2019 Victorian Sport Award Winners

Congratulations to the below individuals, teams, organisations, clubs and events for being awarded as winners of the 2019 Victorian Sport Awards!

The Victorian Outstanding Contribution to Victorian Sport Award is presented to an individual or organisation in recognition of outstanding achievement in, or contribution to, sport in Victoria. Winners of the Outstanding Contribution to Sport Award are nominated by the Vicsport Board and selected by a panel of industry representatives who are chosen based on their significant role in the Victorian sport and active recreation sector.

Peter Thomson

Click here to view previous winners of the Outstanding Contribution to Victorian Sport Award

Jeff Hopkins - Football
uiding Melbourne Victory to the Westfield Women’s League Premiership in 2019, Jeff also took home Coach of the Year honours. In addition, Victory became the first Australian participant club to be invited to compete in the Women’s Asian Club Championships. Synonymous with the female football pathway for many years, Jeff is active in delivering coach education and female participation workshops across Victoria. This includes Melbourne Victory’s first Girls Pre-Academy Centre for talented females aged 8-14, a pilot which will be expanded to two further metropolitan centres in 2020.


Hannah Every-Hall - Rowing
Under Hannah’s guidance, Powerhouse Rowing Club has made significant leaps forward in terms of water success, off-water training, driving a new and younger membership and actively bridging the gap between school programs and clubs with a membership growth of 70% across the past two years. In her role as Director of Rowing, Hannah provides a fun and challenging environment catering for all ages, abilities and fitness levels while her contribution to building a culture of inclusiveness, trust, respect and team spirit has bound the club. An accomplished Olympian, Hannah has chosen to make a difference in the local community and is representative of the Powerhouse Rowing Club ethos, ‘service without seeking recognition’.


Susan Taylor - Badminton
Refereeing from club through to international level in 2019, Susan officiated at the Victorian Open, Australian Para-Badminton National Championships, World Junior Championships and the Australian Open to name a few. An assessor for National and Oceania Umpire accreditation and certifications, Susan also attends local tournament to mentor, train and assess new umpires who are gaining the experience required for their qualification.


Sally Whitehouse - Swimming
Officiating at club, district, state and national level, Sally holds volunteer positions of Public Officer and Treasurer on the Ovens & Murray District Board while sitting on their selections and referee committees. Sally’s knowledge of the rules of swimming enables her to demonstrate fairness and integrity while she often organises regional development days that enable athletes to train with high-level coaches and participate in education workshops. Travelling from regional Victoria to Melbourne in order to mentor and assess officials, Sally’s commitment is evident in the hours and days she devotes to her sport as well as the countless kilometres of driving.


Victorian Fury - Netball
Competing in the Deakin University Australian Netball League (ANL), the Victorian Fury dominated another season of Australia’s second highest domestic competition. After finishing the regular season with a 13-1 record, the Fury swept their way through the finals to claim their eighth ANL crown. With no other team in the competition’s history owning more than one Championship, the Fury further cemented their place as the league’s most successful team.


Victorian Equestrian Interschools Team - Equestrian
Maddy Theobald, Millie Ritchie, Abby Port, Jack Barker, Theodora Newman and captain Natasha Moody created history in 2019 by winning the Harry le Bherz Trophy at the Marcus Oldham Australian Interschool Championships. Not only was it the team’s second consecutive victory but it marked the first time an interstate team has won the Championships away from home soil. With cumulative points contested across five days of disciplines including show jumping, dressage, eventing, show horse and combined training, the team showed their consistency and versatility by scoring well in every discipline on their way to victory.


Dylan Alcott - Tennis
Another incredible year for one of Australia’s greatest tennis players, Dylan won three Grand Slam quad wheelchair singles titles (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon) while also finishing as a finalist at the US Open. He claimed all four Grand Slam quad wheelchair doubles titles and finished 2019 as the number one ranked player in the quad wheelchair singles division.


Lucy Stephan - Rowing
Hailing from Nhill in the northern Wimmera from a family of grain growers, Lucy is an unlikely rower but her determination and competitive nature led to another successful year in 2019. She represented the Melbourne University Boat Club at the Australian National Rowing Championships, was selected as captain of the Victorian State team and stroke of the Women's Eight in the Interstate Regatta at Sydney while also winning three gold medals for Australia including at the World Rowing Championships.


Gabriella Peiniger - Swimming
Exceeding expectations and proving herself as one of the Australian athletes to watch for in 2019, Gabriella added to her trophy cabinet with a host of medals at Victorian and national Age Championships. Earning selection on to the 2020 Swimming Australia National Flippers program, Gabriella has already been chosen for the Australian Junior World team and is the highest performing able-body athlete at senior Australian Open Short Course Championships.


Involve Group

Mark Thompson - Masters Swimming
Excelling in national and international competitions throughout 2019, Mark cleaned up at the 2019 FINA Masters World Championships by winning the 100m, 200m and 800m freestyle in the 50-54 age group while also setting a new Australian record in the 800m. At the 2019 MSA National Championships, he won five freestyle titles and set another four Australian records before finishing off with five MSV Short Course Championships which included four Australian records.


Athena Babo - Football
The Club Secretary Volunteer for Pascoe Vale FC, Athena performs all secretarial work, corporate sponsorship, canteen duties, club grants processes and event and local community engagement- all at a high level. She also liaises with Football Victoria and council while being heavily involved in the club’s women and girls’ programs. Athena was a key driver in Pascoe Vale FC’s first Women in Business function and helped implement a Wellbeing Committee, an All-Abilities Program and a Youth Development Program. Most notably, Athena was instrumental in promoting the “Save Hakeem” campaign through local, state and federal government authorities.

Grant Cosgriff - Triathlon
A Change Our Game Champion, Grant delivered Triathlon Victoria’s Gender Equity report and launched the Women in Triathlon Action Plan to grow female participation in 2019. This led to a 6% increase in female participation, 21% growth in female leadership and a 44% bump in female accredited Foundation coaches for the sport. Through “TRI2gether”, Grant addressed youth participation by engaging 250 students in a previously unexplored market and as an advocate for organisational change, has brought an inclusive culture to Triathlon Victoria by providing placement and employment opportunities for people with intellectual disability.


Naomi Symington & Janet Jones - Life Saving
A program which has now expanded throughout Victoria, Australia and internationally, Naomi Symington and Janet Jones’ Starfish Nippers began at Anglesea Surf Life Saving Club. Designed for children and young adults with a disability to participate alongside their parents, the program caters for all abilities while encouraging the learning of core lifesaving skills, promoting physical activity and achieving personalsbests through sport. Run by volunteers, Naomi and Janet built the sustainable program by catering to participants’ varied needs and providing training and resources to ensure continued growth. The program has impacted the wider club community and advocates further education on disability and inclusion.


Casey Stadium - City of Casey
The redevelopment of Casey Stadium has seen it transformed into a world class multi-sport stadium with the safe and inclusive facility housing new gymnastics, indoor cricket, indoor soccer and wheelchair sports programs. Casey Netball Association secured the Casey Demons VNL licence and added 93 teams through the year, Casey Basketball Association added 100 teams, Casey Gymnastics attracted over 600 members, 150,000 spectators flocked to the Australian Sikh Games and the National Indoor Cricket Championships hosted over 80 teams including the Lord Taverners Shield for players with an intellectual disability. Total visitation numbers grew to over 1.1 million in 2019.


Melbourne Tennis Month - Tennis Victoria
Introduced in February, Melbourne Tennis Month (MTM) was created to give tennis clubs an opportunity to leverage the excitement of the Australian Open by opening their doors to free participation. Activities includes Hot Shots tennis, Fast4, Court Hire, Cardio Tennis, Social Tennis, Women's tennis, multicultural tennis and seniors tennis with the 450 free events across the month featuring 3,660 participants, 1,700 of which were new to the sport Partnering with LGAs boosted participation numbers and strengthened the connection between them and the clubs for future events.


Kyvalley Tennis Club - Tennis

Within a community of 329 permanent residents, Kyvalley Tennis Club provides a safe and welcoming environment for locals struggling with drought and economic conditions. Despite the small population, an incredible 304 participants are registered to Kyvalley and through the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program, 70 children aged 3-12, including those with special, needs participate each year. Junior players aged 8-16 have the opportunity to play in the Kyabram & District Tennis Association, professional coaches offer further opportunities to develop their skills while a Female Participation Program focuses on inclusion.


My Sport Live

32nd Australian Sikh Games- Victorian Sikh Games Organising Committee & the City of Casey
Delivering a welcoming, safe and inclusive event, the Sikh Games involved 14 sports open to all skills and backgrounds. Across three days, over 100,000 people attended with 140,000 free meals provided by local Sikh Temple communities while traffic and crowd management, sporting protocols, food and beverage procedures as well as integrated event partners and supporters were pre-planned to ensure a seamless event. The impact of the Sikh Games on local community sporting participation was immediately seen with Casey Council approached to hold new sporting events including a Kabaddi Tournament and a Multicultural Athletics Day which will be an on-going legacy of the Sikh Games.


This inagural award recognises the coverage of elite and community sport to the wider public via various online, digital, broadcast and/or print media platforms in 2019.

Lachlan Rayner - Little Athletics
Communications and Marketing Coordinator for Little Athletics Victoria, Lachlan Rayner directed live-streaming operations across three State Championship events. Providing expert commentary, professional-level production qualities, high definition images, athlete interviews and roaming camera footage, the live-streams now live in perpetuity online for participants, families and friends to watch. They also serve as a continual advertisement of the Little Athletics experience, demonstrating its long-standing values of Family, Fun & Fitness and recording the increasing cultural diversity of Little Athletics.


Government Partners

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