Australia’s snow sport community gathered at the Snow Australia Awards in Melbourne to celebrate the remarkable performances over the last 12 months, with four snowboarders from the NSW Institute of Sport claiming top honours.
The outstanding success achieved by Australian athletes on the World Cup circuit and at the World Championships meant it was extremely difficult to single out an individual performance.
Snowboard Cross Team event World Champions Belle Brockhoff (NSWIS) and Jarryd Hughes (NSWIS) won the coveted Athlete of the Year awards (Olympic disciplines) alongside World Championship gold medalist and back-to-back FIS Aerials Crystal Globe winner Laura Peel.
Ben Tudhope (NSWIS) was recognised with the Athlete of the Year award for Paralympic Disciplines, the second consecutive award for the Para Snowboarder who was the winner in 2020.
Tudhope said it was amazing just to be able to travel and compete this season, given the many logistical challenges posed by the pandemic.
“Even to compete at just one event has been amazing,” he said.
“Now I am looking forward to next season. We have a big year ahead of us with the World Championships in January and the Paralympic Winter Games in March. They are two major competitions back to back so I am very excited about it.”
Belle Brockhoff and Jarryd Hughes made history when they won the first ever Snowboard Cross team event at the 2021 Snowboard World Championships. The duo are now looking forward to competing together again at Beijing 2022, where the discipline will make its Olympic debut in less than 10 months.
16-year-old Snowboard Halfpipe talent Valentino Guseli (NSWIS) was recognised as Junior Athlete of the Year. The young and upcoming athlete is currently based overseas, but he sent a video message to thank the snow sport community for the award.
Snow Australia announced that its traditional Outstanding Achievement Award had been renamed the Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin Outstanding Achievement Award, to honour the memory of the two-time Snowboard Cross World Champion who tragically passed away in July last year. The award was presented to aerial skier Dani Scott for her amazing comeback season, after spending three years away from the snow due to injuries.
Snow Australia also celebrated six snowsport athletes who recently announced their retirement: two-time Crystal Globe winner Joany Badenhorst (Para Snowboard), double Olympians Kent Callister (Snowboard Halfpipe) and Anton Grimus (Ski Cross), 2018 Olympian Claudia Gueli (Mogul Skiing), 2018 Paralympic Champion Simon Patmore (Para Snowboard) and two-time Paralympian Victoria Pendergast. Snow Australia wishes them all the best with their future endeavours.