A pictorial guide to who won what at the 2011/2012 QT City of Ipswich Sports Awards.
A pictorial guide to who won what at the 2011/2012 QT City of Ipswich Sports Awards. Rob Williams

Ali KO'D by top award

WHILE claiming the 2012 QT-City of Ipswich Sportsperson of the Year award on Saturday evening, one thing became clear to Ali Brigginshaw.

It was the strength of the Ipswich sporting community and how important it is to ensure it remains strong. So Brigginshaw, who represented her state and country at rugby league in 2012, is more determined than ever to give something back.

In her acceptance speech at the awards ceremony at Ipswich Civic Centre, Brigginshaw spoke of her love of Ipswich and coming from such a proud Ipswich sporting family.

"It was unexpected," Brigginshaw said of her award.

Part of that is to do with her natural modesty but part of it was because of the calibre of sportspeople she was up against.

Brigginshaw pipped the likes of Australian indoor cricketer Tim Wichura, World University cross country runner Glen Yarham and Australian indoor netball representative Nicole Cude.

"They all had lists of the things they'd done," Brigginshaw said.

"It was pretty impressive."

At the start of the evening, Brigginshaw didn't know a lot of the fellow athletes up for awards.

By the end of the night she did and it confirmed in her a desire to leave her own legacy to sport in Ipswich.

"It gives me more motivation to help Ipswich sport," she said. "No matter what sport, because I've played a few. It makes me want to stay in Ipswich and not move away.

"There were elderly people there who had been involved in sport in Ipswich for 50 years.

"I want to get involved in coaching and development.

"I work for the Australian Rugby League so hopefully I get more work in Ipswich."

It is off-season for the Queensland five-eighth at the moment and she is keeping fit playing social touch footy. But she has also thrown her hat into the ring for the Australian women's seven-a-side rugby union team.

Brigginshaw attended trials last weekend at Ballymore from which a squad will be chosen to train at the Australian Institute of Sport.

The end goal is to produce a team capable of winning gold at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Brigginshaw was happy with how she went and, despite not having played union, wasn't uncomfortable rucking and mauling. The Olympics is a long-term goal but Brigginshaw first has one major representative honour to achieve. That is playing in and hopefully winning a world cup. The next one is in England next June and Brigginshaw has her sights firmly set on it.

Given her form and achievements over the past few seasons, there is no chance a fit Brigginshaw won't be part of it.

Beyond that, her focus will return to Ipswich. Partly inspired by Friday night's gathering, Brigginshaw wants to establish an Ipswich team in the Brisbane senior women's competition.

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