BUDDING CHAMP: QT-City of Ipswich Sports Excellence award winner Ashleigh Barty in action.
BUDDING CHAMP: QT-City of Ipswich Sports Excellence award winner Ashleigh Barty in action. Rob Williams

Barty aces top Ipswich honour

ON FRIDAY night at the QT-City of Ipswich Sports Awards, Ashleigh Barty beat Shane Watson and Ash Walsh to claim the top prize - the Sports Excellence of the Year award for 2013-14.

Barty wasn't able to receive the award herself, having just flown back home from Melbourne where she has been in training.

On a rare break from her tennis schedule, she was able to unwind with family over the weekend and indulge her favourite past time fishing, before speaking to the QT yesterday.

It was a brief respite from a hectic year that has seen her home for just 27 days.

With her short escape to see her family at the weekend over, Barty now has bigger fish to fry.

Today she heads back to Melbourne to prepare for the Australian summer of tennis.

"It's the same every time," Barty said.

"We try to work on everything.

"Try to improve my physicality and mentality of the game."

CELBRATING EXCELLENCE: Robert (left) and Josie (second from right) Barty accepted their daughter Ashleigh’s Sports Excellence award, alongside Junior Sportsperson of the Year winner Leah Neale (second from left) with QT general manager Carly Gregory at the QT-City of Ipswich Sports Awards on Friday night.
CELBRATING EXCELLENCE: Robert (left) and Josie (second from right) Barty accepted their daughter Ashleigh’s Sports Excellence award, alongside Junior Sportsperson of the Year winner Leah Neale (second from left) with QT general manager Carly Gregory at the QT-City of Ipswich Sports Awards on Friday night. Nick Osullivan

Barty's parents Robert and Josie collected the award on her behalf on Friday at the Ipswich Civic Centre.

Robert spoke of how much Ipswich means to Barty and how much she values the support she receives from her home town.

Both were obviously proud to receive the award on their daughter's behalf.

"They said it was fantastic," Barty said.

"I love winning awards, especially from Ipswich. It makes it all the more special. And Mum and Dad being there to enjoy it was even better.

"Every tournament you play you put your head down, go from match to match, point to point. So when you get rewarded, it's fantastic."

It was no great surprise Barty won the award, despite the competition from Australian cricket Watson and V8 Supercar driver Walsh.

This year Barty represented Australia in the Hopman Cup, reached the doubles finals partnering Casey Dellacqua at three of the four majors and saw her world singles ranking rise to 129.

"It's been pretty good," she said of her 2013 year in tennis.

"It would have been nice for more wins in singles but I didn't get to play that much.

"Also the doubles takes over that."

QT-City of Ipswich Sports Award Winners

  • Sports Excellence of the Year winner: Ashleigh Barty.
  • Senior Sportsperson of the Year: Jordyn Holzberger
  • Club of the Year: Ipswich Netball Association
  • Official of the Year: Craig McKee
  • Sports Administrator of the Year: Paul Srama
  • Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Leah Neale
  • Coach of the Year: Kasey Wehrman
  • Corporate Sponsor of the Year: Queenslanders Credit Union
  • Team of the Year: Ipswich Force under-12 basketballers
  • Volunteer of the Year: Ray Leschke
  • Masters Sportsperson of the Year: Lyn Grulke
  • Sport Event of the Year: Ipswich Cup (Ipswich Turf Club)
  • Lifetime Achievement Awards: Janet Savage, Ross Pedley, Margret Daniell, Jeff McLean.


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