Triathlete Lisa Redmond, archer Cody Biffin and Team Hatch the big winners at 2016 Singleton Sports Star of the Year Awards

GIFTED triathlete Lisa Redmond etched her name in local sporting folklore on Friday night after winning the 2016 Singleton Sports Star of the Year Award.

While the talented athlete was unable to attend the function at Singleton Diggers, the Australian representative claimed the crown from archery duo Matt and Rebecca Hatch.

Singleton Sports Council president Mark Rix praised Redmond for her dedication.

“She earned her spot in both the World 70.3 Half Ironman Championships in Maloolabah in September and then competed in the World Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii, a month later,” he said.

“Lisa’s goal was to not only contest Kona but to finish the toughest event [she had ever attempted]. 

“Due to her hard work leading into it, she finished 30th in the world in her age group.

“This event is a 3.8km swim, 180km ride and 42km run.

“Lisa registered a time of 12 hours, 16 minutes and 47 seconds.”

Another archer, Cody Biffin, took home the 2016 Singleton Junior Sports Star of the Year Award, with netballer Eliza Hand and rugby league prodigy Hayden Bourke being highly commended.

“Cody had to attend tournaments throughout the year from Nambucca Heads to Lake Macquarie and places in between,” Rix said.

“After battling back from a tibia/fibula break, he competed in the 3DAAA NSW State Series, placing first at Lake Glenbawn, shooting 456/500, and Lake Macquarie (438/500), as well as second at Gunnedah (430/500).

“At the 3DAAA Australian Championships, at Nambucca Heads, he won the title with a score of 475/500.

“Despite only taking up the sport in 2015, Cody was named the 2016 Shooter of the Year for CUB A division.”

Rix was full of admiration for the young nominees – Biffin, Hand, Bourke, Ruby Bennett (touch football), Taiwara Carroll (rugby league/union), Darcy Gilson (swimming), Brodie Hatch (archery), Jamie Hatch (archery), Josie Hatch (archery), Taylah Knight (cricket), Sarah Noble (cheerleading), Ryan Smith (dirt track racing), Jasmine Vesper (golf) and Ethan van Zyl (athletics/cricket/golf/tennis).

“We have some exceptional junior talent in Singleton,” he said.

“The town certainly punches above its weight.

“And, it was a tough job for the judges.”

The Singleton Amateur Swimming Club’s under-14 boys’ freestyle relay squad – Harrison Geale, Gilson, Elliott Earnshaw and Joseph Hamson – prevailed in the junior team category from the Singleton High School open rugby league side.

For the first time in the award’s history, the Singleton Sports Council presented a special plaque to Team Hatch - father Matt, mum Rebecca, and children Brodie, Jamie and Josie.

“This year the committee found itself in a unique position,” Rix said.

“An achievement that has been unprecedented in Singleton required the creation of a one-off sport star award for 2016.

“The Hatches have excelled in their chosen sport (archery) and, between them, won three world championships, as well as silver and bronze on the international stage, 11 national titles, five runner-up placings (and a third), and five state crowns.

“It’s truly a phenomenal performance.”

Singleton Council general manager Jason Linnane was on hand to present Contribution to Sport awards to David Andrews (football), Matthew Edwards (rugby league), Warren Gillespie (football), Luke Knight (cricket) and Craig Miles (tennis). 

“We’d like to thank our sponsors The Bloomfield Group Rix’s Creek, Michael Dean Plumbing, Valley Hydraulic Services, Singleton Diggers, The Singleton Argus, Peter Dunn Real Estate and Mid City Motor Inn for their support,” Rix said.

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