The iconic photo of AFLW player Tayla Harris executing an airborne kick is the winner of the professional category in the inaugural Women in Sport Photo Action Awards – #WISPAA .
The photo taken by Victorian AFLW senior photographer Michael Willson, which became an influential image for change after being denigrated by online trolls, was a standout and memorable winner according to #WISPAA creator and judge Louise Evans.
“This image was chosen as the professional winner of the inaugural WISPAA Women in Sport Photo Action Awards because it perfectly captures the essence of women in sport performing at the highest level,” said Louise Evans, who is also the Communications Director for peak advocacy body Women Sport Australia.
“It takes you into the mindset of AFLW player Tayla Harris and on a journey of skill, athleticism, power and determination. It captures that sweet moment in sport when everything falls into place, when amid all the drama and noise an athlete executes the perfect play. It’s beautiful, inspirational and a memorable winner.”
Professional winner Michael Willson will receive economy return flights, five nights accommodation and photo media accreditation to attend the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, 27 September – 6 October, 2019. He will also receive a $A5,000 Nikon e-store voucher to spend on Nikon products.
The winner of the amateur #WISPAA category is a powerful rugby union image by Western Australian photographer Johan Schmidt. #WISPAA creator and judge Louise Evans said: “This image was chosen as the amateur winner of the inaugural WISPAA Women in Sport Photo Action Awards because of the intimidating level of raw power, strength and determination it displays. The tenacity of the tacklers fighting for the ball is palpable. You know from the expression on the face of charging rugby union player Sera Ah-Sam she won’t be stopped. It’s a powerful winner of the WISPAA amateur category.”
Amateur winner Johan Schmidt will receive economy return flights, five nights accommodation and social media accreditation to attend the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar 27 September – 6 October, 2019. He’ll also get a $A3,000 Nikon e-store voucher to spend on Nikon products.
There were also two professional runners-up and two amateur runners-up from the 15 professional and 15 amateur #WISPAA finalists chosen by the four judges: award-winning sports photographers Delly Carr and Colleen Petch, award-winning broadcaster Ray Martin and award-winning sports journalist and editor Louise Evans. You can read more about the judges here: https://wispaa.com.au/judges
The two professional #WISPAA runners-up are:
- Control, Sam Kerr, Soccer. Image by Luke Hemer, Vic.
The #WISPAA judges said: “This photo was selected because of the high level of skill and control it displays. It’s a very impressive feat to stop and control a ball travelling at speed in mid air. It’s also an amazing feat to capture that very moment when it happens on the field of play.”
- Clock Tackle, Angela Foley and Tegan Cunningham, AFLW. Image by Daniel Pockett, Vic.
The #WISPAA judges said: “This image showcases a fearless tackle and AFLW players throwing their bodies and souls into the action. It shows their bravery, strength and athleticism. You can sense their ferocious fearlessness. The composition of the players with their legs and arms forming a clock face is a great moment in time.”
The two amateur #WISPAA runners-up are:
- The Goal, Alisha Fong, Underwater Rugby. Image by Marcia Riederer, Vic.
The #WISPAA judges said: “This image of Underwater Rugby was chosen because it’s so dramatically different – almost other worldly – in its depiction of women playing sport. The judges were impressed by the efforts both the athletes and the photographer went to in capturing this image. To catch a shot on goal is tough. To do it underwater adds an impressive level of complexity.”
- Don’t Argue, Alicia Eva and Nat Exon, AFLW. Image by David Layden, Qld.
The #WISPAA judges said: “There are a series of important moments in any game and this dramatically captures one of those moments when the pursuit of victory takes on gladiatorial grandeur. The sense of flight is beautiful, perfectly capturing the drama and action, the flying hair and jerseys being ripped. You know by looking at the expressions on the players’ faces the stitching on their jerseys will give way before they do.“
You can download images of the two #WISPAA winners and four runners-up here: http://bit.ly/WISPAA2019_Winners
Captions with the names of the winners, runner-ups and players depicted are embedded with the images. Publication of the images must carry this credit: Courtesy of Women Sport Australia and #WISPAA.
You can also view all the winners, runners-up and the other 24 finalists’ images on the WISPAA website here: https://wispaa.com.au/ and on Women Sport Australia’s social media channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
WISPAA is proudly presented by Women Sport Australia (WSA), the peak national advocacy body for women in sport http://www.womensportaustralia.com.au/
The aim of #WISPAA is to showcase the skill, strength and athleticism of Australian sportswomen.
WISPAA is supported by prize sponsors Nikon and IAAF.