Former AFL player Robert DiPierdomenico is the guest speaker Echuca-Moama Sportstar of the Year awards night.By Geordie Cowan
The Echuca-Moama Sportstar of the Year awards night is gearing up to celebrate its 25th anniversary on February 18 with former AFL player Robert DiPierdomenico to be the guest speaker.
DiPierdomenico’s arrival is a nod to the award’s heritage, as he was the guest speaker at the inaugural awards night in 1988 and is coming back for this special occasion.
He will speak on his experiences throughout his career and present district sporting champions with the Sportstar and Junior Sportstar of the Year awards.
More commonly known as ‘Dipper’, the Hawthorn great played 240 games and kicked 130 goals in a 17-season career which spanned one of the club’s greatest eras as he played in five day premiership sides and four night grand final teams with the Hawks and was best afield in the 1978 premiership.
Predominantly wearing the number nine guernsey, he was one of the most popular players during the 1980s and also won a Brownlow medal in 1986, when he tied with Sydney’s Greg Williams — with the notorious tribunal regular somehow avoiding suspension that year.
He has been selected in the Australian Hall of Fame in 2007 and was named in the VFL/AFL Italian team of the century.
Dipper has also had a long involvement as mentor for the Australian team for the International Rules Series.
This led him to a life-changing experience in 2008, where he accepted an offer to coach the ‘Peace Team’ in the AFL International Cup.
The team was a combination of players from Israel and Palestine, who had not met or kicked a Sherrin before and whose countries had had a long history of conflict.
Since the end of his playing career, DiPierdomenico has also been involved with the media and was a boundary rider for Channel Seven and 3AW during the 1990s and 2000s, as well as television appearances on many other shows.
He is now heavily involved with the AFL as the national ambassador for its junior development program, Auskick.
The Sportstar of the Year awards are chosen monthly, with the winners announced in February.
Nominations are also open for Team of the Year, Coach of the Year and Spirit of Sport (volunteer/administration award).
Nomination forms for all the awards can be found at the front office of the Riv, which support the awards with Travelscene Echuca and Moama Bowling Club.
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