By CHRIS KARAS
KOOKABURRAS hockey sensation Lachlan Sharp was crowned 2017-18 TWT Club Six/Ryde Sports Foundation Sports Star of the Year at a Gala Presentation Dinner last Friday night at Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club.
The 20-year-old, Ryde-Hunters Hill product capped an incredible five month period on the international hockey scene by helping the Kookaburras clinch the gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last month.
Since making his senior international debut last December, the attacking midfielder has proved a real find by helping Australia win the Hockey World League championship in India; the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia and Commonwealth Games title to reaffirm our world number one status.
It has been a meteoric rise for the pocket dynamo who guided the Ryde Panthers to a Sydney Hockey Premier League first grade premiership in 2015 at the ripe age of 16.
Lachlan – now based in Perth with the Kookaburras – was unable to attend the Gala Sports Star dinner.
His father Richard Sharp, the Panthers’ premiership winning top grade coach and a leading mentor in NSW hockey, accepted the award on Lachlan’s behalf.
Richard is pictured holding the Ross Horner Mayoral Trophy alongside Ryde City Mayor Clr Jerome Laxale, RSF chairman Jim Hull, Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club president Jim McClymont, RSF secretary Kim Clayton and Bennelong MP John Alexander.
They are pictured with Grand Finalists Alex Seyfarth (rugby league), Robert Supala (lawn bowling), Sam Thompson (BMX Bike Riding), Emily Keenan (netball), Michael Galanos (gridiron), Tarah Ogilvie (swimming), Zara Nicholas (touch football), Alyssa Lowe (athletics), Shehana Vithana (squash), Alanna Fisher (FUTSAL Soccer), Kate Barry, Eloise Dwyer and Milly Puckeridge (Acrobatic Gymnastics).
Also pictured are RSF representatives Rob Wilkinson, Jim Towers, TWT Sports Editor Chris Karas, Terry Wilson and Paul Moujalli; Royal Rehab Community Relations Manager Martina Fox, former leading rugby league referees Sean Hampstead and Graeme West, North Ryde RSL Vice President Dave Baker, Gladesville RSL directors Gary Winslow and Lindsay Cornwell, North Ryde Golf Club director Ben Brown, Gladesville Sporties director Tracey Mitchell, long time sponsor Reg Cain and RSF Contribution to Sport recipients Robyn and Graham Churchill.
Seated is Paralympic wheelchair racing great Louise Sauvage with ERNA netball stalwart Neita Matthews, who was bestowed with Life Membership of Ryde Sports Foundation on the night.
Talented Australian FUTSAL soccer representative Alanna Fisher and Ryde Athletics’ national U/16 long jump champion Alyssa Lowe shared the Club Six Encouragement Award for their outstanding achievements.
Husband and wife team of Graham and Robyn Churchill were the recipients of the Ryde Sports Foundation Contribution to Sport Award.
Robyn, the long serving Gladesville RSL Gymnastics Club president was honoured for her sterling service as a mentor and administrator and Graham for his yeoman service with North Ryde RSL Baseball Club.
Accomplished sailors Maria and Lindsay Dalmon and versatile Lee Ferrier received Royal Rehab Return2Sport Achievement Awards on the night from Louise Sauvage and Martina Fox, representing Royal Rehab CEO Stephen Lowndes.
“My heartiest congratulations to Lee and to Maria and Lindsay for their respective award,” said Mr Lowndes.
“Royal Rehab is proud to partner with the Ryde Sports Foundation to acknowledge the tremendous contribution and achievement that these recipients have made to sport, and in particular to the motivation and inspiration they provide to people with a disability to achieve in sport” he added.