The nominations for the 2018 WAIS Coach of the Year and
Program of the Year have been announced with three shortlisted finalists in
The Awards represent the peak staff honours bestowed by the
WA Institute of Sport and this year’s selections have returned a quality list
In the running for the Coach of the Year title are Jamie
Hewlett (Rowing), Chris O’Reilly (Men’s Hockey) and Belinda Stowell (Sailing)
who have all been influential in their respective roles over the past 12
Hewlett’s impact in elite coaching and pathway
development has helped foster an encouraging strategic connection between WAIS,
Rowing WA and local rowing clubs.
This approach is beginning to evidence gains in WA’s
emerging talent pipeline, whilst Hewlett also coached the Australian men’s
coxed four crew at this year’s Junior World Championships in the Czech
Republic. The crew which included two WA members returned home with a bronze
medal. Hewlett’s work across 2018, also earned him nomination for a peak Rowing
Australia coaching award.
Chris O’Reilly had a positive impact over the past 12
months not only in his role with WAIS but also as the head coach of the WA
Thundersticks and with the Australian men’s U21 national team at the Johor Cup.
O’Reilly successfully graduated two athletes from the
program into the Kookaburras senior national team whilst he has also been a
strong supporter of new WAIS initiatives, in which he has piloted a performance
planning system and helped integrate a WAIS-UWA research study focusing on
In a year that has seen Belinda Stowell personally
honoured with elevation to the Western Australian Hall of Champions for her
outstanding career as an athlete, she has continued to provide evidence of why
she is just as highly regarded for her coaching.
Her WAIS program again launched medallists at Youth World
Championship level, whilst a previously graduated athlete reached the podium at
senior World Championship level and qualified the country’s berth in the event
for the Olympic Games in 2020.
Bragging rights for the 2018 WAIS Program of the Year
will be claimed by one of WAIS Men’s Hockey, WAIS Wheelchair Basketball or WAIS
The WAIS Men’s Hockey Program promoted two athletes into
the Kookaburras senior international set up over the past 12 months whilst
continuing to create effective opportunities for developing talent within the
home environment, which was highlighted by five members earning selection for
the Australian U21 team to compete at the Johor Cup in Malaysia. The program’s
coach and service staff also helped three athletes successfully gain selection
for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.
In its first year of operation as a WAIS program sport,
the WAIS Wheelchair Basketball Program has made significant gains under its
inaugural head coach Brad Ness. The Program assisted six athletes onto
Australian teams for the IWBF World Championships whilst Brad Ness was himself
selected as an assistant coach of the Rollers. The successful integration of
WAIS scholarship talent with their WAIS service staff has been a particular
hallmark of the fledgling program’s foundation success.
A wide return of nominations across this year’s WAIS
Athlete and Junior Athlete of the Year awards, points to the high quality work
being accomplished through the WAIS Rowing Program. From a KPI perspective, the
Program helped graduate two athletes into Rowing Australia’s National Training
Centre, whilst a series of home based and previously graduated rowers not only
competed but also medalled at World Championship level. The Program’s culture
has been noted for particular praise, whilst coach and support staff have
provided invaluable assistance in developing and implementing successful talent