IN the world of sport we often hear stars speak about the influence of coaches, team-mates, management, sponsors and more.
Last Friday night's presentation of the Bendigo Bank-backed Bendigo Advertiser-WIN TV Sports Star of the Year showed just how important the role that all parents play.
Netball champion Sharelle McMahon, golfing ace Lucas Herbert and the multi-talented Tayla Vlaeminck were just some of the stars who spoke about the support of their family.
Mums and Dads right across the country are often the glue that keeps everything together, especially when it comes to sport.
The role of coach, manager, timekeeper, scorer, trainer, judge are often done by parents, and usually with a minimum of fuss.
It's mum and dad who are the unofficial sponsors, the transport officers, dieticians, psychologist and more.
Sports Star is a way to recognise the central Victorian region's talented athletes, as well as the efforts made by all parents.
It's mum and dad, or sometimes grandparents, who drive to and from matches and training, clean uniforms, buy equipment, and most importantly, are usually there watching on.
Some mums and dads will cheer loudly, others quietly, but most importantly it's being there that matters the most.
The Sports Star of the Year award to gun basketballer Matthew Dellavedova was testament to his ability and determination.
The boy from Maryborough who has gone on to play in the NBA has often talked about the commitment and support from parents Mark and Leanne.
Sport stars such as Matthew Dellavedova, Sharelle McMahon, Glenn O'Shea, Hannah Every-Hall, Kristi Harrower, Glenn Ashby and Joel Selwood have endured the highs of victory, and the lows of not being selected in teams, injury, illness, or being out of form.
What never went missing was the support from family and friends.
It's that network which is so important, whether it be for an Olympian, world champion, or those playing in the under-12s.
It's not always a smooth ride to the top in any sport
Support from family and friends was in spades at Sunday morning's Sanitarium Weet-Bix TRYathlon as hundreds of boys and girls swam, cycled and ran at the Queen Elizabeth Oval sporting precinct.
My own sporting career, which took in footy, tennis, cricket, tenpin bowling and badminton never reached great heights.
I was never going to be an AFL star, Test cricketer or slamming down aces at Wimbledon.
No matter the score, mum and dad, aka Faye and Richard, have always given me plenty of encouragement.
In many ways they are or have always been there, in everything I do, whether it be watching footy, playing tennis, schooldays or in my working life.
Thanks, mum and dad.