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Our team developed a unique annual property called the Sports Dad of the Year. The activity is designed to highlight Australia's celebrity sportsman who are fathers, providing a rare insight into their everyday family lives, with the winner announced on Father's Day.

All forms of media have joined in on profiling this unique property with social media now playing a major part in deciding the winner. Channel 9 and News Limited have been the competitions media partners since the inception in 2009 with our major commercial partner Philips, male grooming. The finalist Sports Dad's are profiled on a uniquely designed website sportsdads.com.au which include questions and answers from the athletes about their families, as well as comments from their partners and children plus never before seen family photos. The public are then directed to vote where major prizes can be won.

Some of the biggest names in Australian sport have participated including previous world number one and two-time grand slam tennis champion Lleyton Hewitt, world surfing champion Joel Parkinson, Olympian and world champion swimmer Michael Klim and one of the world's most feared batsman, Australian Test hero David Warner who won the award in 2016. The NRL representatives have always been strong since the awards inaugural winner Wests Tigers hero John Skandalis' and have included ex NSW Origin skipper Paul Gallen, ex Australian Test and QLD Origin captain Cameron Smith and our recent 2018 winner and one of the great modern day champions Johnathan Thurston who also won the award in 2015, along with now retired legends Corey Parker, Brett Kimmorley, Nathan Hindmarsh and Wendell Sailor as well as Anthony Minichiello our 2014 winner. AFL has always been the dominate code in the competition when Brett Kirk notched up the codes win in 2010, this was followed by Hawthorn premiership winning captain Sam Mitchell in 2011 and Swans two-time premiership winner Jude Bolton in 2013. Other AFL champions to have featured include Brownlow medal winner Adam Cooney and Richmond Tigers premiership winning skipper Trent Cotchin and as well as retired superstars Matthew Lloyd, Michael O'Loughlin and Nick Maxwell. Representing the round ball code have been ex Socceroo World Cup stars including the man who kicked the Socceroos to their first World Cup in 32 years, John Aloisi with fellow teammates Mark Schwarzer and the man who's regarded as an icon for Australian sport, Tim Cahill. Wallabies captain Stephen Moore had previously carried rugby union's hopes along with World Cup legend Nathan Sharpe. Finally, ex world cycling superstar and Tour de France champion Robbie McEwen along with fellow road racer and V8 Supercar star Mark 'Frosty' Winterbottom, who won the the event in 2012, rounded out the list of some of the competitions favourites.

The Sports Dad of the Year celebrity winner is provided with funds to donate to his charity of choice with over $60,000 donated to numerous charities. Below are our previous winners;

  • 2009 Winner - John Skandalis, NRL - Wests Tigers (donated $5,000 to Sydney Children's Hospital)

  • 2010 Winner - Brett Kirk, AFL - Sydney Swans (donated $10,000 to Redkite)

  • 2011 Winner - Sam Mitchell, AFL - Hawthorn FC (donated $5,000 to Ronald McDonald House)

  • 2012 Winner - Mark 'Frosty' Winterbottom, V8 Supercars (donated $10,000 to National Breast Cancer Foundation)

  • 2013 Winner - Jude Bolton, AFL - Sydney Swans (donated $5,000 to Redkite)

  • 2014 Winner - Anthony Minichiello, NRL - Sydney Roosters (donated $10,000 to Steggles Roosters Charity Nest)

  • 2015 Winner - Johnathan Thurston, NRL - North Queensland Cowboys (donated $5,000 to The Mark Hughes Foundation)

  • 2016 Winner - David Warner, Cricket (donate $10,000 to Make-A-Wish Australia)

  • 2018 Winner - Johnathan Thurston, NRL - North Queensland Cowboys (donated $5,000 to The Mark Hughes Foundation)

In 2013 the success of the celebrity activity gave way to developing a community activity with local Australian sports dads being recognised and given the chance to be crowned the Community Sports Dad of the Year. The Community Sports Dad nominee can be any dad, whether it's a dad that coaches his local junior team, helps the local sports club with funding or support, or simply plays competitive sport on the weekend.  Thousands of entries are received each year highlighting these wonderful father's who are inspirations to their local community.

The Sports Dad of the Year community winner is provided with funds to donate to their sports club of choice, these funds are used to buy sports equipment and to generate extra support for their local sports club.  Below are our previous winners;

  • 2013 Winner - Tony Vecellio (OAM), Randwick (donated $5,000 voucher to Randwick Botany Little Athletic Centre)

  • 2014 Winner - Gary Timperley, Byron Bay (donated $5,000 voucher to Byron Bay Surf Lifesaving Club)

  • 2015 Winner - Jason Greenhalgh, Orange (donated $5,000 voucher to Bloomfield Junior RLFC)

  • 2016 Winner - Stephen Bissett, Eastwood (donated $5,000 voucher to Eastwood St Andrews AFC)

  • 2017 Winner - Richard Galea, Blacktown (donated $5,000 voucher to Blacktown City Swimming Club)

  • 2018 Winner - Bill Soliola, Bankstown (donated $5,000 voucher to Berala Bears Junior RLFC)