WARRNAMBOOL basketball export Nathan Sobey has faced many challenges throughout his decorated career but his newest one - fatherhood - is a joyful growing experience.
The 29-year-old, who claimed the Keith Wilson Chairperson's Award at the South West Sport's virtual awards night on Friday, has been busy the past year adjusting to life with daughter Harley.
Being a father was something the Brisbane Bullets star quickly adjusted to juggling while playing in the NBL, which on Friday announced its return for December 3.
"The first couple of months were pretty different because obviously we had her and then I went to China straight away for the (FIBA) World Cup for a couple of months," Sobey told Matthew Monk in a Q&A filmed for the awards night.
"Then I came back and tried to get into a little routine and realised that routines don't actually work with a young one.
"We just played it by ear and you're not thinking about yourself at all anymore as there's someone else who is way more important.
"I was putting everything into her and making sure she is happy and doing everything right.
"It's just a different aspect of life and going from me in particular who has set schedules on what I am doing, what I'm eating, when I'm going to do this and that and then it gets thrown out the door and it's just when you can that doesn't take up time with Harley."
Sobey said the move from Adelaide to Brisbane had been a blessing in disguise which revealed itself midway through last year.
"We had three other teammates who had kids - one a month after me, another a month after that and then another after that - so we had a little babies club," he said.
"We were all able to just start bouncing ideas off each other and talk about it."
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The Keith Wilson Chairperson's Award recognises a sporting identity from the south-west who has gone on to achieve at a high level.
Sobey has represented Australia at a Commonwealth Games and a World Cup across a decorated professional basketball career, which started in 2014 following his return from college.
He played an influential role in the Boomers' gold medal victory at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and was part of the World Cup squad which almost won a medal at the 2019 tournament.
The Seahawks 2016 championship player has also collected the NBL's most improved player award (2017) and featured in two All-NBL Second Teams (2017, 2019).
Sobey has played at three NBL clubs including the Cairns Taipans and Adelaide 36ers and is preparing for his second year at the Brisbane Bullets.
Meanwhile, there were plenty of other award winners in a different night for South West Sport's awards night, which is usually held at the Lighthouse Theatre.
Warrnambool Tri Club's two-time Duathlon World Champion Jenny Dowie took out multiple awards, collecting open female and supreme athlete of the year awards.
EKB Fitness and Aerobics athlete Jordan Rooke claimed the open male athlete of the year award after winning national and state titles and qualifying for Australia's World Aerobics Championship team.
Kym Matthew (cricket, Corangamite), Russell Greenham (croquet, Glenelg), Phillipa Hodgens (cricket, Moyne), Helen Hadden (croquet, Southern Grampians), Michael Bottrell (pony club, Warrnambool) were named volunteers of the year.
Reigning VFFL Western Conference premiers the Hamilton Boomers scored another goal by winning the all-abilities team of the year award.
Hamilton and Alexandra College's junior sevens hockey team and Monivae College's senior hockey team, which both won School Sport Victoria state championships, shared the win in the school team of the year award.
Rising EKB Fitness and Aerobics stars Georgia Dalton and Eva Joseph, who went through 2019 undefeated to claim state and national championships and represented their country at a world titles, were named club team of the year.
Archers of Warrnambool capped off a stellar 2019 taking out club of the year.
Sprints mentor and Athletics South West president Jeremy Dixon, who helped start a new club in the region and guided a number of athletes to top performances in 2019, was named coach/official of the year.
The junior athlete of the year awards went to Warrnambool Physipole Studios' national aerial champion Matilda Allen and Noorat Gun Club's Australian sub-junior national high gun champion Matthew Molan.
Athletics South West star and national record-holder Caytlyn Sharp and Indoor Rowing world record-holder Aaron Skinner shared the individual athlete with a disability award after strong performances at the 2019 INAS Global Games.
Warrnambool Table Tennis Association player Simon Johnson added a masters athlete of the yearvictory to his impressive results in 2019, when he won three gold medals at the World Veterans Table Tennis Tour Event and was ranked number one in the world.
Volunteers of the year:
Kym Matthew (cricket, Corangamite), Russell Greenham (croquet, Glenelg), Phillipa Hodgens (cricket, Moyne), Helen Hadden (croquet, Southern Grampians), Michael Bottrell (pony club, Warrnambool)
School Team of the Year:
Joint winners - Hamilton and Alexandra College Junior Sevens Hockey Team and Monivae College Senior Hockey Team
Club Team of the Year:
Georgia Dalton and Eva Joseph, EKB Fitness
Club of the Year:
Archers of Warrnambool
Coach/Official of the Year:
Jeremy Dixon, Athletics South West
Junior Athletes of the Year:
Matilda Allen, Physipole Studios, and Matthew Molan, Noorat Gun Club
Individual Athlete with a Disability Award:
Joint winner - Caytlyn Sharp, Athletics South West, and Aaron Skinner, Nestles Rowing Club
Masters Athlete of the Year:
Simon Johnson, Warrnambool Table Tennis Association
Open Athletes of the Year:
Jenny Dowie, Warrnambool Tri Club, and Jordan Rooke, EKB Fitness
Supreme Sportsperson of the Year:
Keith Wilson Chairperson's Award:
Nathan Sobey, Brisbane Bullets, Australian Boomers
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