Over the following weeks, the Cootamundra Times will provide feature articles of all the award winners from the Cootamundra Sports Foundation Honour Roll for 2021. The Cootamundra Sports Foundation, formed in 1974, is a ‘not-for-profit organisation that assists young people either their sporting dreams at a local or representative level. The main objective of the Cootamundra Sports Foundation is to promote sport, bringing sporting guests and tournaments to town, as well as to foster charity in sport. First up, we have the 2021 Sportsperson of the Year and Junior Sportspeople of the Year.

Kerrie Holder was awarded the 2021 Sportsperson of the Year, getting her named etched on the Frank Smith Memorial Trophy, for her brilliant efforts in Rodeo, specifically Barrel Racing. Cootamundra cowgirl Kerrie and her horse ‘Dually’ formed a brilliant partnership in 2021, allowing them to record exceptional achievements.

Graeme Worboys, President of the Cootamundra Sports Foundation, spoke about the long list of Kerrie’s accomplishments in his speech.

“Kerrie was named the 2021 Australian Barrel Racing Champion after an outstanding season of competition.

Kerrie and her legend of a horse ‘Dually’ had a spectacular National Finals Rodeo (NFR) winning three out of the four rounds of the Equine FLAIR Australia sponsored Barrel Race,” Worboys said.

“This ensured Kerrie won the NFR average title and was crowned the 2021 Australian Barrel Racing Champion. One highlight was seeing the pair claimed top honours in the elite barrel racing competition at Buchanan Park Arena Mt Isa in Queensland – the southern hemisphere’s biggest rodeo.

“Kerrie has been a consistent competitor on the Australian rodeo circuit for many years and this win was a career highlight for the talented rider. In her final ride Kerrie and “Dually” stopped the clock in 17.328 seconds, a new record eclipsing the previous time of 17.366 seconds to win the prestigious event and put Cootamundra on the map.

“Her horse is owned by her rodeo legend father Bob Holder and Kerrie’s riding skills at the highest level have come to the fore once again in a very competitive sport.”

Sam Graham and Ainslee Meale were the joint 2021 Junior Sportspeople of the Year for their accomplishments in the Australian Tag 20 Under 17 Representatives.

“Ainslee and Samantha were selected in the Australian Tag 20 under 17girl’s team that played test matches against New Zealand for the Anzac Cup in Goulburn over two days in April,” Worboys said.

“To get to this stage, the girls first represented the ACT Tag 20 team after former Cootamundra Bulldogs rugby league stalwart Michael Slater invited them to try out.

The girls travelled to Melbourne for the Oceania Heritage Cup, playing six games against teams from Victoria, the Cook Islands and American Samoa.

“Following these games two excited Cootamundra girls were named in the national squad. The planned test matches were then cancelled due to COVID-19 and the girls were bitterly disappointed but then after a 12 month wait the games went ahead at Goulburn.

“Ainslee and Samantha donned the green and gold and proudly represented their town and their country, coming away with a win over their Kiwi opponents and claiming the Anzac Cup. Tag20 is a game combining all the skills of both Rugby codes while eliminating tackling and is becoming quite popular.”

Congratulations to all award winners.