UP-AND-COMING Kiama stars Mikaela Patterson and Connor Bond have completed their year with the Illawarra Academy of Sport on a high after being named as top athletes in their respective fields.
Patterson (hockey) and Bond (golf) were among a large number of athletes recognised for their outstanding efforts within the Academy program.
The others were Adam Ison (cricket), Cameron Scott and Bridget Mullaly (cycling), Macenzi Howard (Individual Athlete Program), Natalie Noronha (lawn bowls), Tim Lewis (union) and Emily Osborne (netball).
All members of the 2012 program were presented to the large crowd at the Novotel Northbeach in Wollongong and received certificates.
Patterson, who is overseas competing, has reached the highest level in Australia within both her age group and the division above.
Her selection in the Australian under-16 team puts her in the top 16 players in Australia.
Her selection in the Australian Futures squad means she has been earmarked as a future Hockeyroo.
Her coach Craig Nealon said Patterson displayed an excellent attitude and was a real professional when it came to competitions, always ensuring she was adequately prepared for games.
Bond has had a tremendous year on the golf courses of the area, flagging himself as a player on the rise.
While attending the 2012 Academy golf program, he won the Moss Vale Junior Open and Macarthur Junior Masters, where he was age champion in the 15 years and older division.
He was invited to play at The Lakes and Australian golf courses. He also made the cut at the State Age titles.
For his efforts he received the Vic Burrows Memorial Award and a monetary scholarship.
"It is a great thrill to win the Vic Burrows Award and it will help me to further my career in golf," Bond said.
The major award was won by outstanding hockey talent Blake Govers, who received the Tobin Family Award. This included a $5000 scholarship from the Illawarra Mercury.