Sydney, Australia – V8 Supercar star Mark Winterbottom has broken the stranglehold of the major footy codes to be crowned the 2012 Phillips Sports Dad of the Year. This year’s competition attracted a record 7000 votes with Mark‘Frosty’ Winterbottom polling 28 per cent to beat home NRL champions Cameron Smith and Nathan Hindmarsh.
The competition involving 10 of Australia’s biggest stars gives insights into how they juggle fatherhood and sporting commitments.
Winterbottom’s honour comes after wins by retired NRL star John Skandalis in 2009, and AFL stars Brett Kirk (2010) and Sam Mitchell last year.
“It’s an absolute honour to be crowned the Philips Sports Dad of the Year,” Winterbottom said. “Being a father is so rewarding, I love every minute I spend with Oliver and try my best to make him a part of my racing. If anything, it shows how big the sport of V8 Supercars is and how supportive the V8 fan base is, so thank you to everyone who voted for me including both Ford and Holden supporters”.
In a touching gesture, Winterbottom has decided to donate $10,000 to a cause close to his heart, the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The donation comprises the $5,000 allocated to a charity by the winner, plus Winterbottom’s personal winning cheque of an additional $5,000.
“My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was eight and battled it for many years before passing away from cancer last year,” Winterbottom said. “This charity definitely sits closely to my heart and looking at the statistics of how common it is, we clearly need to be doing as much research on prevention and cure as possible. I know it's Fathers Day but without our mums we wouldn't be here".
Winterbottom enjoyed Sunday with a special cuddle from his young son, Oliver. “I got a morning cuddle from Oliver while having his bottle in my bed and then breakfast in bed followed by a family bike ride and then my favourite dinner!,” he said. “All the nominees are great fathers so hopefully our kids spoilt us all on Father’s Day.”
Winterbottom thanked Philips for their ongoing support of the competition.