Hockey player Jacqui Tonkin named Esperance Sports Star of the Year 2017

The multi-talented Jacqui Tonkin has been named as the 2017 Sports Star of the Year for her contributions to hockey, basketball, squash, and surf life saving.

Sporting royalty Gail Anderson was inducted into the Esperance Sporting Hall of Fame, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd, before also being named as the Shire of Esperance Veteran Sports Star of the Year.

Ms Anderson is about to enter her 50th year of playing hockey, and has filled those years with countless other sporting commitments.

Young gun Ben Murgatroyd, 13, claimed Telstra Junior Sports Star of the Year, who qualified for the both the short and long course WA championships, claiming two gold, two silver, and 5 bronze medals.

Team of the year went to the Esperance Netball Association under 17s championship team, who claimed won the grand final of the WA State netball Championships.

Horizon Power Sports Star of the Year Ms Tonkin was the top goal scorer for the Furies team, as well as fairest and best.

She was part of the WA Country State team which finished fourth at the nationals.

The sports star was also voted senior umpire for hockey of the year and was the runner-up club champion in squash.

Ms Tonkin said receiving the award was an “absolute honour” and something she wasn’t expecting.

“I do a lot of sports and it’s nice to be recognised, I know lots of other people deserve it through their umpiring, coaching, playing, things like that,” she said.

“I’m lucky that I’ve got such a supportive crew, and family and friends, and everyone around me.

Ms Tonkin said awards like this were important in promoting sport in the community and the dedicated people involved.

“I feel like grass roots sports doesn’t get enough acknowledgement,” she said. 

“I think a lot of the kids find it so difficult to get up to Perth to do all those things and I think we’re very lucky that we have multiple sports that we can play.

“It’s cheaper, it’s closer and you just make so many friends. It’s a big part of the community.”

Ms Tonkin thanked everyone who attended the awards night for supporting sport at a local level.

“Congratulations to all the people that were nominated, they thoroughly deserve.”

Esperance’s own big wave surfer and founder of Shark Eyes Shanan Worrall was a guest speaker at the event said it was great to see the community come together for the awards.

“It’s a fantastic night for sure, there’s a real community feel to it,” he said.

“To have a place to be able to come together and then actually recognise these people is going to be able then progress them into the next level of their sport.”