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Papua New Guinea

200-plus set for Sports Awards night

Sports Awards
BY PRISCILLA HARRY

Some of Papua New Guinea’s best sportsmen and women will converge on the Crown Hotel in Port Moresby tomorrow for the 27th SP Sports Awards presentation night.

The event will see three finalists from each of the 11 categories covering athletes, officials, teams and the media who will take a walk up onto the podium to receive their prestigious award.

SP Sports Awards organizing committee representative Andrew Molen during a media briefing in Port Moresby on Wednesday said the PNG Olympic Committee and SP Brewery were planning a big night, with both organizations were finalising preparations.

More than 200 people, including the finalists, guests, sponsors, partners and representatives, from various sporting codes are expected to attend the event.

Australian professional beach volleyball player and Olympic Gold medalist Kerri Ann Pottharst will be the guest speaker on the night.

Pottharst will meet the finalists and will be engaged in other activities over the weekend, including meeting up with the National Beach volleyball team, making donations plus a meet and greet with the SP PNG Hunters.

She was born in was born on June 25, 1965 in Adelaide, South Australia and currently resides in Sydney.

In addition to her volleyball commitments, Pottharst is the face of “beach2xl”, a corporate team building program and that engages in motivational talks.

Pottharst began playing indoor volleyball in 1982 and by 1990 was recognised as one of the best volleyball players in Australia.

A serious knee injury in 1992 forced her off the hard court and she began playing beach volleyball.

She and Natalie Cook represented Australia at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and won a bronze medal – the very first time beach volleyball had been an Olympic sport.

In the same year, the pair won a silver medal at the world championships, and came first in the World Tour event in Japan.

Cook and Pottharst split for a few years afterwards, but reunited in time for the Sydney Olympics.
Before the games, they finished third in the World Tour Events in France and Portugal.

At the games, the pair dominated the competition, taking out the gold medal.

In the aftermath of their Olympic win, the pair was awarded the Order of Australia, Australia’s highest honor.

Cook and Pottharst were included in the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball’s Team of the Decade.

After the Olympics, Pottharst retired, but has since come out of retirement and returned to competition.

According to Worldwide beach volleyball statistics, Pottharst has never been outside of the top 10 and rarely outside of the top six in International Beach Volleyball events since 1994.

Pottharst appeared on the Nine Network’s TV reality show ‘Celebrity Circus’ in 2005, in which she trained with stars of Australia’s Silvers Circus.

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