For the first time, the NSW Hall of Champions Induction Ceremony and the NSW Sports Awards were presented at a combined Gala Dinner on Monday 27 November 2017. Six of New South Wales’ most exceptional athletes were inducted at this ceremony.
Ian Thorpe, inducted previously, was named an honorary Legend. The new inductees included basketball player Matthew Nielsen, cricketer Michael Clarke, cyclist Rochelle Gilmore, diver Matthew Mitcham OAM and hockey player Warren Birmingham.
Each year, the top sports men and women are nominated for selection from their discipline by the peak sporting bodies of NSW. These nominations are then short-listed by the Hall of Champions Selection Committee for approval by the NSW Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres, who said the induction into the Hall of Champions is a prestigious honour.
The NSW Hall of Champions is a sport museum and hall of fame that honours the achievements of NSW athletes who have been recognised amongst the nation’s best. Champion sportsmen and women are celebrated in the museum, along with great sporting moments and some of the most inspired performances throughout Australian history.
During his career, Ian broke 18 world records, won five gold, three silver and a bronze Olympic medal in 2000 and 2004, 11 World Championship titles, 10 Commonwealth Games gold medals and 9 Pan Pacific titles.
Between 1982 and 1994 Warren played for Australia 200 times including two Olympic Games, four World Cups and 11 Champions Trophies. He won World Cup gold in 1986, Olympic silver in 1992 and 5 Champions Trophies gold medals.
Matthew made Olympic history winning gold in the 10m platform at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. He won gold in this event for the next three years. At three Commonwealth Games he won six silver and one gold medal.
Between 1995 and 2013 Matthew competed at three Olympic Games, played 9 seasons with the Sydney Kings, and was Season and Finals MVP in 2004. Playing for European teams, he was 2010 EuroCup Finals MVP.
Ranked the best Test batsman in the world at his peak, Michael Clarke played 115 Test matches for Australia, 47 as captain. He scored eight Test centuries, and captained Australia to win the Ashes in 2013-14.
A talented track and road competitor, Rochelle won stages in European races, track and road World Cups, two silver World Championship track medals, and a gold and two silver Commonwealth Games medals.