Image: L-R Alexander (Sandy) MacNeill, Belinda Barnes, Mathew Helm, Ann-Maree Putney & Michael Fitzgerald

The 28th Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame inducted eight (8) Hunter athletes on Thursday 1st of August at the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club in Wickham.


The Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame is made up of over 300 top athletes who have represented Australia or competed in an international tournament and were born and/or played in the Hunter region at the junior or senior level.


This year eight athletes were recognized and receive the elite honour of being inducted into the Hall of Fame; Suzy Batkovic (Basketball), Belinda Barnes (Softball), Greg Primmer (Motorcycling), Michael Fitzgerald (Rugby Union), Ryan Rowland-Smith (Baseball), Matthew Helm (Diving) and Ann-Maree Putney (Ten Pin Bowling).


The Hall of Fame committee in 2019 made the unanimous decision to include Official’s in this year’s induction, where we saw Rugby Union Referee Alexander (Sandy) MacNeill join the prestigious list of sportsmen/women.


Each year, the Hunter Academy of Sport present the Paul Trisley Award for recognition for service in a sports administration role in memory of Paul Trisley, a well-respected sports lawyer and sporting administrator in the Newcastle Region.


This award is given to the recipient who demonstrates exceptional dedication, commitment and service to their sport in the Hunter Region. This year’s award recipient was Mavis Godber, for her long time involvement in the sport of Little Athletics in the Hunter Region.


The evening was celebrated with close to 70 guests in attendance at the Yacht Club, with Academy Board Member Ross Allen acting as Master of Ceremonies and fellow board member and treasurer of the Academy Andrew Delbridge welcoming the guests.