2020 has been a remarkable year for the Christian Today sport writers – it is time we recognised this.
The five Panellists who marked the sport writers found there was only 3.4 marks between all five sport writers.
Tony Dunkerley Sport Award - Jeremy Dover - Melbourne
Tronson Award - Phil Hall, Melbourne
Analytical Award - Wes Tronson, Gold Coast
Theology Awards - Travis Barnes (Melbourne) and David Goodwin (Melbourne)
The five Sport Writer Panellists
Rev Peter Nelson – ret AIS and Olympic Chaplain
Simon Farrerr - ret Government executive
Josh Robbie - South Africa
Tim Wilson - Canada
John Skinner - Aust Rodeo Judge
All these five panellists have been engaged in this serious role over many years.
Way back in 2009
The sport writers initiated the young writer program with Christian Today and this was so successful that it initiated the young writer program - expanded to Comment writing which included almost anything.
Over the years there have been several changes of sport writers - the most recent is that Travis Barnes is focusing on Comment writing and taking his place is Kelly Thompson of Melbourne. Kelly’s first sport article will be published on Wednesday 20 January. Kelly is the fourth woman sport writer with Christian Today over all these years.
We have enjoyed a number of New Zealand sport writers, three have been award winners.
Annemarie de Villers - raised in NZ then moved to Melbourne Uni
Brad Mills – Auckland
Tim Newman - Christchurch
This year NZ Women’s Hurling representative Mhiara-Bronte Duncan of Dunedin became the latest NZ sport writer.
Sport writing a draw card
We have consistently found that the sport articles have been draw cards for readers.
Phil Hall in 2020 took on the roles of coordinating and editing the sport articles and when no photo is sent by a sport writer, and adds one of his professional sketches.
Christian Today has impressed on the sport writers they are writing sport - not a pseudo theology article. The philosophy is that Christian Today readers might also enjoy a sport article (but not on the back page). Front and centre on the home page.
The sport articles continue to be a highlight.
Photo - Phil Hall sketch
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 25 books, and enjoys writing. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded ‘The Gutenberg’ - the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. He and David Chang editor of Christian Today together bought the young writer ministry into fruition in 2009. In 2011 Mark established Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) for missionary respite and replicated at Aldinga Beach 2016 (Adelaide) and Greens Beach Bass Straight (TAS). His ministry is honoured all these years by Christian philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM. He is married to Delma (44 years), with four adult married children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/dr-mark-t.html