SOTY 2017: Monthly winners, June to September

Reigning Sportsperson of the Year Matthew Gilmore, pictured racing at Woodstock Park Speedway, is in contention again after another impressive year.

Reigning Sportsperson of the Year Matthew Gilmore, pictured racing at Woodstock Park Speedway, is in contention again after another impressive year.

June 

Alex Webster

Rugby Union

Cowra Eagles’ Alex Webster was one of the club’s best during 2016, and was named in the NSW Country Colts’ training squad as a result, leading to his monthly award for June last year.

For the red and white, Webster performed consistently all season and was awarded the Jack Berry Trophy – club’s most valuable player – at the club’s end of season presentation.

Webster was one of only two central west players to be named in the 30-man Country Colts training squad.

July 

Matthew Gilmore 

Motorcycle racing

Speedway star Matthew Gilmore is a genuine chance to win back-to-back Cowra Sportsperson of the Year titles, after defending his Youth 250cc World Championship title in Germany back in July, 2016.

He dropped just one point in qualifying for the semi-final at Gustrow, Germany, which he negotiated to secure a spot in the final.

Despite missing the start, Gilmore used his signature move of speeding around the outside of opposition to get to the front and ultimately claim victory.

The result made Gilmore the first ever two-time winner of the Federation of International Motorcycling (FIM) Youth World 250cc Championship.

More recently Gilmore’s been sidelined with an injury but is not for from a return to the track.

Throughout the past 12 months Gilmore has also finished on the podium in a number of senior and under 21 events.

If he receives the top prize on Saturday night it would make him just the third back-to-back SOTY winner in the awards’ 37 year history, joining Karen Lunn and Janelle Lynch.

Gilmore hopes to be riding speedway in Europe in the near future.

“I have had numerous offers from clubs overseas so hopefully in the next year when a club is decided I will be doing what I love the most.

“My biggest accomplishment in speedway has been winning the speedway youth world championships not once but twice, and being the youngest ever and only junior rider to do so.”

August 

Chloe Lanham

Soccer

Consistently a monthly winner in the past couple of years, Chloe Lanham’s soccer talent again finds her in the running for Cowra’s Sportsperson of the Year.

Chloe was recognised back in August last year after representing Country NSW at the under 15s National Youth Girls Soccer Championships at Coffs Harbour, where she matched it with the best young players in Australia for that age. 

Chloe’s side finished sixth overall and included players from Illawarra, Southern and the Riverina region of NSW.

The squad was slowly reduced to its championship side following a series of grueling trials and camps.

At the championships, Chloe’s NSW Country side finished sixth, hindered by a slow start that included losses against Sydney Metropolitan, Victoria and Capital.

They regrouped and gathered confidence with wins against South Australia and Football West and were held to draws with Tasmania and Northern NSW.

At the time, Chloe told the Cowra Guardian she was extremely happy in her efforts and the team’s result.

Her determination and positive attitude was instrumental in reversing the results in the latter stages of the championships.

Chloe has played all of her junior soccer in Cowra and has also played for the Western Mariners the past four years.

Last season, when she picked up her monthy award, Chloe was playing Western Mariners under 17s and also Western Mariners first grade when needed.

She won the Sportsperson of the Year scholarship back in 2015.

September

Sally Wallace

Triathlon

Cowra triathlete Sally Wallace made her debut on the international stage during the past 12 months, finishing 10th in her age division at the 2016 ITU Sprint World Championships.

The championships were held in Mexico in late September, 2016 with Sally battling a strong current in the swim and sweltering conditions in the bike and run legs.

Sally thanked all who had helped her take part in the titles.

“To be able to say I am top 10 in the world is a dream come true,” Sally said.

“The race was very tough in 34 degree heat and 99 per cent humidity, very different to conditions back home,” Sally said of the race.

Sally also represents the Cowra Cobras at a number of events in the state during the season, and is a consistent point scorer at the central west triathlon inter-club series.

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