By SAT News Desk
Melbourne, 22 January: Eleven of Australia’s most loved and celebrated singles tennis players are being honored by Australia Post as the recipients of the 2016 Australia Post Legends Award, and will appear on a new postage stamp.
This year’s Legends Award, which marks 20 years since its inception, highlights eleven of Australia’s tennis elite, who have all achieved personal success in their sporting careers and played an important role in shaping the positive image of Australian tennis globally.
The 2016 Australia Post Legends Award recipients are Pat Cash, Ashley Cooper AO, Roy Emerson, Neale Fraser AO MBE, Evonne Goolagong Cawley AO MBE, John Newcombe AO OBE, Patrick Rafter, Tony Roche AO MBE, Ken Rosewall AM MBE, Frank Sedgman AM and Fred Stolle AO.
In addition to the Legends Award stamp series, Lleyton Hewitt is being honored on a special edition farewell stamp to commemorate his retirement from competitive tennis and as the new captain of the 2016 Davis Cup team.
Ahmed Fahour, Managing Director & Group CEO, Australia Post, said this year’s award honors eleven Australians who have demonstrated sportsmanship, tenacity and inspiration through their sporting and community achievements.
“We have such a rich history of talented tennis champions in this country, so it seemed fitting as we celebrate 20 years of the Legends Award, to highlight Australian tennis and some of the inspirational singles players Australia has seen over the decades. The legacy these players have created in the sport of tennis continues to attract and inspire new generations of players to the game,” Mr. Fahour said.
“We’re also thrilled to celebrate and congratulate Lleyton Hewitt on such a successful career as he retires from competitive tennis this year. Through his dedication and commitment to the game, he continues to be an outstanding ambassador not only for the sport, but also for Australia,” Mr Fahour continued.
The 2016 Australia Post Australian Legends will be honoured at official Australia Day Council events hosted in all capital cities, with the first luncheon-taking place in Melbourne today. Each Legend will also be presented with a 24-carat gold replica of their stamp.
Pat Cash said about receiving his Legends award: “Australians love sport like no other nation and for me to be honored on a stamp as one of the legends, is an amazing acknowledgement. I never imagined my face being used as a means of postage!”
Ashley Cooper AO said about receiving his Legends award: “I was so proud to be asked to be on a stamp. I certainly never thought it would happen and to be amongst such a great group of people, well I’m just really chuffed.”
Roy Emerson said about receiving his Legends award: “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that my photograph would be on an Australian postage stamp. What an honor it is for me to be chosen, I am delighted.”
Neale Fraser AO MBE said about receiving his Legends award: “Tennis gave me a life I never could have dreamed of. To think that I would join this illustrious group of people that have been recognized in the history of the award, it makes me a very proud Australian.”
Evonne Goolagong Cawley AO MBE said about receiving her Legends award: “Being on a stamp is a wonderful honor. Lately I have really been appreciating what I’ve done in my career, because I never stopped to think about it.”
John Newcombe AO OBE said about receiving his Legends award: “I’m a very confident person and I have great self-belief but I never expect things to come along. So when I received the call from Australia Post to say they wanted to feature me on a stamp, I thought to myself – I’m such a lucky bloke.”
Patrick Rafter said about receiving his Legends award: “I remember in 2000 the Olympians who won gold were featured on a stamp which I thought was really cool. This is an amazing milestone and acknowledgement from Australia Post and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Tony Roche AO MBE said about receiving his Legends award: “Tennis has an extremely proud history in Australia, one that I hope will continue for many years to come. To be given the honor of having a postage stamp recognizing the significance of Tennis in Australia is both special and humbling.”
Ken Rosewall AM MBE said about receiving his Legends award: “Tennis gave me the opportunity to travel the world and I’m proud my name is recognized with the game. It’s humbling to think you’re going to be on a stamp, especially alongside some of my long-time friends – it’s a good feeling.”
Frank Sedgman AM said about receiving his Legends award: “It’s such an honor. We were just athletes doing our best, so to be thought about after all these years it really is just an amazing honor.”
Fred Stolle AO said about receiving his Legends award: “I am both honored and excited to be chosen along with a distinguished group of friends and it’s a good lesson for the younger generation that childhood dreams can come true. For myself and my family this is very special.”
The Legends Award criteria honors ‘inspirational’ living Australians who exemplify tenacity, imagination, perseverance, devotion, integrity and compassion, says a Australia Post media release.
The Legends Award was initiated in 1997 when Sir Donald Bradman was the first living Australian to be honored on an Australian stamp. Prior to that, the only living people honored on Australia’s stamps were members of the royal family.
The 2016 Legends will feature on a $1 stamp, with all Legends featuring in a stamp pack, first day cover, a set of maxi cards and booklet of 10 stamps for collectors.
The stamps and associated products are available at participating Australia Post retail outlets, via mail order phone 1800 331 794 and online at www.auspost.com.au/stamps from 21 January 2016 while stocks last.
- SAT News Service.