The Sport Australia Hall of Fame has announced seven new inductees into what is considered the country’s most prestigious and exclusive sporting organisation.
NRL legend Johnathan Thurston, Socceroos great Tim Cahill, Olympic goal medal rower Kim Brennan, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games medallist Kurt Fearnley, Olympic aerial skier Lydia Lassila, Olympic gold medallist Nova Peris, and renowned Olympic rowing coach Tim McLaren are the newest inductees.
They will officially be welcomed into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Sydney on October 16.
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The seven sporting legends join some of Australia’s most revered athletes in the Hall of Fame.
« I received a call from John Bertrand to say I’d been inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and I thought it was a gee up, but I was very, very honoured, » Thurston – a two-time NRL premiership winner and four-time Dally M Medal recipient – said.
« I’ve got a lot of great memories on the rugby league field so it brought a smile to my face. It’s very humbling and I’m very proud. »
Hall of Fame selection chairman Bruce McAvaney paid tribute to the seven new inductees.
« In a year where the drama of sport has held us captive as a nation, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame welcomes six elite athletes and a coach who’ve left an indelible mark in their field, » McAvaney said.
« Every one of this year’s inductees has been instrumental in providing this country with unforgettable moments – whether it be at summer or winter Olympics, rugby league State of Origin or football’s World Cup.
« It doesn’t get any bigger or better than that. Diverse in their sporting prowess, each has excelled over a lifetime, paving the way for those who follow and stamping their own mark on history. »
At the same ceremony on October 16, two existing Hall of Fame members will also be elevated to Legend status. An athlete must have been retired for at least 15 years to be considered for Legend status.