Stars shine at end-of-season award ceremony

Following a stand-out 2018 netball season, acclaimed netballers Stephanie Wood and Karla Pretorius have picked up a swag of awards at A Night with Lightning – Sunshine Coast Lightning’s end-of-season awards function held in Mooloolaba on 31 August.

The duo shares the title of Player of the Year, with Wood also awarded Members’ Player of the Year and Pretorius picking up Players’ Player of the Year.

Sunshine Coast Lightning Head Coach Noeline Taurua said both players had shone on the court in 2018, marking themselves as key playmakers throughout the season.

“Stephanie’s performance has been very consistent from week to week and she’s really consolidated our attacking end,” Taurua said.

“She’s highly regarded as a long-range specialist within the goal circle and is an integral part of the Lightning team.

“At the defence end, Karla shows plenty of grit on court and has won us a lot of ball over the course of the 2018 season.

“She recorded the most intercepts of any player this year and was named in the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball Team of the Year earlier this month. We couldn’t be prouder of her efforts.

“Both players are truly deserving of these accolades and I’m wrapped to see their achievements recognised.”

Defender Jacqui Russell took home the Team Spirit Award for her embodiment of the Club’s values on and off the court and she was also recognised for making her Suncorp Super Netball debut earlier this year.

“Jacqui is someone who really thrives in a team environment and who brings out the best in those around her,” Taurua said.

“Nothing is ever too much trouble for her and she always shows up with a positive attitude, ready to work hard.”

Other awards went to Jen Martin, who took out the Volunteer of the Year category for her assistance at Lightning home games, and Claire Sanders, who was named Fan of the Year by the Sunshine Coast Daily.

The Club’s Community and Fan Engagement Manager, Georgia Galton, was awarded Club Person of the Year in a nod to her efforts behind the scenes coordinating home games and engaging with the Sunshine Coast community.

In addition to the awards, Lightning captain Geva Mentor was recognised for marking 150 national league games throughout the year, with Laura Scherian and Stephanie Wood commended for reaching the 50-game milestone.

Caitlin Bassett was also given a nod for being one of only a handful of shooters in the Suncorp Super Netball competition to score 1,000 goals and Erena Mikaere was recognised for her contribution to the Club as she prepares to relocate to New Zealand to play in the ANZ Championship in 2019.

A Night with Lightning was held at Pier 33 in Mooloolaba on 31 August. More than 200 people attended including Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson and Cr Jason O’Pray.

Award snapshot:

  • Player of the Year – Karla Pretorius and Stephanie Wood
  • Players’ Player of the Year – Karla Pretorius
  • Members’ Player of the Year – Stephanie Wood
  • Team Spirit Award – Jacqui Russell
  • Volunteer of the Year – Jen Martin
  • Fan of the Year – Claire Sanders
  • Club Person of the Year – Georgia Galton

To find out more about Sunshine Coast Lightning, please visit www.sunshinecoastlightning.com.au.