The exceptional achievements of young Sydney rower Philip Adams and journeyman UTS lightweight Rod Chisholm have been recognised at the recently held Magpie Awards ceremony. Adams and Chisholm were selected amongst a star studded group of finalists for the prestigious award, including New Zealand rugby league captain Benji Marshall and Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke.
The Magpie Award is presented annually by the Wests Ashfield Leagues Club to an athlete who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of sporting excellence in the western suburbs of Sydney. Celebrating its 50th year, the honour roll of past winners of the award includes some of the greatest names in Australian sport including cricketing legend Alan Davidson, Paralympian Kurt Fearnley and Beijing gold medallist Matthew Mitcham.
The award has also been won by some famous names in rowing such as Atlanta games bronze medallist Rebecca Joyce and Australia’s first world champion coxswain Dale Caterson. Both Rebecca and Dale were present at the glittering ceremony in Homebush, and spoke of the honour they felt as past winners of the award, “It is always a great night” said Caterson, “I try to make it every year”.
Philip Adams was named as a finalist by the selection committee for his performance in winning gold at the 2011 World Junior Championships held at Eton. Hailing from an accomplished rowing family, brother John Q. Adams is a multiple state title holder in NSW, Philip has long been considered an athlete of great potential and in the past year realised those expectations with a string of wins including the AAGPS head of the river with Sydney Grammar and the C grade coxed four at the RNSW Edward Trickett Regatta. Humbled by his nomination, Adams reflected “It is team sport and my results could not have happened without equal levels of commitment and dedication from the boiz.” While he is proud of his achievements in the sport to date, Philip is always looking forward to new challenges, and has goals of further national representation. In the immediate future however he is heading to America where he will realise a lifelong ambition, “to row Crew” in the US college system.
Experienced lightweight and UTS clubman Rod Chisholm also made the shortlist for his win in the lightweight eight at the 2011 World Championships at Bled. Unable to attend the ceremony due to racing commitments in Europe (where he has recently qualified for the London games in the lightweight double), he was represented by Katharine McKeever who spoke of the joys of having Rod in the UTS boatshed where he is an inspirational figure.
While the eventual winner on the night was Michael Clarke, both Philip and Rod were thrilled just to be finalists and were grateful to Wests Ashfield Leagues Club and Chairman Mike Bailey for a wonderful evening and for the club’s ongoing support of sportspeople in Sydney’s west.