Stars snatch up coveted annual gongs

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
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Hedland’s top sportspeople were celebrated last week at the annual Citizen of the Year and Sports Awards.

With 31 nominees across four sports categories, it was Nathan Groch, Mackayla Denney, Wayne Stokes and the Port Hedland Netball Association who came out on top in their respective categories.

As junior sports person of the year, Mackayla said she was stoked to be the winner out of the 11 nominees in her category.

“It was a tough line-up to beat that one, so it was a bit surprising but I’m so stoked and very grateful to be chosen,” she said.

“As much as Hedland is a small town and opportunities are hard to come by, if you keep pushing and working towards your goal’s awards will come and experiences will come.”

Port Hedland’s home-grown professional triathlete Groch took home the sports star of the year award with a few words of advice for the junior nominees.

“Focus on the basics, set small targets for you to chip away at and you’ll get there,” he said.

“You’ve got a really good opportunity being in Port Hedland.

“It’s not the easiest area to train and compete from but it gives you a really good base to build from.”

For volunteering in countless roles in various sports and clubs, Stokes won sporting volunteer of the year award and the Port Hedland Netball Association’s hard work getting its new pavilion up and running saw it take out the sporting club of the year award.

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