The Champion Golfer of the Year, Cameron Smith, has added to his glittering list of accomplishments in 2022 by being named the Male Athlete of the Year at the AIS Sport Performance Awards in Sydney on Thursday night.
More than 350 guests attended the black-tie gala event to celebrate the incredible achievements of Australian athletes, coaches, leaders and volunteers over the past 12 months across Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games sports.
An Olympic representative in Tokyo in 2021, Smith took his game to new heights this year in what will stand as one of the great seasons in the glorious history of Australian golf.
Starting with a record-setting victory at the PGA TOUR’s Sentry Tournament of Champions in January, Smith claimed THE PLAYERS Championship, delivered one of major golf’s greatest ever finishes to win the 150th Open at St Andrews, won in just his second start on the LIV Golf tour and capped it all with a spectacular homecoming where he claimed a third Fortinet Australian PGA Championship title at Royal Queensland last month.
The 29-year-old was recognised not just for his on-course accomplishments but for becoming one of the greatest role models and mentors within Australian golf, highlighted by his willingness to give back to the game and Guinness World Record attempt for the largest golf lesson ever given alongside his long-time coach Grant Field.
Coming on the same day as the launch of Australia’s High Performance 2032+ Sport Strategy and the Win Well initiative – won for the first time by the Victorian Institute of Sport – Smith’s overall contribution to golf was a key factor in his award.
“Our judges also considered behaviours of sportsmanship, fair play, respect and integrity, broader contributions such as role modelling and leadership, and achievements beyond the sporting arena, like community involvement, academic and vocational achievements. It’s important to recognise and reward these qualities in our successful athletes,” said Australian Sports Commission CEO, Kieren Perkins OAM.
2022 ASPAs Award Winners
Male Athlete of the Year: Cam Smith, Golf Australia
Female Athlete of the Year: Jessica Stenson, Athletics Australia
Female Para-Athlete of the Year: Emily Petricola, AusCycling
Male Para-Athlete of the Year: Ben Tudhope, Snow Australia
Coach of the Year: Peter McNiel and Kate Blamey, Olympic Winter Institute of Australia
Emerging Athlete of the Year: Donnell Wallam, Netball Australia
High Performance Program of the Year: Athletics Australia
Award for Leadership: Petria Thomas, Commonwealth Games Australia
Team of the Year: Women’s Rugby 7s, Rugby Australia
Community Engagement Award: Kyle Vander-Kuyp, Athletics Australia
Win Well Award: Victorian Institute of Sport
Sport Volunteer of the Year Award: Nicole Williams, Cricket Australia