Chase O'Leary: Australian hero

Chase O'Leary, pro bodyboarder, has been awarded Sportsperson of the Year by the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council's Australia Day. O'Leary beated Ryley Batt (wheelchair basketball), Elliot Starr (athletics) and Jordin Sheaves (athletics).

Competing on the world bodyboarding stage is something Chase O'Leary has grown into during the past seven years. From his beginnings as a small grommet catching shore breaks in Port Macquarie to battling huge waves in Hawaii.

Chase has won a number of major awards along the way including National Junior Champion, State Championships and was recently placed 4th in the Open Men's section of the National Titles.

Australia Day is an opportunity to be recognised for the outstanding work carried out within and for the community by local residents.

There are four categories for which nominations will be received: Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Community Group of the Year and Sportsperson/Sports Team of the Year.