In a first for Dubbo College, both the senior and junior Western School Sports Association (WSSA) Sportsperson of the Year awards have been secured by students from the same school.
Dubbo College Year 12 student Eloisa Purtell was voted Senior Sportsperson of the Year while Sophie McAneney of Year 7 took out the junior award for 2021.
Purtell's achievements span an array of sports including hockey, touch football, league tag and athletics.
The highlight of her year was selection in the NSW Combined High Schools (CHS) Open Girls Hockey team. She was the only player to be selected from the Western area.
Making the achievements more impressive is the fact Purtell was also completing her HSC this year.
"I was absolutely shocked and very humbled to receive this award," she said.
"I know a lot of other Western athletes who would have been very deserving.
"It has been a challenging year, juggling sport and my studies. I took my schoolbooks on every trip we did.
"I became really good at utilising my time efficiently. Whilst travelling, after training or before and after game day - I'd always found time to study or work on my assessments to ensure I didn't fall behind."
McAneney excelled in swimming, netball, and athletics in 2021.
She broke the 12 years girls high jump athletics record and was crowned 12 years swimming champion of South Campus. McAneney went on to be selected in the NSW CHS and NSW Allschools Swimming teams.
Despite all those achievements and the huge amount of work McAneney has put in, the award still came as a shock.
"It was really unexpected," she said.
"I didn't realise my achievements throughout the year would give me such an award."
Dubbo College Sports Organiser, Craig May, was extremely proud of the achievements in what has been a challenging year for school students all over the country.
"We have experienced numerous disruptions to sporting events throughout the year," he said.
"Ellie and Sophie's awards highlight the sheer determination, strength and resilience of some of our elite sporting students.
"Their achievements this year along with receiving these prestigious regional awards are a testament to both Ellie and Sophie's commitment to their sport and showcase Dubbo College's depth of sporting talent."
Nominations for Western Schools Sports Association awards are received from schools across the Western region and are voted on by the Western Schools Sport Association executive.
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