Nominations have been announced for the 2015 Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Awards, with the sport of swimming being well-represented.
Established in early 1980’s, the AIS Awards ceremony is held annually in February to honor outstanding athletic performances throughout the previous year. Past winners of the AIS Athlete of the Year Award include swimmers Michael Klim (1998/1999), Petria Thomas (2001/2002, 2004) and Alicia Coutts (2012).
This year’s list of Sports Personality of the Year nominees includes four-time Paralympic gold medalist Ellie Cole. The 24-year-old burst onto the paralympic swimming scene in 2008, where she racked up a silver and 2 bronze medals while competing at the Beijing Olympic Games. At the 2012 London Olympic Games, Cole earned her 4 golds and 2 bronze medals, before being forced to sit out 2013 due to undergoing double shoulder reconstruction surgery.
At last year’s Paralympic World Championships, Cole won world titles in the 100m freestyle S9, 100m backstroke S9 and 4x100m medley relay 34 points. In the 100m backstroke event in Glasgow, Cole established a brand new World Record, making her case for AIS Athlete of the Year.
In terms of Sports Team of the Year nominees, the Australian women’s 4x100m freestyle relay from the 2015 FINA World Championships made the short list. In Kazan, the combination of Cate Campbell, Bronte Campbell, Emily Seebohm and Emma McKeon clocked a new Championships Record en route to gold, the nation’s first in the event since 2007.
With a leg of 51.77 in the 3rd slot of the relay, Bronte Campbell produced the 2nd-fastest 100m free split in history to contribute to the 3:31.48 team effort. The win further establishes the Australian women as a huge medal contender in the event at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio.
The Sports Personality of the Year and Sports Team of the Year are determined via public voting at the AIS Awards website through February 17th. The ceremony is slated to be held in Sydney on February 24th.