Suzy Batkovic, Belinda Barnes, and Ann-Maree Putney have joined more than 300 local stars in the Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame this week after an induction ceremony at the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club.
Both Batkovic and Barnes have represented Australia at the Olympics. Batkovic twice claimed silver with the Opals, and recorded a bronze finish in 2014. She has also been named WNBL MVP six times, and won five championship rings.
Barnes scored her Olympic bronze with the Australian women’s softball team in Beijing in 2008. The 27-year-old finished behind Japan and the United States in her tilt at the Summer event after falling 4-3 to Japan in 12 innings.
Ann-Maree Putney was inducted in the Hunter’s hall of fame for her achievements in the sport of ten-pin bowling. Putney reached the height of her success in 2010 when she claimed the top rank in Australia’s standings.
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The Hunter trio were inducted at the 28th event of its kind alongside Olympic medalists Ryan Rowland-Smith (baseball) and Mathew Helm (diving), as well as Michael Fitzgerald (rugby), Greg Primmer (motorcycling), and Alexander MacNeill (rugby referee).
The hall of fame, first founded in 1992, features hundreds of Hunter sports stars who have represented the green and gold of Australia internationally across the years. Lauren Colthorpe (football) and Laura Dunn (rowing) were inducted last year.