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19 February 2020
Horsham’s Kelly Miller has continued her dramatic rise in national and international triathlon competition by collecting the 2019 Wimmera Sports Star of Year award.
She won from a talented list of nominees during an awards presentation at Horsham’s Holy Trinity Lutheran College hall.
Miller has had a massive year in triathlon competition, collecting a variety of accolades, and only five years after taking on the gruelling swim-cycle-run sport.
In December last year she won an Ironman All World Athlete gold-status award after shining in world championship and major Australian ironman events and being Elite Triathlon Performance Australia’s Female Athlete of the Year.
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She said on receiving her award on Friday night she was ‘feeling absolutely on top of the world. Very excited’.
Miller said she had initially taken part in Horsham short-course triathlons, but wanting greater challenges took up marathon running and eventually triathlons.
“One thing just led to another and I just wanted to see how far I could get,” she said.
“It’s lots of work. I’m up really early every morning and I train every day, sometimes two or three times a day.”
Miller, who has been competing in a 40 to 44-year age group and also challenging in events overall, encouraged people to follow their dreams.
“If you have a dream and passion it really is possible. Just be patient and pick something that’s in reach,” she said.
She also thanked all her friends, family members and sponsors who had helped her compete among the world’s best.
Miller will now compete in a half-marathon in Geelong this weekend, has already qualified for a world half-ironman in New Zealand, and will work to return to Hawaii where she finished sixth in her age group in Ironman World Championships.
Other nominees for the Wimmera award included tennis prodigy Jess McDonald, Horsham College triathlete Ella Walsgott, Horsham school aerobics talent Jaya Meadows, Horsham schoolboy footballer Brody Pope, former Horsham Saints footballer Mitch Martin, now with Glenelg, Horsham Pony Club member Morgan Lane and Horsham Demons AFLW player Nekaela Butler.
Jaya won an Ian Niblett Scholarship Fund, awarded each year to an athlete or coach who is showing outstanding talent on their pathway journey. She also won a junior athlete of the year award.
A grassroots award recognising home-grown talent achieving at the highest level possible went to St Kilda footballer Sebastian Ross. Last year’s sports star Sophie Martin was also inducted into a Wimmera Sports Star of the Year Hall of Fame.
Horsham golfer Jenny McRae won a veterans award on the back of winning her 18th consecutive club championship.
Natimuk United Football Netball Club under-14s won a sportsmanship award and a women in sport award went to Rebecca McIntyre for her volunteer work in regional basketball.
An unsung hero award went to dedicated volunteer Sallyanne Ison from Horsham Saints Football Netball Club.
Amanda Wik, who coached aerobics star Meadows to state and national titles despite undergoing treatment for cancer, won a coach award.
St Brigid’s College won a sporting school award for individual and team performances and Dimboola Football Netball Club netball director Ant Toet clinched an administrator award.
Club of the year went to Horsham Amateur Basketball Association and team of the year went to Volleyball Horsham Men’s Division-One Country Championships gold medal-winning team.
Active for All Abilities trophies went to Jack Werner, local, and Josh Barry, national. A Koori award went to teenage cricketer Dylan Newell.
Olympian Melissa Tapper was guest speaker at the awards and demonstrated her skills against willing challengers.
The entire February 19, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!