SOUTH Coast boxer and the Shoalhaven’s Commonwealth Games hope Mark Lucas topped off a spectacular year by being crowned the 2013/14 Shoalhaven Sportstar of the Year.
About 180 people filled the Bomaderry Bowling Club on Friday night to celebrate 40 of the area’s best sporting talent.
Lucas was joined on the winners’ podium by junior Rosie-May Davidson and masters contender Dianne Chellew.
Lucas was unable to attend but had a good excuse, still being in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games, where he was eliminated last week in his second bout of the men’s middleweight 75 kilogram category.
The Shoalhaven Sportstar win topped off a rigorous 18 months for Lucas, 25, who booked his ticket for the Games following a qualifying tournament in Fremantle, where he won four fights in five days.
At the Games, Lucas became the fifth Australian boxer to progress to the next round after winning with an unanimous points decision over Sri Lanka’s Senanga Nawarantha.
But in the next round he met his match, and although he came out swinging, Kenya's Nickson Abaka got the unanimous points decision.
Sixteen-year-old steeple chase champion Davidson took out the junior award following a gold-medal performance at the Australian Junior Athletics championships, earning her a spot on the Australian team for the Youth Olympic Games.
Kayaker Dianne Chellew won the masters division for the third time after a blistering performance at the World Masters Games, where she won nine medals from 10 events entered.
Chellew used the occasion to announce this was her final year of international competition.
“How the judges compare one against the other I do not know – I am glad I am not a judge,” she said.
“I just want to thanks the Bernie Regan sporting trust for what they do for sport in the Shoalhavenn.”
Compered by Phil Lynch, the night was also a chance for the Bernie Regan Memorial Sporting Trust to give out 14 grants to help high performing junior athletes achieve their dreams.