The Sunshine Coast Sports Hall of Fame recognises the sporting achievements of our local athletes that have achieved the highest level in their sport, and the tireless work behind the scenes of sports administrators, coaches and officials is acknowledged by Certificates of Merit.
The Sunshine Coast Sports Hall of Fame is currently accepting nominations, nominations close on 1 December.
Melanie Wright (Schlanger)
Spanning over 10 glorious professional swimming years, Melanie made her first Australian team in 2006 having started swimming at age 14 in Maroochydore. Coming away with three bronze medals at the Pan-Pacific Championships in Canada and a gold medal at the World Championships in Melbourne, Wright's fast paced freestyle successfully gained Melanie her first Olympic gold and bronze medals at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
In 1999 Peta Rogerson was selected in the Queensland Under 20 Women's team for the State of Origin Series, which Queensland won. This was the beginning of her State representation which continued through to 2015. Peta captained the Queensland Open Women's Touch team from 2006 to 2014.
At the young age of 16, Kirsten Pike begun playing cricket for the Sunshine Coast Scorchers. Over the years, the 31-year-old has proven to be an impressive athlete, having played 86 Women's National Cricket League and 50 Twenty20 matches for Queensland with one Test, 26 One Day Internationals and 10 Twenty20 games for Australia.
Josh honed his skills riding waves at the points of Noosa Heads and then emerged as one of Australia’s best-ever longboard surfers. He competed on the professional circuit for 15 years, winning a host of internationally acclaimed events.
Paralympian Marayke Jonkers has had a whirlwind sporting journey from becoming a paraplegic in a car accident as an infant to winning silver and two bronze medals as a swimmer, competing at the Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
An inspirational swimmer known as Cooroy’s “Super Fish”, Clinton has been a world champion across a range of events including his favourite event the 1500 metres freestyle. Clinton has represented Australia seven times- New Zealand (2001), South Africa (2004), Ireland (2006), Taiwan (2007), Portugal (2008), Taiwan (2010) and Italy (2012). He has broken 79 Down Syndrome world records.
Chris was one of Australia’s most versatile and competitive motorcycle racers. He competed on the world stage for 13 years, claiming success in three world championship series. He made an immediate impact in the Supersport World Championship from 2000-2003 and captured the world title in his final season there.
At an early age Kirsty built her life around surf lifesaving and the beach and was the first female athlete to win Ironwoman, Board and Ski individual events at both state and Australian levels. Kirsty has also won two Australian Open Ironwoman Championships and two Open Ski championships.
Zane’s professional ironman career spans over 13 years. Having started at the age of five Zane has taken out every major ironman title including two world titles, 22 Australian medals, five state titles, five Kellogg’s Nutri Grain Ironman titles and the Coolangatta Gold Championship title.
Brad has been a dominant force in Ironman racing having won three consecutive Queensland Junior Ironman titles as well as 13 Australian Gold Medals and 41 Australian medals in total. Brad was the Nutri-Grain Ironamn Competitor of the Series in 1999 and 13 times Australian Surf Lifesaving Representative.
One of the first contracted athletes in the very first women’s Ironwoman series, Denby has had an outstanding career in surf sports. Her amazing surf skills have enabled her to win multiple coveted titles including several Kellogg's Nutri-Grain races, seven Australian Lifesaving medals and numerous international medals.
After joining the local bodyboarding club on the Coast in 1994, Kira Llewellyn went on to be the youngest and first Australian female to win the Pipeline event in Hawaii at 18 years of age.
Ashley Noffke became an inspiration to Sunshine Coast cricketers, rising through the ranks to the highest level while still on the Sunshine Coast. The Nambour-born fast bowler played for Maroochydore and then the Sunshine Coast scorchers before earning a call-up for the Queensland Bulls. He became a permanent fixture for the Bulls from 1998-2009, which was highlighted by three Pura Cup victories.
For almost two decades, Steven Short was one of the premier competition surf lifesavers at the Maroochydore club. He first came to notice in 1990 as a member of the club's cadet surf teams that won the State title and placed second at the Australian Championships. His achievements after that initial success including winning the world run-swim-run championship in 1994, the world surf race title in 2002 and he was named as the most outstanding male lifesaver at the 2001 World Games.
As Queensland’s leading Racehorse Trainer, Bruce McLachlan trained more than 3000 winners in a career covering 40 years. The former Mt Isa Policeman holds the record for 16 Metropolitan Training Premierships from the late 1970's until 2009.
There was no better female water-skiier in the world in the early 2000s than Pelican Waters' Emma Sheers. In 2001, Emma won the world slalom champion- at title she also capture in 2003. It was also in 2003 that she won the world championship in the jump discipline and the award for being the International Waterski Federation's Athlete of the Year. She was again named Athlete of the Year in 2005.
Jae Cross learnt her basketball skills as a junior at Maroochydore when she was known as Jae Kingi. She went on to play in the Australian WNBL, winning three championships with Adelaide, and in the big time in America, the WNBA, playing for Detroit, Phoenix and San Antonio.
Surf and Pool Lifesaving
Having joined Maroochydore SLSC as a nipper at the young age of 10, Jason has won many titles including 20 Queensland Surf Lifesaving Championship medals, 16 Australian Surf Lifesaving National Championship and Australian Royal Lifesaving Pool National Championship medals, over 30 world and international championship gold medals, represented Australia for a number of surf lifesaving and royal lifesaving teams and set seven international lifesaving world records.
After growing up in Eumundi, Pat went on to conquer the world of tennis. He was men's singles champion at the US Open in back-to-back years (1997 and 1998), and twice runner-up at Wimbledon (2000 and 2001). Pat turned professional in 1991 and won his first career singles title at Manchester in 1994.
Bill has been an integral part of Australian boxing for more than three decades, guiding the careers of some of Australia's most talented fighters. He led Australian teams to the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1986, and eight years later in Victoria when boxers like Robbie Peden and Sunshine Coast-based Rick Finch starred to claim medals.
Gary began surfing at age 13. He entered a local Sunshine Coast competition and gained instant recognition. He won four consecutive Queensland amateur titles as well as the 1983 Australian title. His sponsor Quiksilver introduced him to the world via a movie called 'Kong's Island'. He joined the world surfing tour and was runner up three times- 1987, 1990 and 1993. He won the Hawaiian Triple Crown in 1987 and 1989.
Being inducted into the hall of fame at just 23 years of age proves how dominant Kristy is in the sport of surf lifesaving. By the time she had come of age, she had won our national Ironwoman title and the world championship. In fact, just 12 months after winning the Australian under-19 Ironwoman championship, she defeated a star-studded field to win the coveted open title.
Cricket and Rugby
Born in Maleny, Otto was a dual international for Australia in cricket and rugby- one of only two men to have achieved that feat. Otto left Queensland to study medicine at the University of Sydney, made his first class cricket debut with NSW in 1922-23, and played one Test match for Australia against England in 1928. He played cricket for Queensland in 1928-29 and later became the Queensland Cricket Association president.
Darren was without doubt the Iron man of Australian boxing. After a stunning amateur career, which led him to a record eight Australian championships, the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, he turned professional in March 1993.
Richard (Rick) Finch
Rick was the golden boy of Australian amateur boxing over a six-year period from 1980. He fought his way to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games in 1986, where he won a silver medal- a crowning moment in his career.
Mal stands as one of the greats of Rugby League, both here in Australia and around the world. He started his record-breaking career on the Sunshine Coast. From there he would go on to smash nearly every record in the book, playing a record 45 tests for his country and retiring as the greatest point scorer in test football.
Lisa has an amazing swimming career that has reaped three Olympic Games appearance. She also swam at the 1978 Edmonton, 1982 Brisbane and 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games.
Julian is a two time Olympian, representing his country in the fierce sport of waterpolo. Born in 1958 and moving to the Sunshine Coast shortly after, Julian was a permanent fixture in Australian teams over a five-year period.
Jeff is the world record holder for the 800m and 1500m freestyle and won back-to-back gold medals in the 400m freestyle at the 1996 Paralympic Games and the 2000 Paralympic Games
A gold and silver Commonwealth Games medal winner and captain of the Australian Swim Team, Dick has also represented Australia in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
Kim commenced her softball career on the Sunshine Coast breaking into the Queensland U19 side in 1984 before cracking the state senior list in 1985. Two years later, she made her debut for Australia.
Kerri has ridden the crest of a wave to the top of world surf lifesaving. Kerri has won more Sunshine Coast branch titles than she cares to remember and in 1999 became the first female competitor to be named captain of the regional team.
Charlotte came from a sporting family and was actively involved in swimming, basketball, hockey and vigoro. Her contribution to sport on the Sunshine Coast since the 1950s has been outstanding.
Without doubt, Clint is one of the true megastars of the Sunshine Coast sport. By the age of 12, Clint has represented Queensland in both rugby league and surf lifesaving. In 1998, he became Australia's most successful surf lifesaving star with an incredible 24 gold medals at national championships.
One of the great all-round athletes, Billy was not only versatile boxer; he also excelled at swimming, surf lifesaving, running and rugby league.
Arthur joined the Mooloolaba Surf Lifesaving Club in 1926 just before his 15th birthday. In 1928 he won his first Club Champion Lifesaver title, and went on to win that same title every year until 1939 when the competition was discontinued because of World War 2.
Brendan has represented Australia at four Paralympic Games in Swimming. His medal list includes a silver in Seoul (1988), bronze in Barcelona (1992), gold and silver in Atlanta (1996) and silver in Sydney (2000).
In 1968, Fin, with a small group of helpers, established the Caloundra United Soccer Club. In 1972, Fin was also a foundation member of the Sunshine Coast Soccer Referees Association.
Regarded by many as the “Mr Nice Guy” of world golf, Ian blazed his way to a dramatic win in the 1991 British Open.
The king of Ironman racing, Grant followed in his famous father's footsteps dominating a golden era for surf sport. In 1980, Kenny at the age of 16 and still at Maroochydore High School became the first athlete ever to win a national junior and senior Ironman title on the same day.
The Valdora cane farmer, who dominated Queensland country tennis for more than three decades, was king of one of the region's biggest sporting family. George's achievements included a staggering 106 trophies in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
Jack has dedicated and devoted almost 60 years of service to surf lifesaving. He joined Met Caloundra in 1936 at the age of 25 and kept the swimmers at Kings Beach safe until the 1950s, then moved into administration.
Moving to the coast in 1972, Syd was involved with the start of the Maroochydore Basketball Association in 1973. In 1978, Syd took over the reins as president of the association.
At just 15 years of age, the Sunshine Coast based athlete Glynis proved she would be a star of the future, winning six state titles, five in record time.
The original Ironman, Hayden won the first Australian Ironman Championship at Alexandra Headland in 1966. From a sporting family, the lifesaver was also responsible for introducing the Malibu surfboard to Queensland.
Keith's name is synonymous with the sport of lawn bowls. While living on the Sunshine Coast, Keith has represented Australia in 169 international matches and Queensland in excess of 500 games.
Russell excelled at the sport of waterpolo and from the Sunshine Coast represented Queensland as a schoolboy and as an under-18 and under-20. Russell then went on to represent Australia during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Legendary surf swimmer Steve competed throughout the 1940s and 1950s winning four Australian surf championships and placing on five other occasions. Like the Suosaari brothers, Wilkes trained in a creek alongside his brothers.
From the Sunshine Coast, Jim was the first Queenslander ever to win Empire Games (Commonwealth Games) gold medal. Jim represented Australia in javelin at the 1954 Vancouver Commonwealth Games, winning gold with a throw of 224ft (68.27m) and breaking the old record by more than 17ft.
Brothers Axel and Joe arrived to the warmth of the Sunshine Coast in 1912 from icy Finland. Both champions in the surf and still water, they would train at Petrie Creek as they ferried harvested sugar cane up and down the waterway- one driving the cane punt as the other swam alongside.
Alana Quade (Boyd)
Alana won her maiden national pole vault crown in 2008, before a 4.30m clearance on Olympic debut at Beijing 2008. She has since won the Australian Athletics Championships gold medal on three occasions (2009, 2013 and 2015).
Denise Boyd (Robertson) was one of the greatest sprinters throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Denise represented Australia at the 1976 Montreal Games and was the Australian team's joint flag-bearer at the 1980 Moscow Games.
Ray Boyd won eleven Australian Championships in the Pole Vault, ending his career on a high note when winning the gold medal at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. He competed in two Olympics, Munich (1972) and Montreal (1976) and three Commonwealth Games, Edinburgh (1970), Christchurch (1974) and Brisbane (1982).
Brad Hore also known as 'The Pocket Rocket' is an Australian Indigenous boxer who represented his country at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
Jenny Parry is an Australian Lifesaving champion who competed for Australia from 2002-2011. Jenny was Queensland's competitor of the year in 2003 and took out the Australian Champion Lifesaver crown in 2007 as well as being crowned World Surf Race champion in 2002.
Brittany first emerged on the junior scene, representing Australia at junior international meets as a teenager. She made her first senior international team in 2012, as an 18-year-old, when she was selected for multiple Olympic relay squads. In London, she earned a gold medal as part of the 4x100 free team, where she swam finals, and she also earned two silver medals for her prelims swims on the 4x200 free and 4x100 medley relays.
Steven competed at the National Titles from 1995-2005, competing in 9 Ironman finals and 8 Open Ski finals, winning a total of 6 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze. He won the Open Ski relay three consecutive times at the National Titles (2000, 2001 and 2002). He competed in three World titles, 1998, 2000 and 2004 and was the Ironman finalist for 1998 and 2004 and in 2000, Steven was the World Champion in Open Ski.
Rebecca was the 1st Australian kiteboarder to get extensive coverage outside the tiny kitesurf media, with articles in surf mags, inflight mags, women's mags and mainstream media, paper, TV.