Toby has now been put forward to the Australia Sport Hall of Fame Selection Committee and Board for consideration or The Don awardnamed after Don Bradman.
Toby’s manager Matty Macalpine says the number of signatures on the petition is “crazy”.
“It is amazing to hear the amount of support he has received,” Matty says.
“Appreciate what you’re doing for Toby to give him that additional coverage he deserves.”
Our petition is also calling on state (Queensland and NSW) and federal sports ministers to also consider Toby for a state or national sportsperson of the year honour.
Each time you sign, an email goes to the ministers’ offices, so they would be well aware of Toby’s community support.
We approached Queensland and NSW sports ministers because Toby was born in NSW and now lives on the Gold Coast.
Your signatures on the petition will help sway the ministers, so keep sharing the petition with your friends.
Why Toby deserves more signatures
Australia has a long history of Dakar entries, most notably rookie and privateer Andy Haydon who placed third in 1998, Simon Pavey who competed 10 times and the late Andy Caldecott who competed from 2004 to 2006 when he tragically died during the race.
The Dakar is a gruelling rally that has claimed the lives of 24 competitors since it started in 1978. It is referred to as the toughest motorsport event in the world.
Toby started racing the lethal Dakar in 2015, finishing an astounding third on debut.
Toby has also won two Australian Junior Motocross Championships and the Australian Off-Road Racing Championship.
Dakar’s most prolific winner, Stéphane Peterhansel, scored his sixth win the year he turned 33. Marc Coma won his fifth Dakar Rally at the age of 39. So Toby, aged 31, still has several years of racing ahead of him and is hopeful of more Dakar wins.
The Don would be a fitting honour for Toby since it is awarded to a sportsperson who “inspires the nation” like Don Bradman.
The award began in 1998 when five-time world GP champion Mick Doohan was a finalist. The Don was shared that year by cricket captain Mark Taylor and athlete Heather Turland.
It will be difficult for Toby to win The Don as no motorsport identity has ever won.
Two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner is a three-time nominee and two-time finalist, but never a recipient of The Don. Last year F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo was a finalist on his second nomination, joined by Indy driver Will Power.
Maybe it’s time for a motorcycle racer to win.
The Don is announced each October, so there is plenty of time to impress the selection panel with petition signatures.