The Red Cliffs Sportsperson of the Year Awards has been presented to speedway star and local sporting hero Jaimon Lidsey.Back in his beloved home town, Jaimon proudly accepted the award, bestowed on Australia Day in a ceremony held at the ‘The Shed’ café and car museum in the town. The Annual award is presented by the Red Cliffs Rotary and Lions Clubs who organise the event which would normally be held in Barclay Square. Red Cliffs Rotary president, Rob Evans said that because of the COVID restrictions, the event was staged at a smaller venue this year in order to be compliant with the health and safety guidelines. “We normally have a breakfast over in Barclay Square which Lions and Rotary used to cater for, but it’s just too hard this year with COVID,” Mr Evans said. “So we thought we would find a place that has already got all of the COVID protocols in place and Craig at The Shed was happy to have which was good.” Jaimon previously won the Junior Sportsperson of the Year Award in 2016 and he has a host of accolades to his name and last year was crowned the Under 21 World Speedway Champion which was an enormous feat, especially coming from a little town like Red Cliffs. “We are really chuffed that he is home at the moment and was able to come along today to receive his award. Following the playing of the new version of the National Anthem Mr Evans handed over to Mildura Rural City Councillor Glenn Milne to make the presentation to Jaimon.” Councillor Milne described Jaimon as a “very worthwhile recipient”, citing his stellar achievements in the world of speedway, both in Australia and overseas. “Jaimon is an amazingly skilled rider who has already achieved so much and has the best yet to come,” Cr Milne said. “I watch speedway riders in awe at the risks they take and I grew up watching Phil Crump practising on the land next door to my family’s place and I attended the speedway from an early age. “Since I was a tiny kid they rode motor bikes through our property and Dad made sure we were at the speedway every Sunday night and today I love to get down there and photograph the events.” Jaimon has gone on to become the Under 21 Australian Champion, a title he has won three times in a row including 2020. “He has gone onto ride in the toughest league in the world, having gained a permanent spot for 2020 – 2021. Last year he became the Under 21 World Champion − well done Jaimon!” Jaimon said he was thrilled to be awarded Sportsperson of the Year in Red Cliffs, the place he loves coming home to. “It’s a great honour and I always enjoy coming back to Red Cliffs – it’s my home town and I grew up here,” he said. ”To get an award like this means a lot to me – it’s pretty cool. Red Cliffs will always be home, and while I do have a second home overseas in Poland, at the end of the year, you always want to come back to see your friends and family.” Red Cliffs Lions’ Steve Hicks said that it was a wonderful yearly event which the Rotary and Lions Clubs enjoyed organising. “We have been doing this for a lot of years and we work together on a lot of community events,” he said. “People who have done things for their community deserve recognition. I think the recognition of someone’s achievements is important and it’s what makes for a great community and Jaimon is a truly deserving recipient for the incredible heights he has achieved at such a young age.” • More Australia Day news and photographs Pages 6 & 7.