Seven Hills swimmer Clary Munns is Blacktown Council’s 34th Sportsperson of the Year.
The 72-year-old grandmother swims for the Blacktown City Masters Swimming Club and broke six world records, 26 Australian records and 28 NSW records in 2015.
She added a further two world records in 2016.
Mrs Munns said being named Sportsperson of the Year was “wonderful and overwhelming”.
A swimmer when she was young, Mrs Munns started swimming again as a 44-year old.
“When the kids were swimming, I thought I’d get back into it and it took off from there,” she said.
“I had a break when my granddaughter was born but I think swimming is great because it keeps the body loose and keeps your body feeling younger.”
Born in Denmark, Mrs Munns moved to Australia in 1973 before she settled in Seven Hills 30 years ago.
Despite recognition for her haul of records over the past two years, Mrs Munns said she doesn’t worry too much about beating times.
“Records are meant to break,” she said. “You break them and then you move on. Somebody younger comes along and breaks them and it doesn’t matter. I just think patience and persistence, it pays off.”
Mrs Munns will swim at the national masters championships in Queensland next month.
Clary Munns’ win as Sportsperson of the Year capped off a huge night at the 34th annual Blacktown City Sports Awards.
Isaiah Lazaro was the winner of the Junior Sportsperson of the Year award for his efforts in Brasilian jiu jitsu.
The 14-year-old had a huge year after he won the NSW under-14s championship in the 54-56kg class; won the Pan-Asian championship; and finished second at the Brasilian jiu jitsu world titles.
“I didn’t know that I was going to get it so it was really emotional and I’m touched to get it,” Isaiah said.
“With so many nominees and so many great sportspeople, it’s an honour and I’m so grateful for them to pick me.”
The champion from the Gracie Barra gym at Kings Park also uses his status as a martial arts champion to speak up about bullying.
Retiring Blacktown and District Soccer Football Association executives Jack Taylor and Dane Sim were named the Mayoral Shield winners for their service to football in the area.
Current chief executive Taylor it was a nice honour just before retirement.
“You don’t do what you do so people will recognise it but every so often it’s nice that somebody notices what you’ve done,” he said.
“I leave the association next week after 40 years and it’s come a long way. We’ve done very well and a lot of good people work with us.”
Sim, who retired in November after 20 years with the association and another 10 in local athletics, said the award was a surprise.
“I feel honoured. I had no idea I was coming here to win something,” he said.
“I’m very humbled by it especially being recognised for services to the community, it’s nice to be recognised in that aspect.”
The Team of the Year title went to the Hills Sports High School under-15 boys Bill Turner Cup soccer team.
The side not only won the tournament against teams from schools across the eastern seaboard but did so without conceding a goal.
In other awards Cumberland Nepean softball coach Donna McGrath won the Coach of the Year; Minchinbury Little Athletics’ Kyla Stahl was named Administrator of the Year; Rob O’Brien from Kings Langley Little Athletics was Volunteer of the Year; and Blacktown Rugby Union Club was Club of the Year.
Sports encouragement awards for athletes under 12 went to Combined High Schools state trampoline champion Antonia Diaz Ballas, taekwondo champion Benjamin Camua and golfer Madelyn Hagerty.
More than 50 local athletes, administrators and coaches were nominated in this year’s awards.
Nominations for 2017 are now open. Details: blacktown.nsw.gov.au.