7th Mar 2008
National Sports Museum to open - Wednesday March 12, 2008.
Every Australian sporting champion who has been inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame (SAHOF) will be recognised at the National Sports Museum (NSM) located at the home of Australian Sport, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Each of the 478 members has a presence at the NSM, with their names and sporting biographies represented across an entire wall of the museum. The 'Legends Wall' also recognises the 27 members of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame who have been elevated to Legend status.
Some of the famous SAHOF Member exhibits to see at the NSM include SAHOF Legend and Champion athlete Herb Elliott's 1960 Rome Olympic Gold Medal, his running spikes and Australian Team blazer; the bathers worn by 'Madam Butterfly' swimming champ Susie O'Neill to win Gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics; plus a replica of the America's Cup winning yacht Australia II, donated by SAHOF Chairman and Australia II skipper John Bertrand.
According to John Bertrand "The NSM is now the home of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. As a Founding Partner this marks a significant turning point and launches a new phase of our organisation's development. Australians young and old can now enjoy the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and gain a first hand interactive experience. With SAHOF having been involved since the concept stage of the NSM, it is a very exciting time for us"
The Sport Australia Hall of Fame represents all sports including all Olympic disciplines. Founded in 1985, it represents all the greats of Australian sport including Sir Donald Bradman, Dawn Fraser, Sir Jack Brabham, Herb Elliott, John Eales and Catherine Freeman to name a few.
"In honouring our Members achievements The Sport Australia Hall of Fame also seeks to preserve and present their priceless sporting heritage as an inspiration to Australians everywhere. Our Membership comprises an illustrious group of Australia's most respected and celebrated champions over the past two hundred years. They are the best of the best, who through their achievments have made a significant contribution to Australia, and inspired young and old alike" said Bertrand.
The Sport Australia Hall of Fame will promote the NSM at its state based corporate lunch series held throughout May and June. These lunches celebrate the efforts of our great sporting teams through the presentation of the 'Team Sport Australia Awards''
The year in sport will culminate at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Annual Dinner and Induction Ceremony on October 8. The 'Don Award' names after cricketing legend Sir Donald Bradman, who is prominently featured at the NSM, will be awarded to the athlete whose performance has most inspired the nation over the past 12 months. Five champions will also be inducted as Members with a current member being elevated to the exclusive Legend Status.
A visit to the NSM will inspire the public to enshrine a further three sporting moments into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame Moments competition will return in the weeks leading up to the Annual Dinner and Induction Ceremony. This people's choice award will again generate lively debate amongst the sporting community.
As well as recognising current and past sporting heroes, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame strives to motivate our Australian Champions of the future. In additon to funding support, the SAHOF Scholarship and Development Program has a unique mentoring opportunity utilising the expertise and experience of current Members. In 2007 nine scholarships were awarded to young Australian athletes.
"Our Members act as Mentors and Heroes and are available for our scholarship holders to pass on advice and experience. They know what competing at the highest level is about. This is a unique and important elment of our shcolarship program asit enables our Members to inspire our future stars. We hope that in years to come our Scholarship holders will have their own displays at the National Sports Museum" said Bertrand.