Jessica Honoured with Prestigious Hall of Fame Award

21-Oct-2010

This evening in Melbourne at the prestigious Sport Australia Hall of Fame (SAHOF) Induction and Awards Dinner, Jessica was awarded the SAHOF “Spirit of Sport” award, for her courageous, inspirational and extraordinary sporting achievement that captured the hearts of the nation.

SAHOF introduced the 'Spirit of Sport' Award in 2005 and as an annual award, but to be granted, at the Board's discretion, for a performance that is very special and destined to be part of Australian sporting history.

To provide everyone with an idea of the enormity of this award, it has only been awarded twice before. Firstly to to Makaybe Diva – a three times Melbourne Cup Winner (for international supporters, the Melbourne Cup is a horse race that stops the nation in Australia) and the Melbourne Cricket Ground – another Australian icon.

Jessica is the third recipient which is an incredible honour to be bestowed upon her.

At a packed auditorium of over 900 guests at the Crown Palladium, including a plethora of famous Australian sporting personalities, Jessica was aptly presented the award by SAHOF Chairman John Bertrand, the victorious skipper of Australia’s 1983 America’s Cup campaign, that saw the winged keel of Australia 2, break 132 years of American domination – the longest running record in the history of modern sport.

John paid tribute to Jessica and she was given a huge ovation as she made her way to the stage.

“Jessica’ feat at the age of just 16 'captivated the world and she displayed courage and an enormous sense of adventure through her seven-month journey. She has done something remarkable that typifies the Spirit of Sport and she is a deserved recipient,” said Mr Bertrand.  

 Jessica again showed a maturity way beyond her years in her acceptance speech when John Bertrand asked her how she dealt with all the adversity of loneliness, the monster waves and storms on her voyage.

“There are so many great athletes in the room that understand what it is like to battle through the tough times and work towards achieving a goal. Just taking it one step at a time and day by day to achieve the end result,” said Jessica.

Jessica's proud parents Roger and Julie were present to watch Jessica accept this very special award. 

Congratulations to all the SAHOF inductees and also to the SAHOF organizing committee for staging an absolutely outstanding event which was enjoyed by all.

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