Sam Willoughby Medal
The Sam Willoughby Medal was established in 2018 to recognise outstanding performance over a 12 month period by Australian BMX Racers. The award, named after one of Australia's greatest ever riders, is open to any Australian Racer who holds a valid Australian BMX race licence. This includes all ages, classes and genders including Elite. Each year, 5 nominees are announced and invited to attend the Annual Hall Of Fame Gala Dinner. Similar to the AFL's "Brownlow Medal", the Sam Willoughby Medal crowns Australia's best. The award takes into account International, National and State based results and is overseen by Wade Bootes (Technical Director - BMX, High Performance Unit), Luke Madill (National Coaching Manager- BMX) and Sam Willoughby (Olympic Silver Medallist, Multiple World Champion).
2018 - Thomas Tucker
The innaugural winner of the Sam Willoughby Medal in 2018 was 13 year old Thomas Tucker. Tommy had another fantastic year on the bike winning another World Title (bringing his total at the time to 6 x W1 plates. The award was presented by Wade Bootes and Luke Madill at the Hall Of Fame Dinner held on the Gold Coast, July 20th 2018.
The five Nominees in 2018 were - Saya Sakakibara, Gian Renato, Des'ree Barnes, Thomas Tucker, Kira Hill
2019 - Jordan Callum
Jordan Callum from Western Australia was the 2019 Sam Willoughby Medallist. Jordan picked up a W1 and W2 at the World Championships that year as well as the Australian Title held in Shepparton earlier in 2019. This year the award was boosted with the addition of $1000 prize money for the winner - personally donated by Sam Willoughby.
The award was presented by Sam Willoughby, Wade Bootes and Luke Madill at the annual Hall Of Fame Awards Gala Dinner on the Gold Coast, August 10th 2019.
The Nominees in 2019 were - Saya Sakakibara, Jordan Callum, Kira Hill, Fraser Vaughan, Portia Eden.
2020 - Thomas Tucker
For the second time, Thomas Tucker was awarded the Sam Willoughby Medal in 2020. Due to COVID19, the race calendar was reduced, and no Gala Awards dinner was possible, so a special presentation and announcement was made at the QLD State Titles on September 26th 2020 at the Sleemans Race Complex in Brisbane. 2020 attracted new sponsors for this award - BMX International ($1000 prizemoney), Sprintblock (training device for all 5 nominees) and Phirebird (giant novelty cheque and all design work). This year was a tough field with some of our finest Elite Athletes in the mix for the medal. The award continues to grow in prestige.
The 2020 Nominees were- Saya Sakakibara, Thomas Tucker, Anthony Dean, Oliver Moran, Abbey Richards.
2022 - Teya Rufus
Congratulations to Teya Rufus on winning the 2022 Sam Willoughby Medal. Teya becomes the first female to win this award after outstanding performances over the past 12 months. She was up against very tough competition in Josh Jolly, Izaac Kennedy, Joel Marsh and Jordan Callum. Teya took home the $1000 prizemoney once again generously donated by BMX International.