Adelaide Thunderbirds centre Maddy Proud has won the 2016 Priceline Pharmacy Club Champion Award.
The 22-year-old’s energy and determination on court made her a run-away winner of the prestigious award.
Proud, who first joined the Thunderbirds as a 16-year-old school girl finished with 34 votes, well clear of runner-up Khao Watts (23 votes) and up and coming shooter Kristina Brice (21 votes).
“I’m very overwhelmed but very honoured. It’s incredible really,” Proud said on receiving her award.
“To join the likes of Natalie Von Bertouch and Erin Bell in winning this award is amazing. Nat is a woman I grew up idolising and to firstly be in the team with her is amazing and to share this award with her is even better.”
Goal shooter Kristina Brice was another big winner at the “Glitz and Glam” awards dinner at Adelaide Oval, taking home the Adelaide Thunderbirds Platinum Plus Members Award and officially receiving her trophy for being named the ANZ Championship Best New Talent for the 2016 season.
Making Brice’s win all the more remarkable is that she initially moved to Adelaide from NSW at the start of the season as a train on player with no guarantee of getting a game.
The 196cm shooter was called into action in Round 4 and never looked back. In the absence of injured shooter Carla Borrego, Brice scored 226 goals from 262 attempts at 86 per cent accuracy.
“I came down here and signed on as a training partner. I thought move away from home, get some training, hopefully have some court time, so to have the members vote for me is quite special,” an emotional Brice said.
“It means a lot to me that the Thunderbirds have given me a chance. I probably wouldn’t be playing or be where I am at the moment without them.”
Stoic goal defender Kate Shimmin was a worthy winner of the perpetual Tanya Denver Medal which is awarded to the player that demonstrates excellence and achievement on court, just as Tanya did in her work at The Advertiser as a sports journalist.
“I’ve spent the last six years at the Thunderbirds and being able to win this award and join the likes of Renae Ingles and Bec Bulley is such an honour, and I’m so privileged to be able to receive this award,” Shimmin said.
Club great Emily Beaton was sent off in style at the awards night which was hosted by television and radio personality Chrissy Swan.
Beaton topped off her career with the Adelaide Thunderbirds when she received The Players Award for best embodying the spirit and values of the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
“The thing I’ve enjoyed most about playing netball is the people, and that is why this award means so much to me,” Beaton said.
One of the highlights of the night was Erin Bell’s “captain’s speech” which featured the Adelaide Thunderbirds leadership group rapping about the 2016 season
Images- Andrew Frackowski
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Story- Supplied Adelaide Thunderbirds