There are five awards presented each year to worthy recipients:
Sportsperson of the Year
This prestigious event is held in February each year and finalists whose principal place of residence is Ballarat are nominated by a panel in both senior and junior sections. The Ballarat Sportsperson of the Year Award is an acknowledgement of the outstanding performances of an athlete(s) during a calendar year.
An athlete’s achievements at international, national, state and the local level will be taken into consideration. It can be awarded for a number of sporting successes or for one individual performance. This prestigious award commenced in 1960 and has seen thirty-two Ballarat athletes receive this honour during the past 60 years.
Recognising that there are many people in sporting organisations who are playing a self-sacrificing role in sport, but receiving little recognition for their dedicated service, the committee of the Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club inaugurated the Mackenzie Award. This was to be both a tribute to these people and to the monumental contribution to the BSC by the late Ken Mackenzie. In 2022 it was renamed the MacKenzie/Valpied award in regonition of the service to the club’s administration by the late Bruce Valpied. The recipient is a person who had made or is still making a major contribution to Ballarat sport, behind the actual scene of participation.
The Junior Award is known as the Wunhym Trophy generously donated by the family of the late Jack Wunhym who was an outstanding sportsman and coach in Ballarat. The was first awarded in 1967.
To win this prestigious award the young person must be aged 17 and under in the calendar year of the award. Over the years the standard of our young contestants has improved dramatically, evidenced by their success in State, National and World titles in a diverse variety of sports. The late Jack Wunhym, after whom the trophy is named, spent many years of his life in the watching and encouragement of Junior Sports people in more than one sport.
The difficulty faced by a Team Player in winning the Sportsperson of the Year is emphasised by the statistics which show that only a small percentage of previous winners have been in that category.
Recognising this problem, the Club decided that excellence in Team Sports should be rewarded and encouraged. The Hollioake Medallion is therefore a fitting tribute both to the recipient and to the person whose name it bears. Life Member Rex Hollioake has made an outstanding contribution to sport in Ballarat, both on and off the field.
Over many years the Club Committee has seen many great Coaches, Mentors and Trainers assist in the development and growth of sport and athletes within the region. The Committee believes that the outstanding contribution and achievement of such people should be acknowledged and encouraged. The Widmer Award is a fitting tribute to both the recipients of the award and the person whose name it bears, the late Alan Widmer. Alan was a true gentleman whose heart and talent are woven into the Club’s history.
Thompson Scholarship Award
The Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club has a proud history of supporting the development of local athletes and sporting associations through various activities and events, including the provision of significant financial contributions over many years. The Club Committee wishes to continue this financial support as local associations seek to provide their athletes with greater opportunities for growth and development. This Award will provide a platform to continue this support within the region. This Award is named in Honor of Life Member Mr Neil Thompson who, with his wife Norma, provided outstanding service to our Club including 35 years as Honorary Secretary as well as major involvement in every significant event during his 40 years on the Club Committee. Neil has laid strong foundation stones for this Club just as this Scholarship Award aims to do for future sporting aspirants.