Club Champion is the club’s highest accolade and is awarded to the player who received the most MVP votes from the Head Coach and Assistant Coach throughout the regular Suncorp Super Netball season.

The South Australian defender, who returned to the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2018 after a year at the Queensland Firebirds, was the stand-out player throughout the season, continually holding her own against the world’s best shooters and finishing the season with 13 blocks, the highest of any player.

In her acceptance speech, Shimmin said: “Since I made my debut for the Adelaide Thunderbirds I’ve seen the likes of Nat von Bertouch, Erin Bell and Renae Ingles receive this award, it’s such an honour and I love this club.”

“I’ve been playing at Netball SA since I was 13 years old and to be accepting this award now, I’m so overwhelmed and so grateful.”

On reflecting on the 2018 season Shimmin add: “As a team we came into this year with the best intentions and we wanted to do so well. We did have our little wins, but I want more for the club, I want success and I’m excited about it.”

Adelaide Thunderbirds General Manager Melody Cooper paid tribute, saying: “Kate has had a stellar season and deserves all the accolades.”

“Every round Kate continually gave it everything with her on court fight, determination and a never give up attitude.

“Kate is a very proud Adelaide Thunderbird and we are thrilled to have Kate signed on for the future.”

As well as the Club Champion accolade, four other Adelaide Thunderbirds awards were given on the night and for the first time at the event the Southern Force was recognised with their players’ player and MVP crowned.

Another highlight for the evening was the presentation of cap numbers to past and present Adelaide Thunderbirds players, which saw club greats including Sarah Sutter, Nat von Bertouch and Jane Altschwager in attendance.

2018 Southern Force Award Winners
Southern Force Players’ Award – Elly Cleggett
Southern Force Player of the Year Award – Kelly Altmann
2018 Adelaide Thunderbirds Award Winners
Priceline Pharmacy Club Champion Award – Kate Shimmin
The Members Award – Kate Shimmin
Tanya Denver Award – Kate Shimmin
The Spirit Award – Bongi Msomi
The Players’ Award – Kate Shimmin

The club also confirmed that Kaitlyn Bryce, Abigail Latu-Meafou, Fiona Fowler, Cathrine Tuivaiti, Shimona Nelson and Bongi Msomi would not be returning to the club, with assistant coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson also leaving.

A media release added: "The club thanks the players and Woodlands-Thompson for their contribution and wishes them all the best for the future."