Women and cricket shine at NSW awards

Adrian Warren

Cricket and women were the big winners at Monday's NSW Champions of Sport awards, though an untimely shoulder injury sidelined major prize winner Ellyse Perry.

The champion allrounder won the athlete of the year award, but wasn't present at The Star to collect her prize, after being ruled out of action for one to three weeks earlier on Monday with a low-grade AC joint injury she suffered the previous day.

She beat a hot field which included swimmer Cate Campbell, tennis player Alex De Minaur, and rugby league star James Tedesco.

Perry's prize was accepted in her absence by former Sydney Sixers and NSW Breakers teammate Lisa Sthalekar.

Allrounder Sthalekar gave an insight into the work ethic which has propelled Perry into the upper echelons of her sport.

"She wouldn't be where she is without he father Mark Perry, who has thrown thousands upon thousands of cricket balls to her and still does," Sthalekar said.

"She has always been one of the hardest trainers, always willing to do extra gym sessions batting, bowling.

"She basically spends her whole life at the cricket centre, and enjoys it and she loves the era she is in right now, being a professional athlete being able to dedicate all of her time to the sport."

Sthalekar was one of six inductees into the NSW Hall of Champion along with Bradley Clyde (rugby league), John Holt (surf life saving), Cheryl Salisbury (football), Lauren Jackson (basketball) and Brent Livermore (hockey).

Former Australian cricket captain, journalist and broadcaster Richie Benaud was elevated to the status of legend.

Legendary cricketer Glenn McGrath became just the third person behind rugby league's Laurie Dalay and netball's Liz Ellis to be awarded the Waratah, which recognises an individual's leadership in sport, their passion for NSW sport and their desire to achieve broader community outcomes.

Women collected several of the major individual awards.

Paratriathlon world champion Lauren Parker clinched back-to-back crowns for athlete of the year with a disability, indoor skydiver Amy Watson won young athlete of the year and Super Netball champions the NSW Swifts were named team of the year.

Simon Cusack, won coach of the year for his work with swimming's Campbell sisters.