THEY inspired Australia with their epic feats over the past 12 months and now seven of Australia’s best, including Culburra Beach’s Tyler Wright, will battle it out against each other for one of Australia’s most coveted sports awards – 'The Don' – at this year’s Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner.
Drawing from a long-list of over 20 potential candidates, seven finalists have been short-listed for ‘The Don’ to mark one month to go to this year’s ceremony, and the list includes a stellar cast of Australia’s best performers over the past year.
From Sally Pearson’s comeback world title, Jeff Horn’s stunning defeat of Manny Pacquiao, to the Matildas demolition of Brazil in the Tournament of Nations, through to Olympic basketballer Erin Phillip’s domination of the inaugural AFLW, Emily Seebohm’s world title in the pool after Olympic disappointment, surf queen Tyler Wright’s world championship and Johnathan Thurston’s incredible State of Origin effort with an injured shoulder, all finalists have produced moments that had Australians on their feet.
Wright became the latest in a long line of Australian surfing champions when she won the 2016 women’s world championship with a record score.
Wright almost retired in 2015 after her brother Owen suffered a serious head injury during a competition warm‐up in Hawaii.
The 230year-old became his primary carer, but returned to the world series in 2016 to take out her maiden world title.
The Don Award is widely regarded as Australia’s leading contemporary sporting award and is named in honour of Australian sporting legend and first Sport Australia Hall of Fame Inductee, the late Sir Donald Bradman AC.
The Don award for 2017 will be presented at the sold out 33rd Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner – presented by Etihad Airways – on Thursday, October 12 2017 at Palladium at Crown, Melbourne.