Local News

Clarence Valley BMX Club rider Tahlia Marsh was announced as the Grafton Shoppingworld Senior Sportsperson of the Year at the 2022 Clarence Valley Sports Awards on February 11. Image: Fran Dowsett

Sporting good night to celebrate local talent

Emma Pritchard

A momentous celebration of the outstanding accolades achieved by our most talented athletes, sports clubs, and local sports personnel; the 2022 Clarence Valley Sports Awards drew a large crowd to the Grafton District Services Club (GDSC) on February 11.

Featuring an extraordinary calibre of nominees across 13 categories, whose tremendous distinctions have been highlighted each month in recent editions of the Clarence Valley Independent, the annual event, now in its ninth year, is an initiative of the Clarence Valley Sports Councils, and showcases the immense strength and skills of the local sporting community, and the dedicated locals who continuously support it.

Across the room, swimmers, cricketers, cyclists, footy players, BMX riders, surf lifesavers, and hockey players exchanged nervous smiles and whispered, “good luck” and “congratulations” to one another as their respective categories and the winners were announced by presenter Desan Padayachee.

Nominees for the main award on the program, the Grafton Shoppingworld Senior Sportsperson of the Year, including popular South Grafton Rebels player Grant “Stumpy” Stevens, champion cyclist Lauralea Moss, and rising athletics star Hanna Tait, were introduced to the crowd throughout the night, with many expressing their gratitude for being nominated alongside fellow athletes they described as some of the best to emerge from Northern NSW.

When premier Clarence Valley BMX Club rider Tahlia Marsh was announced as the winner, the room erupted in cheers as the beloved local teenager stepped forward to graciously receive her award.

The proud Bundjalung woman, who also delivered the Welcome to Country earlier in the evening, was previously named Junior Female Sportsperson of the Year in 2018 and 2019 and progressed through the 2022 racing season with a near perfect race record.

Fighting back tears of happiness and gratitude, Miss Marsh thanked her family and the Clarence Valley BMX Club for their ongoing support, and revealed she was lost for words following her win.

“When they called out my name, I didn’t really believe it,” she said, adding she was thrilled just to receive a nomination.

“I didn’t expect it at all.

“I work hard, and it’s really awesome to be rewarded for all my efforts.

“It’s a great feeling.”

Along with major sponsors the Clarence Valley Independent and Grafton Shoppingworld, the 2022 Clarence Valley Sports Awards are proudly supported by Clarence Valley Council (CVC), Loving Life FM, and Clarence Media.

Please refer to article titled ‘2022 Clarence Valley Sports Awards’ for the full list of winners and nominees.