Former Australian hockey star Alyson Annan OAM has been announced as the seventh and final Inductee into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame at the National Sports Museum this afternoon.
Annan joins Clint Robinson OAM (surf life saving, canoe/kayak), Graeme Lloyd (baseball), Ron Coote AM (rugby league), Stan ‘The Man’ Longinidis (kick boxing), Victor Kovalenko OAM (coach, sailing) and Ted Harris AC (sports administration) as 2013 Inductees.
Each will receive the highest national sporting honour that can be bestowed when they are officially inducted at The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Annual Induction and Awards Gala Dinner, proudly presented by Etihad Airways at Crown Melbourne tonight.
Annan was a pivotal force in the Australian women’s hockey team which played with global dominance for almost a decade. The team’s feats included five consecutive Champions Trophies between 1993 and 1999, two World Cups (1994 and 1998) and two Olympic gold medals (1996 and 2000).
Annan was the leading goal scorer at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and at the World Cup in 1998 and was a member of the Hockeyroos side that won the first ever Commonwealth Games gold medal, in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, beating England 8-1 in the final. She represented Australia 228 times and her 166 career goals for Australia remain unmatched.
“To be recognised by The Sport Australia Hall of Fame is a great honour.
Although Annan is being recognised for her individual achievements within the sport she continues to carry her famous team spirit and gratitude to coach, Ric Charlesworth.
“We were all motivated to be the best we can be,” said Annan.
“Ric Charlesworth’s undeniable ability to bring the best and the worst out in people is extraordinary.
“It is a shame that it is only when you get older that you begin to realise just how good it was, how great our team was and how dedicated we were to achieve our goals.”
Robert de Castella MBE, Chairman of The Sport Australia Hall of Fame selection committee recognised Annan’s individual contribution to her team’s ultimate success.
“Alyson was voted the best in the world in 1999 and her record of representing Australia almost 230 times and having been a prolific scorer with an acknowledged ability as a game winner contributed to her success,” de Castella said.
“She scored 166 goals across her international career which is just a phenomenal accomplishment.”
Cam Vale, Hockey Australia Chief Executive, said “The award is an honour truly befitting an individual of her status. She is without doubt one of the greatest hockey players ever to grace the turf in Australian colours.”
“Throughout the 1990s, she was arguably the best player in the world; a brilliantly skilful midfield player with an outstanding goal scoring record, she had it all – skill, strength, tactical nous and an unquenchable desire to succeed,” Vale added.
“Not only did Alyson play a fundamental role in the success of the Hockeyroos on the pitch, she helped to put our sport on the map, inspiring women to pick up a stick and earning hockey a special place in the hearts of Australians everywhere.”
Established in 1985, The Sport Australia Hall of Fame aims to preserve and celebrate the history of Australian Sport and excite the next generation of Australians to achieve their potential both in sport and in life.
With a vision and values built around the words of the first Inductee and Legend, Sir Donald Bradman AC, The Sport Australia Hall of Fame is determined to carry to all Australians everywhere the symbol of excellence, as represented by its 518 Members across all sports and genders.
For more information about The Sport Australia Hall of Fame, visit www.sahof.org.au.