NSW Swifts midcourter Kimberlee Green has capped off a stellar season by being crowned the NSW Swifts’ 2014 QBE Most Valued Player at the Club’s annual Gala Dinner held on Wednesday evening at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour.
This is the second time the 28-year-old has won the team’s highest individual honour, having first been the recipient last season, with the award voted on by the 10 ANZ Championship coaches during the regular season using the 3-2-1 system.
It’s been a rewarding seven days for the 2014 Australian Commonwealth Games Netball Team representative; having been selected at Centre in the 2014 FOXTEL ANZ Championship All-Stars Team last Thursday (19 June), followed by the announcement on Friday (20 June) that Green was voted the 2014 ANZ Championship co-MVP along with Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic English Import, Jo Harten.
In arguably her finest domestic season to date, the Swifts’ Captain received five game MVP nods (Rounds 4, 7, 9, 10 and 13), and in addition to Commonwealth Games honours, Green was selected in the 2014 Australian Diamonds Squad to contest Test Series against both the New Zealand Silver Ferns and England Netball Team during October of this year.
Previous winners of the prestigious NSW Swifts’ QBE Most Valued Player award are Susan Pratley (2012), Catherine Cox (2011, 2009, 2008) and Rebecca Bulley (2010).
Fan favourite Green also took home the Members’ Player of the Year title for the fourth consecutive year (2011-2014). In season 2014, the NSW Swifts enjoyed record-breaking membership with 1,676 supporters signing up to be Members, a 12% per cent increase on 2013 figures.
NSW Swifts Head Coach Rob Wright said; “Kim has been one of the country’s premier netballers for a number of years but has taken her game to another level in 2014, which has been reflected over the past week with a number of fan and industry based awards.
“As a Club we made a series of changes to our netball program and roster during the 2013 off-season, and then faced a number of injury hurdles at the start of the season. But Kim’s experience and strong leadership qualities helped guide the team through these challenges.
“Her own performances were a key factor in the Swifts claiming a Finals Berth for the first time in three seasons, and are why the coaches of all League Franchises bestowed Kim with this honour.
“Kim is a NSW Swift through and through, and I know claiming back-to-back QBE Most Valued Player and Members’ Player of the Year awards will be a cherished achievement for her,” concluded Wright.
Midcourter Sarah Wall was rewarded for her resolute contribution to the NSW Swifts, being named the 2014 NSW Swifts Coaches’ award winner. Introduced in 2013, the perpetual award is voted upon by the Swifts’ coaching staff and awarded to the player who demonstrated commitment to improved performance during competition matches and training through the season.
The 29-year-old Victorian was called up by the Swifts as a replacement player ahead of the Club’s Round Four game against the Queensland Firebirds following season-ending knee injuries to midcourters Paige Hadley and Netball NSW Emerging Elite Squad member Taylah Davies. Not having played in the ANZ Championship since the end of 2012 season, and after only two training sessions with the Swifts, the classy wing-attack started against the Firebirds and played every minute of the Swifts’ remaining games, with the exception of Round 13 where she was a late withdrawal through injury.
2013 recruit, Sharni Layton, was the recipient of this year’s Players’ Player award. The Players’ Player award is a peer-voted accolade and is based around performances on and off the court. The 26-year-old defender’s impact on the team wasn’t just measured by her performances on the court, but also the way she conducted herself off the court and her commitment to the team.
Layton was an integral member of the NSW Swifts 2014 Leadership Group, and although she missed Rounds Two and Three with a thumb injury, Sharni played a vital role in the success of the Club this season. Her on court efforts were also rewarded with selection in both the 2014 Australian Diamonds Squad and Australian Commonwealth Games Netball Team.
The Club Person of the Year award went to Netball NSW Sponsorship Manager, Sarah Sugar. Nominated by her colleagues for this acknowledgement, Sugar has been with the organisation for the past four years and works diligently to not only service the organisation’s corporate partners, but assists the Events Team to deliver high quality experiences at all Club functions.
During the Gala Dinner, the NSW Swifts celebrated a milestone season which included record Club Membership, the setting of a new ANZ Championship regular season crowd of 10,118 at the Swifts’ Round 12 Blockbuster at Allphones Arena, and the hosting of the first ever ANZ Championship game to be played in Canberra, when the Club played New Zealand opposition, the Southern Steel on ANZAC Day.
Presentations were also made to departing athletes Carla Dziwoki and Sonia Mkoloma for their contribution to the NSW Swifts over the past four and five years respectively.
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