Minister Ayres said he is proud of the success that NSWIS athletes had enjoyed on the world stage during the year.
“This year was another bumper year for sport around the world, and I would like to congratulate all of the finalists who have been nominated at the NSWIS Awards,” Mr Ayres said.
“Earlier this year there were a record 29 NSWIS athletes included on the Australian Olympic Team and five on the AustralianParalympic Team, before a further 85 NSWIS athletes were selected for the Australian Commonwealth Games Team.
“As well as Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth success, there was also a number of NSWIS athletes crowned world champions in their respective sport.”
The NSWIS Awards recognise achievement in 11 award categories including academic excellence, career development, team and individual athletic performance.
Premier Mike Baird also attended the awards and presented snowboarder Cameron Bolton with the Ian Thorpe OAM Outstanding Achievement Award.
The honour of Female Athlete of the Year went to canoe slalom World Champion Jessica Fox, while Wheelchair Rugby player Ryley Batt was awarded Men’s Athlete of the Year.
“Jessica is a genuine superstar on the world stage, and as a fellow Penrith local, I’ve had the utmost pleasure seeing first hand her determination to rise to the top,” Mr Ayres added.
“Ryley Batt, who calls Port Macquarie home, led the Australian Wheelchair Rugby side to its maiden World Championship scoring an incredible 45 goals in the gold medal win over Canada.”
Other winners include Junior Athlete of the Year Georgia Wassall (Track & Field) and Coach of the Year Ben Ettridge (Wheelchair Basketball).
The awards come on the back of a stellar year for NSWIS athletes after great success at the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and various world championship events around the world.
“NSW has a long history of success at major international sporting events and the NSWIS Awards are a great way to acknowledge the hard work these athletes put in to succeed at the highest level,” Mr Ayres continued.
“Importantly, many of these athletes come from regional NSW, which is fantastic for sport in this State. It goes to show that no matter where you are from, if you have a sporting dream you are able to achieve it.”