Curtis McGrath wins 2016 QAS Peter Lacey Award for Sporting Excellence
9 December 2016
2016 Peter Lacey Award winner Curtis McGrath (right) showing true sportsmanship at the Rio Paralympic Games.
The Peter Lacey trophy on display at the QSport 22nd Annual Sport Awards ceremony.
Overnight, the 2016 Queensland Academy of Sport Peter Lacey Award for Sporting Excellence was presented at the QSport 22nd Annual Sports Awards, for the first time.
It was a great evening for all who attended with the room full of inspirational and influential Queensland sportspeople.
Fittingly, Paralympic gold medallist Curtis McGrath was named the recipient of the QAS Peter Lacey Award following his outstanding performance at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, along with his success leading up to the Games and for his overall passion, spirit and dedication to sport.
Curtis apologised for not being able to attend the event, as the Australian Paralympic Committee Awards were also being held simultaneously. Accepting the award on Curtis’ behalf was his partner Rachel Martin, who was humble on receipt of the trophy, speaking about Curtis’ triumph and ability to overcome any setback to reach his goal.
Rachel said it was very emotional watching Curt race in Rio.
‘Words cannot quite describe what it’s like to see the faces of the men who literally saved the life of Curt in Afghanistan now celebrate his success at the Paralympics in Rio, despite the hardships that they all had to overcome, just to get there,’ she said.
Curtis joins a unique field of athletes who have previously won the Peter Lacey Award, and significantly is only the second Paralympic athlete to receive the accolade.
On discovering he was selected as the 2016 winner Curtis said how much of an honour it was to be recognised for his efforts over the last 12 months.
‘It has been a huge year for Queensland athletes who have represented the state and the country so well.
‘Four years ago when I was learning to walk, I would have never thought I would be accepting the Peter Lacey Award for Sporting Excellence, I am just so happy with everything that has happened this year.
‘I would like to thank all the people who have helped me achieve so much in the last four years, thank you,’ he said.
Overall the function was brilliant and a testament to the athletes, those who work behind the scenes and the organisations who work to ensure sport continues to go from strength to strength in Queensland.
Congratulations to all of those acknowledged on the night, award winners and Hall of Fame inductees. A full list of winners from the night can be found on the QSport website. If you missed the live stream of the QAS Peter Lacey Award presentation, head over to the official Facebook page for a recap.