May 19 - 25, 2024: Issue 626


Freshwater- Manly Boy Ian Hanson OAM Inducted As Life Member Into Commonwealth Games Australia 

Ian Hanson OAM with his Life Membership. Photo: Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA)

Sports media icon Ian Hanson OAM has been conferred Life Membership of Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) as part of Annual General Meeting (AGM) proceedings in Sydney held Wednesday May 15 2024.

A stalwart of the media mixed zones having attended ten Games as a journalist, Media Director and media liaison, Hanson was humbled by the acknowledgement and enthusiastic about his experiences with the Australian Commonwealth Games Team.

He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to media, communications, and sport in 2019.

“To see my name alongside those that have been honoured before me is something that astounds me, it’s a real honour,” Mr. Hanson said.

“I’ve had so many magical moments at the Commonwealth Games, things that have stuck in my mind and will continue to do so. 

“Times have changed from dictating copy to copy takers as a journalist to my most recent tenure leading the media team in Birmingham, but each experience has made me want to be back at the next Games.

“I believe that my recognition today is acknowledgement for the impact of media folks at the Games, from journalists to media managers, and all that they do to make athletes the heroes we know and love.”

CGA President Ben Houston congratulated Hanson for his service to the Commonwealth Sport Movement in Australia.

“Life membership is only conferred upon those who have contributed in an exemplary way and Hanson is among those that have gone above and beyond for the Commonwealth Games in Australia,” Houston said.

The induction of Hanson as Life Member follows the announcement of Trinbago 2023 gold medallist Tayte Ryan as the 2023 Emerging Athlete of the Year at the President’s Dinner the night before, May 14.

Ryan collected three cycling gold medals at last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games, before going on to win gold and the rainbow jersey in the 1000m Kilo Time Trial at the 2023 UCI Junior Track World Championships. 

The President’s Dinner also saw Orders of Merit presented for the first time, with sports marketer Michael Bushell AM, philanthropist Robert Gerard AO, Gold Coast 2018 CEO Mark Peters OAM, and highly regarded team officials Carol Grant and David ‘Charlie’ Walsh OAM honoured.

The Order of Merit complements life membership and recognises the outstanding contribution of individuals to the Commonwealth Sport Movement in Australia and across the world.

Ian Hanson attended St Paul's Christian Brothers College, Manly from 1966 to 1971 where he was a regular member of the Swimming Team (Year 7-Year 12); The Rugby League Team, Soccer Team and School Choir. He was voted by his peers as one of two Vice-Captains in Year 12.

He became a volunteer Life Saver at the age of 13 at Freshwater SLSC and has maintained his membership of Freshwater and also Currumbin Vikings (1998) ever since, competing at a National level and representing the Sydney Northern Beaches Branch and the NSW State Team.

Ian established his own Sports PR agency, Hanson Sports Media in 2000 and the Hanson Media Group in 2008 broadening a sports and corporate client base but always maintaining the link with Olympic sports. 

He attended the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics as a MLO and the 2002, 2006 and 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 FINA World Championships and 2000, 2002 and 2004 FINA World Short Course Championships as the team’s media manager. He also working as the Surf Sports Media manager for the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships 1996-2013; as well as the Coolangatta Gold 2005-2013; the Australian Diving Team through four Olympic campaigns 1996-2008; the 2003 IRB Rugby World Cup; with Hanson Media providing Media management for Northern Spirit, Parramatta Power and Sydney FC in the A-League; Gold Coast Rugby 7s; the Australian beach volleyball championships and the men's indoor team's Olympic journey and corporately with Speedo, Uncle Tobys and Kellogg. 

Ian has also provided Fox Sports News with regular weekly up-dates leading into the London 2012 Olympics and provided expert analysis in studio for the the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. He has been a regular on ABC Grandstand, providing expert commentary on all sports for over 25 years as well as providing his expertise for radio networks such as 2UE, 2GB, 2SM and 2KY amongst others. His media training clients have included Swimming, Triathlon, Surf Life Saving, Equestrian and Diving Australia; the NSW Business Chamber; Sydney Swifts; NSWIS; the AIS and the QAS.

Mr. Hanson is now based on the Gold Coast.

Former gold and silver medallist Olympian Brooke Hanson OAM, his daughter, who also grew up in our area, stated via Instagram ''Congratulations to my dad aka Hanso, Ian Hanson OAM on his Life Membership to Commonwealth Games Australia.''

''To be raised by a sports journalist in a sport loving household named 'The Fish Tank' has been truly amazing & his stories inspired me to go on & achieve in elite sport but to see my dad being recognized for his incredible contribution truly makes my heart sing.''

''His commitment for over 50 years to Commonwealth Games Australia, sports journalism, sports media, sports commentary, sports management, sports public relations, the sport of swimming, triathlon & surf life saving, sports broadcasting, definitely makes our sports mad household SUPER proud.''

''Congratulations Dad, Poppy Hanso we are all so proud of you, continue the passion for the sports you love & we can’t wait to read your many stories in your book, tales of “The Fish” definitely need to be told.''