March 9, 2016

Sportsperson of the Year – Governor’s Award

We are delighted to announce that that the 2015 Sportsperson of the Year Award will be shared.  Congratulations to Dylan Alcott OAM (tennis) and Michelle Payne (horse racing) for taking out the honours.  The two recipients could not be separated by the voting panel and as such were both be named Sportsperson of the Year.

Dylan Alcott’s remarkable year saw him take home 12 titles in total including two majors, the Australian Open Wheelchair Quad Singles and the US Open Wheelchair Quad Singles.  To go with the myriad of titles, Alcott was also awarded the Most Outstanding Athlete with a Disability at both the Victorian and Australian Tennis Awards, Male Athlete of the Year at the Disability Sport and Recreation Victoria Awards, Award of Excellence from the Victorian Institute of Sport and was a nominee for the Newcombe Medal (first ever athlete with a disability to be nominated for this award).  He has also been a keynote speaker for the Ted X talks series in Sydney.  His speech can be seen here.  His speech more recently at the TedX Youth@Sydney can be viewed here.

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Michelle Payne has had to go through her own trials along the way, including a number of serious falls but has shown great determination to get herself back to the top of her profession.  She has become a trailblazer for females across the industry.

Working in a male-dominated industry has had its fair share of difficulties, however Payne has become regarded as one of the best jockeys in Victoria, demanding the respect of her peers on the back of her success.

Payne is the youngest of 10 children and has followed in the footsteps of seven of her siblings by becoming a professional jockey.

Her maiden Group one victory came in 2009 when she guided Allez Wonder to victory in the Toorak Handicap for Hall of Fame trainer Bart Cummings.

She added a further three Group ones to her resume joining up with Yosei to claim the 2010 Sires’ Produce, 2010 Thousand Guineas and 2011 Tatts Tiara for Caulfield-based trainer Stuart Webb.

It was one of Darren Weir’s gallopers, Prince of Penzance that helped etched Payne’s name into the record books forever as she guided the six-year-old son of Pentire to victory in the 2015 Emirates Melbourne Cup becoming the first female rider to do so.

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Congratulations to both Dylan and Michelle on your outstanding achievements throughout 2015.  We wish you both the best for 2016 and beyond.

See Dylan collect the award below: