The Illawarra Academy of Sport, in partnership with the Illawarra Mercury are proud to re-ignite the Illawarra Sports Awards!

The Illawarra is one of Australia’s great sporting regions. From gold medal Olympians and Commonwealth Games talent, to world title heroes and elite rugby league, basketball and football stars, there’s a rich and proud history of success. Sport is part of our culture, our lifestyle and our economy.

The best of the Illawarra’s sporting stars will be honoured on 10 November when the re-branded and re-energised Illawarra Sports Awards presented by the Illawarra Academy of Sport (IAS), the Illawarra Mercury and the Illawarra Credit Union.

The aims and objectives of the prestigious Awards are to honour the region’s sporting achievements, congratulate our local sporting heroes and engender pride, unity and inspiration through their role modelling to the wider community in our region.

Awards will be provided for athletes within the following categories:

  • Male Athlete of the Year
  • Female Athlete of the Year
  • Coach of the Year
  • Team of the Year
  • Local Hero of the Year
  • Sporting Moment of the Year
  • People’s Choice Award

The last Illawarra Sports Awards dinner was held in 2012. Since then the Illawarra Mercury has continued the tradition through announcing a Sports Person of the Year and People’s Choice Winner.

Illawarra Academy of Sport CEO John Armstrong said, “The re-energised and re-branded Illawarra Sports Awards plays a very important role in honouring our sporting heroes and inspiring future ones.  It preserves the great sporting history of the Illawarra and ensures the legacy created by our past sports stars is continued.”

Illawarra Credit Union Chief Executive Anthony Perkiss said, “From the Illawarra Credit Union’s perspective, we want to support the Sports Awards and ensure people of the Illawarra get recognised for their achievements. As a local organisation, it’s great to be able to support local people. They’re making their way in their own right and it’s important to recognise their amazing achievements, it’s going to be a fantastic night.”

The Illawarra Sports Awards will be presented on 10 November 2022 during a gala dinner hosted by Matt Russell at The Fraternity Club. Ticket sales are now via the website for all that want to celebrate sport in the Illawarra. Book here!


Nominations are NOW OPEN! 

Nominations for the Team, Coach and Local Hero Awards and votes for the People’s Choice award are free to access through the Illawarra Mercury website

To be eligible for selection, nominees must be primarily based in the Illawarra or consider the Illawarra their home and have achieved outstanding results in their chosen sport at state, national or international level between the period of 1 July 2021 and 30 October 2022.

Judged by an independent panel and based on rated criteria, the awards aim to recognise the skill, dedication and work that goes into being the best of the best. The Local Hero Award is dedicated to those hard-working volunteers and stalwarts who help sport thrive in the region.

Nominations close on October 31, 2022.


For more information, head to


The Illawarra Sports Awards Background

In years past, the Awards were conducted by the Illawarra Mercury and known as the Illawarra Mercury Sportstar Awards culminating in a major Awards dinner bringing the sporting community of the Illawarra together.  The dinner disappeared in 2012 and since then, winners were announced in the Illawarra Mercury at the end of each month and year.

The Awards event now returns after a 10 year hiatus as the rebranded lllawarra Sports Awards and is now being conducted by the Illawarra Academy of Sport and presented by the Illawarra Mercury and Illawarra Credit Union along with other partners.

The Illawarra Sports Awards is about celebrating our sporting stars, acknowledging the community heroes who make sport happen and inspiring the next generation of Illawarra sportspeople.

In the past three decades, the Illawarra Academy of Sport has produced

  • 21 Olympians/Paralympians
  • 22 Commonwealth Games representatives
  • 11 world champions and
  • 75 senior national team representatives in the past three decades.

Add to this the many other sporting champions from our region who did not pass through the Academy.  We are a region that should stand proud.

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