherapy Volunteer of the Year for his services to local cricket.
Mountain biking was highlighted with the awarding of the 2019 Wayne Richards Sporting Scholarship to Luke Meier-Smith for his achievements in the 2019 Australian Mountain Bike Championships and his fantastic results at the World Championships in Canada, taking out first place in Garbanzo zone.
Two runners-up were also recognised for their efforts - Shania Madden (dressage); Lleyton Wall (triathlon).
The Wayne Richards Scholarship was launched in 2004 by the Mayor's Sporting Fund Sub-Committee as a tribute to former Mayor Wayne Richards who established the Mayor's Sporting Fund in 1999 and was a passionate supporter of youth and sport in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region.