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Finucane, Woods in running for Sports Dad of the Year

Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues forward Dale Finucane and True Blue Aaron Woods are among 10 elite Australian athletes vying for the Sports Dad of the Year award to be announced on Father's Day on Sunday 5 September. 

Now in its 13th year, the award showcases the contribution Australia's sporting elite make to their families both on and off the field.

Last year’s winner was True Blue and South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds, who donated his winnings to Save our Sons, the organisation fighting for a cure to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The Sports Dad of the Year will highlight 10 elite athletes across a range of sports, giving insights into how they juggle fatherhood with their sporting commitments. 

This year's nominated Sports Dads will be profiled on which will include questions and answers from the players about their families, as well as some comments from the athletes' family.

All voters have the opportunity to win special prizes for their own father this Father's Day, with the winning Philips Sports Dad of the Year receiving $5,000 to donate to their charity of choice.

Finucane said he loved being a father to his son, Freddy.

“Freddy is a cheeky little boy and loves to do the opposite of what we ask but we love him to death,” he said.

“He loves to be sung to at night to help him sleep and he’s quick to tell you if he doesn’t like the song you are singing and to change it!”

Finucane’s partner Maddie praised the Melbourne Storm forward’s skills as a father.

“Dale has had to spend a fair bit of time away from Freddy so he more than makes up for it when he is home,” she said.

“Dale does bath time every night with Freddy and the majority of the time if Dale is around when Freddy does a number two, he will do the nappy change!”.

Woods said his life had changed significantly since the arrival of his two-year-old son, Buster, and newborn daughter, Coco.

“Life has completely changed….it’s obviously not about me anymore,” he said.

“I prefer it that way to tell you the truth. My Dad wasn’t around when I was young, and I want the opposite to be true for my kids.”

Woods’ wife Sarah said the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks prop was a great father.

“Aaron is very hands on, he actually delivered Coco which was very special,” she said.

“As a family we decided to induce Coco two weeks early so Aaron could enter the NRL bubble this year at very short notice.

“It was difficult because he left literally the morning after she was born…he’s very supportive, happy and excited to be a dad!”

This year’s other finalists for the award include NRL stars Daly Cherry-Evans and Thomas Burgess, AFL players Ben Brown and Mitch Robinson, Wallabies flyer Marika Koroibete, Supercars driver Dave Reynolds, Tokyo Olympic gold medallist and BMX wizard Logan Martin, and Australian hockey star and Tokyo silver medallist Jake Whetton.

Vote now for Dale at Voting closes on Tuesday, August 31, and the Sports Dad of the Year winner will be announced on Father's Day.

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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