Oceania Cup in the running for major sporting award
The 2019 Oceania Cup hosted by the Rockhampton Hockey Association in September is in the running for a major sporting award.
The international tournament has been nominated for Queensland Event of the Year in the Queensland Sport Awards.
It sits alongside five other contenders, which include the Adina Polocrosse World Cup Tournament, the Australian Baseball League championship final and the Brisbane International tennis tournament.
The awards have been running since 1995, and serve to celebrate the achievements of athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and organisations.
Rockhampton Hockey is well represented in the awards.
Its president, Barb Knowles, who was a driving force in bringing the Oceania Cup to the city, is in contention for Queensland Volunteer of the Year.
Rockhampton’s Lisa Morgan was coach of and Jessica Moffat a member of the Queensland under-18 girls hockey team which is one of five finalists for Queensland Junior Team of the Year.
Two other Rockhampton products have also been recognised.
Belinda Sharpe, who made history as the first woman to referee an NRL game, is in the running for Queensland Officiator of the Year.
Taylah Pringle, a stalwart of Rockhampton Panthers Australian Football Club, joins Knowles in the Volunteer of the Year category.
Knowles said it was wonderful that so many of the city’s identities were in the mix.
“That is just so good. Perhaps we could be considered the Sports Capital as well as the Beef Capital,” she said.
Knowles said it was wonderful for the Oceania Cup to be acknowledged.
“It is very satisfying,” she said.
“There are some very prestigious events in this category and it’s great to think that a regional centre can put on a sporting event that is right up there with them.
“We have received accolades from FIH, Hockey Australia, Hockey New Zealand and the Oceania Hockey Federation about just how professionally run it was.
“That all reflects on the volunteers, the committee and everyone who contributed to making it such a special event.”
Knowles said the nomination was fitting reward for Morgan and Moffat and the fellow Queenslanders who had won the national under-18 girls hockey title.
“That’s pretty special. It is not easy to win a national championship at the best of times but that is a particularly hard age group to win,” she said.
Knowles said she was humbled to be recognised.
“It’s very surprising and certainly not something that I look for,” she said.
“I’m always happy to do these things for the sport and the region.
“I guess somebody saw fit to throw my hat in the ring and I’m honoured to have made the final as well.”
The awards will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday, November 30.