Sydney, Australia –After two weeks of voting, Australians have chosen their favourite sports dad in the Philips Sports Dad of the Year competition for 2011, with Hawthorn star Sam Mitchell beating nine other athletes to take the title.
The competition highlighted 10 elite athletes from across the sporting spectrum, offering an insight into how they juggled fatherhood and elite sporting commitments.This year's competition attracted more than 5000 votes, with Mitchell achievingalmost a third of the votes to win the title from Collingwood skipper Nick Maxwell and NSW Origin captain Paul Gallen.
Mitchell’s win keeps the title in AFL hands, following on from retired Sydney Swans captain Brett Kirk’s victory last year.The doting father of three, including twin girls, is hoping the win is a sign of things to come in September, as the Hawks have a genuine chance to claim a second premiership in four years.
“This is a great honour,” said Mitchell. “It’s the last thing on your mind as a parent to win an accolade like this, but it’s a nice bonus for doing something I love.”
Asked what makes him such a great dad, Mitchell said it came down to engaging with his children.“It’s patience and enjoying the little things, taking it day by day with each of them. Even when they are so little they are so full of personality if you really look.Having children really put my life into perspective.”
Mitchell spent Father’s Day morning at the Hawks’ recovery session before enjoying a barbecue at home with his family. Flattered that the fans took the time to vote for him, and grateful for the support he received, Mitchell will donate his winner’s cheque to Ronald McDonald House.
"Having a sick child makes you appreciate all the good causes out there and Ronald McDonald House is one of those that helps kids and their families cope with illness, and I'm so happy to be able to donate $5000," said Mitchell.
As for the Hawks chances in 2011, Mitchell remains quietly confident. “Winning form is good form but I think we need to improve if we are going to win the flag.Another premiership medal would certainly be nice to add to this, however.”
In support of this year’s competition, Philips gave away the Philips Ultimate Father’s Day Grooming Packs worth $5000, including the Beard Trimmer Pro, Body Groom Pro, Everyday Hair Clipper, the SensoTouch3D series shaver, and a $4350 Red Balloon Day Gift Voucher.
“This is a great idea from Philips and I enjoyed reading the other athletes’ profiles,” said Mitchell.“All you see is these guys playing their sports and you have no idea what goes on in their home life so it's a good insight into how guys mix their sport and their fathering duties.”
To read more about Sam Mitchell and all of the finalists in this year’s Philips Sports Dad of the Year award, go to www.sportsdads.com.au.