Lara Nielsen accepts her Senior Sports Star of the Year Award from Paul Reedy.
Nicole Maynard accepts her Junior Sports Star of the Year Award.

LARA Nielsen has taken out back-to-back Sports Darling Downs Senior Sport Star of the Year awards.

Nielsen was announced as the 2014 Senior Sport Star of the Year in front of about 500 members and supporters of the Darling Downs sport community at Rumours International on Saturday night.

The hammer thrower joins Hockeyroos legend Nikki Hudson (1999-2000) along with BMX and mountain bike star Jared Graves (2008-09) as athletes to have earned the honour in consecutive years.

Nielsen represented Australia at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and finished ninth in the women's hammer final.

Training partner Matthew Denny was named Senior Sport Star of the Year runner-up.

Athletics dominated the big awards as hurdles and heptathlon gun Nicole Maynard took out the Junior Sport Star of the Year award ahead of joint runners-up Shenae Ciesiolka and Dominique du Toit, who were touch footy and rugby sevens team mates.

Passionate BMX stalwart David Budden also took out the John 'Cracker' McDonald Volunteer of the Year award.

(Report by The Chronicle)

Athlete with a Disability winner Jessica Street accepts her award from Paul Reedy.

K & R Plumbing Supplies
Athlete with a Disability Award 2014
Jessica Street

From her performance at the Queensland Athletics Championships Jessica was selected in the Queensland team to compete at the National Junior Athletics Championships held in Sydney in March. At these championships she won gold medals in the Under 18 Years 400m & 1500m, silver in the 200m & 800m and bronze in the 100m.

Joint Coach of the Year winners Neil McCoy (left) and Grahame Pitt (right) with SDD President Mick Smith.

Sports Darling Downs
Coach of the Year for 2014
Neil McCoy & Grahame Pitt (joint winners)

Neil is a level 4 athletics coach who has produced many Australian champions in a variety of events. He currently has two Australian champions in Josh Robinson who is the Australian Under 20, 400m gold medallist and Nicole Maynard who is the Under 20, 200m gold medallist as well as various athletes who have won medals at Australian and Queensland Championships including Emily Bass, the bronze medallist of the 16 years 400m hurdles at the Australian Championships. Nicole & Emily are working towards qualifying for World Juniors in their events and with their dedication and respect for their coach and Neil’s guidance and coaching abilities it is possible.

Grahame is a level 4 track & field coach specializing in shotput, discus, hammer throw and javelin. He not only develops the athletes technique but also their strength and fitness. At the National Junior Athletics Championships Grahame had five athletes compete in fourteen events, from which they gained twelve medals, including six gold. Grahame had two athletes Lara Nielsen & Matthew Denny compete at the Australian Open Athletics Championships. They both medalled and then went on to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games and World Junior Championships where both made the finals of their respective events at these international competitions.

Volunteer of the Year Dave Budden with John (Cracker) McDonald.

John (Cracker) McDonald Volunteer of the Year for 2014
David Budden

David is an original member of the Toowoomba BMX Club which formed in 1978 and has worked tirelessly for the club, from mowing and watering the track to organising events and coaching days for the kids and chasing sponsorship. In the last four years as President he has secured over $200,00.00 in sponsorship for the club and has also brought to Toowoomba a number of events. With the help of other club members David has just completed building an international standards starting hill for the track, which has taken seven months to complete. His dedication to this sport and his efforts in getting the attention of the media and general public have lifted the profile of BMX Racing as a real sport suitable for riders of all ages, as is shown with its inclusion as an Olympic Sport.


WIN Television Umpire/Referee of the Year for 2014
Aleisha Neumann

In January Aleisha was selected as the Australian Umpire to tour with the Hockeyroos to Cape Town, South Africa where she officiated at several test matches and was awarded her International Umpiring Badge. In May she travelled to Bremen, Germany with the Hockeyroos to officiate at the Four Nations Tournament. In October she was selected by Hockey Australia to umpire at the Australian Hockey League Championship tournament in Brisbane where she umpired the gold medal match between Queensland and NSW. She also officiated at many state and local hockey matches throughout the year.

Danielle Fox presents the John Fox Memorial Trophy to the Team of the Year - Toowoomba Twisters U/12 Touch Team.

FK Gardner & Sons John Fox Memorial Trophy
Team of the Year for 2014
Toowoomba Twisters Under 12 Boys Touch Team

In July The Toowoomba Twisters Under 12 Boys Touch team became the first Toowoomba boys team ever to win the Queensland Touch Junior State Cup Title. The boys went through the carnival undefeated and beat Palm Beach 3-2 in the grand final.

The team trained for over three months, travelling to Redlands and Southport to play in lead up carnivals. A very dedicated team of young touch players.

Representatives from Applethorpe State School (Primary School of the Year) with Clive Berghofer.

Clive Berghofer Land Sales
Primary School of the Year for 2014
Applethorpe State School

At Applethorpe State School sport is an integral part of the school curriculum, and all students are actively involved in sporting activities. The Prep to Year 3 students have daily fitness and skills activities to prepare them for school sport in the later years and the upper school students are heavily involved in all forms of sporting activities. The School has hosted the Darling Downs Regional Football Trials since 2009 as well as the Zone “C” Schools Athletics Carnival. In 2014, Applethorpe State School hosted the return of the Granite Belt Zone Athletics Carnival, an event which had not been held since 1997. In 2014 their achievements included Zone Champions of Softball and Netball, “C” Schools Champions of Swimming & Athletics and Runners-up of Zone Championships Tennis.

They had three Darling Downs Regional representatives and thirteen Granite Belt Zone representatives in sports including basketball, football, athletics, cricket, netball, softball, swimming and tennis. This is an incredible result considering the school has an enrolment of only 32 students of which only 10 are eligible to play interschool sport.

Nick Byron from Fairholme College (Senior School of the Year) with Clive Berghofer.

Clive Berghofer Land Sales
Secondary School of the Year for 2014
Fairholme College

In 2014 Fairholme College produced 16 Queensland representatives and 100 Darling Downs representatives in 14 sports including AFL, Cricket, Cross Country, Equestrian, Football, Hockey, Netball, Orienteering, Swimming, Touch, Triathlon & Track & Field.

The Junior Knockout Athletics Team won the State Championships and the Senior Team finished 4th. These teams went on to compete at the National Championships where the Senior Team finished 4th. In the Toowoomba Secondary School Sport competition Fairholme retained the swimming champions title and won the Cross Country championships title. In this competition they entered 20 teams in the summer competition and 23 teams in the winter competition. One of their students, Dominique du Toit, won the Pierre De Couberton Award, awarded by the Queensland Olympic Council for outstanding sporting achievements, commendable sporting behaviour and exemplary leadership.

Junior runners-up Dominique du Toit and Shenae Ciesiolka.
  Senior Rookie of the Year Shane Wagner with Clive Berghofer.   Junior Rookie of the Year Ellie Bowyer with Ben Drew of the Toowoomba Chronicle.   Senior Chase Your Dream winner Joshua Robinson.
    Danielle Fox presents the John Fox Memorial Trophy to the Team of the Year - Toowoomba Twisters U/12 Touch Team.    
    Prizewinners on the night.