Australian Diamonds defender Laura Geitz has capped off a remarkable twelve months by winning the coveted Liz Ellis Diamond and ANZ Championship Player of the Year honours at the 2011 Australian Netball Awards on Saturday in Melbourne.
Geitz, who celebrated her 24th birthday two weeks ago, adds to her 2011 ANZ Championship premiership, Network Ten’s 2011 ANZ Championship Player of the Year and 2011 World Netball Championship winner’s medallion.
The highest individual honour in Australian netball is named after formed captain and most capped Australian player of all-time, Liz Ellis, who was on hand to present Geitz with a $5000 cheque and the superb one carat diamond from Michael Wilson Jewellers.
Geitz continues a defenders’ dominance of the award, becoming the third to take home the coveted prize (Mo’onia Gerrard ’08, Julie Corletto ’09) with Natalie von Bertouch (‘10) the only winner not to come from the defensive end of the court.
Kimberlee Green was named Holden Australian International Player of the Year recognising her outstanding performance during the Holden Netball Test Series, when she stepped in to centre following an injury to captain Natalie von Bertouch.
Diamonds shooter Catherine Cox was named New Idea’s Favourite Diamond by the publication’s readers.
A full list of award winners can be found below.
Netball Australia also inducted two former captains into the Australian Netball Hall of Fame during the award ceremony, with Liz Ellis, Australia’s most capped player, and South Australia’s Julie Francou recognised for their outstanding contributions to the game.
Longstanding netball journalists, Linda Pearce (Fairfax Media) and Amanda Lulham (News Ltd) were both honoured with Service Awards while fellow journalist Warren Partland, Adelaide Advertiser, won the Tanya Denver Media Award for his outstanding coverage of netball in 2011.
2011 Australian Netball Award winners:
Liz Ellis Diamond: Laura Geitz
Holden Australian International Player of the Year: Kimberlee Green
Australian ANZ Championship player of the year: Laura Geitz, Queensland Firebirds
New Idea Favourite Diamond: Catherine Cox
Australian Netball League Player of the Year: Karyn Bailey, Victoria Fury
Australian 21/U Player of the Year: April Letton
Australian Sports Commission Coach of the Year: Roselee Jencke, Queensland Firebirds
Lorraine Lea Linen Umpire of the Year: Sharon Kelly
All Australian Umpire Awards: Diana Toppi, Tara Warner
Tanya Denver Media Award: Warren Partland, The Adelaide Advertiser
Service Awards: Amanda Lulham (Journalist – News Ltd), Linda Pearce (Journalist – Fairfax Media)
Hall of Fame Inductees: Liz Ellis, Julie Francou
Ta Lou, Schippers and Johnson Thompson were among the winners at The Olympic Stadium
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photo BG and Ant Beviss