The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is calling on the nation’s sports fans to vote for their favourite athlete and team as part of its annual awards ceremony, the AIS Sport Performance Awards.
A public vote will determine the ABC Sports Personality of the Year and the Destination NSW Team of the Year for 2015, with the winners to be announced at a gala ceremony at Star City in Sydney on 24 February.
The AIS Sport Performance Awards – or ASPAs – are a celebration of the nation’s sporting achievements and will see winners crowned in a number of categories including: male athlete; female athlete; para-performance; and emerging athlete of the year.
AIS director Matt Favier said the people’s choice awards were a great way to get the nation’s fervent sports fans involved in the action.s
‘It was an extraordinary year for Australian sport in 2015 with so many triumphs in the international arena at world championships and some stunning feats in our domestic competitions,’ said Favier. ‘This year promises to be even more exciting, with many of our athletes focused on the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.
‘Sport inspires so much debate and is a great talking point; people are passionate about the teams they support and athletes they admire. I urge all Australian fans to become a selector for a day, cast your vote and help us choose Australia’s favourite team and personality for 2015.’
Voting has opened and closes 17 February. Last year’s public vote sparked a lot of interest, the NRL’s South Sydney Rabbitohs and Paralympic champion Kurt Fearnley taking out the Team and Personality categories respectively.
Fearnley was stunned to take out last year’s award. ‘It was a great honour,’ Fearnley said. ‘This ASPA award is also an opportunity for the public to vote for an athlete that gives to the community and not just their sport.’
The public will get a chance to vote for one of 10 teams and 15 sporting personalities. This year’s ASPAs will also include an award voted on by Australian media – The Best Sporting Moment of 2015.
The ASPAs are being staged with the support of Destination NSW and the ABC.
Sports fans will also get to be part of the action and vote online for their favourite athlete and team at http://aisawards.abc.net.au.