Australian hockey umpire David Gentles has taken out the NSW Sports Federation Award for Official of the Year.
The stars of the sporting world from NSW gathered to celebrate the achievements of athletes, officials, administrators, volunteers and organizations from NSW in 2008.
The Waterview Convention Centre played host to the 2008 NSW Sports Federation Annual Sports Awards in a black-tie occasion which saw the coming together of a broad range of sports.
David Gentles, hockey umpire from the NSW South Coast region and Loryn Topolski, umpire from the Parramatta district were nominated as finalists at the Annual Sports Awards in the categories of Official and Young Official of the Year.
Gentles was named as a finalist along with Rugby League referee Tony Archer, Cricket umpire Simon Taufel and netball umpire Sharon Kelly.
In an evening which highlighted Olympic successes, Gentles, who umpired the Gold medal match at the Beijing Olympic Games, took out the award.
Father of two, Gentles, said he was delighted to win the award in such a tough category.
'I'm humbled and honored to receive the recognition for all my years of umpiring.'
Gentles, who has now been to two Olympics, is keen to set his sights on London.
Mixing it with professional sportspeople and referees from a variety of sports, Gentles was thrilled to be acknowledged as a volunteer umpire.
Source: Hockey Australia