The Champions of Sport gala dinner was held on 18 November 2019 to induct six exceptional New South Wales athletes into the NSW Hall of Champions and elevate cricketer and commentator Richie Benaud OBE to Legend status. The NSW Sports Awards were also were also announced at the event.
The new inductees are rugby league champion Bradley Clyde AM, basketball superstar Lauren Jackson AO OLY, Brent Livermore OAM from hockey, surf lifesaving's John Holt OAM, cricketer Lisa Sthalekar, and football's Cheryl Salisbury.
Between 1988 and 2000 Bradley Clyde played 21 Tests for Australia, 14 State of Origins for NSW, 11 seasons with the Canberra Raiders, including three Grand Finals, and three seasons with the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs. He won the Clive Churchill medal twice.
With medals in two Olympic Games, three Commonwealth Games, ten Champions Trophies and three World Cups, Brent Livermore is one of Australia’s best hockey players. Between 1997 and 2010 Brent achieved 318 international caps, 67 as captain, and scored 29 international goals.
A pioneer, Cheryl Salisbury played 151 games for Australia, a record for either gender, and captained the Matildas for seven years until her retirement in 2009. She is Australia’s third highest female international goal scorer, with 38 representative goals.
John Holt dominated the Iron Man competition in the 1970s. In 123 Iron Man races he had 95 wins, eleven second and eight third places. He excelled in all surf disciplines and was an exceptional Masters triathlete.
Between 1997 and 2016 Lauren Jackson won four Olympic medals and was an MVP on four continents. She won World Championship and Commonwealth Games gold medals in 2006, and was the first non-American to win the WNBA MVP as a player with the Seattle Storm.
Australian captain, all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar claimed 229 wickets and scored 3,913 runs including three centuries from 187 international matches across Test, One-Day and T20 matches. She was the first woman to score 1,000 runs and take 100 wickets in ODIs.
Richie Benaud was the first Australian to take 200 wickets and score 2,000 runs in Test cricket. Captain in 28 matches, Richie was unbeaten in a Test series. He became cricket’s most recognisable media commentator.