2022 Victorian Sport Award Finalists

Congratulations to the below individuals, organisations, clubs and Local Government Authorities for progressing through to the finalist stage of the 2022 Victorian Sport Awards (VSAs). Winners will be announced when the VSAs are held at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday 7 June, 2023.


This award is open to Victorian coaches who have achieved outstanding coaching performance/s with Victorian athlete/s or teams during the 2022 year.


Angela McMillan - Aerobic Gymnastics

Coach of Pure Allstars as well as the Victorian and Australian team, Angela is admired for her holistic coaching approach. She also runs courses and upskilling events for both athletes and aspiring coaches while in 2022, she volunteered on the Victorian Aerobics Commission, contributed to the development of the nationwide recreational program and regularly worked with schools to grow their own competitive courses. Angela accomplished all this while running a highly successful program at her own club, achieving results state-wide, nationally and internationally including a World Championship victory in Portugal.
Jack Lewis - Sailing

Serving as the state coach for the Victoria International Optimist Dingy Association, Jack trains the highly successful Victorian Optimist Sailing Team with team members achieving positions on the Australian Optimist Sailing Team for the Worlds, Europeans and Asians. In addition, Jack coached Peninsula Grammar to second at nationals and they became only the second Victorian school team to qualify for the Interdominion Team Racing Championships. Recognised for his interpersonal skills and ability to motivate sailors of all abilities, Jack also allows time during training camps to develop up-and-coming coaches by providing opportunities to work with state teams.

Mary Hanna - Equestrian, Dressage

A six-time Olympian, Mary brings her international expertise to an Amateur Owner Rider Squad and Dressage Young Rider Squad, providing coaching that is not otherwise available to those athletes in Australia. Also a state high-performance dressage squad coach, Mary most notably helped Jessica Dertell earn 2022 Victorian Young Rider of the Year. Outside of coaching, Mary sponsored the 2022 Aachen Challenge at Dressage & Jumping with the Stars, offering the winner the opportunity to train with an international coach as she continues to advocate for the next generation of the sport.
Will Enzinger - Equestrian, Eventing

The head coach of the Victorian High-performance Young Rider and Senior Squads, Will was instrumental in a number of successful performances through 2022 including Sam Jeffree, a long-term student of Will’s, being named Victorian Rider of The Year and selected to represent Australia at the Oceania Championships. Having earned the highest level of coaching and being a coach educator, Will plays a vital role in bringing in new instructors, assisting them to gain their qualifications and is a strong advocate of the Equestrian Australia coaching pathway.


This award is open to Victorian community coaches who have made a significant contribution to their club and/or association/district during the 2022 calendar year, with a particular focus on improving community sport through encouraging participation, fairness, integrity and making sport more welcoming and inclusive.


Christine Cardwell - Life Saving

As the head Rescue & Resuscitation coach at both South Melbourne and Anglesea Surf Lifesaving Clubs, Christine oversaw all four of her senior teams to win gold medals in their respective events at The Aussies while an Under-19 Team competed in the Open Female Event and claimed silver. Having been in life saving for 46 years, Christine holds the position of Member Protection Officer at South Melbourne and is a member of the Honour and Awards Sub-Committee. She also develops younger athletes to become Nipper Age Managers and advises Nipper parents of the pathways for their children in lifesaving.

Presley Naea - Rugby Union

Playing a crucial role in rebuilding the Endeavour Hills Rugby Women’s Team after a long absence from the Lindroth Cup, Presley led them in his debut season to a 10-4 record before claiming the 2022 Premiership with a win over the Minor Premiers. Passionate about ensuring his club is safe, inclusive and welcoming for women and girls in a traditionally male dominated sport, Presley holds the position of Director of Rugby at Endeavour Hills and assists in developing Youth Girls teams at Frog Hollow Reserve where he played, helping to earn him the 2022 Rugby Victoria Emerging Coach of the Year Award.
Ricky Baldwin - Basketball

A proud Gunai Kurnai man, for over 20 years Ricky has helped provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people opportunities to participate and compete in sport while learning about their cultural heritage and building the knowledge, skills and resources they need to successfully engage in education and employment opportunities. Through Koorie Academy, Ricky offers Indigenous children a sense of hope and self-determination that he never had for himself when growing up as he aims to do all he can to ensure no other Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child feels as lost and alone as he did.
Vicky Lee - Tennis

Coaching at Doncaster Tennis Club and Eastern Region Tennis Association (as well as at 19 schools throughout Melbourne’s east), Vicky is determined to make tennis a sport for all, for life. She has run several initiatives including PWII tennis (for persons with an intellectual impairment), deaf/hard of hearing tennis, blind/low vision tennis, Evelyn’s Tennis (for seniors), Changing Ends (for shift workers and emergency service workers) and Advantage Autism which won the Victorian Tennis Award for Most Outstanding Inclusion Initiative in 2022.


This award is open to Victorian officials who have demonstrated excellence in their role as an official of their chosen sport during the 2022 year.


Clare Taylor - Short Track Speed Skating

An official for the International Skating Union in Short Track Speed Skating, Clare was the Chief Referee for State and National Championships in 2022 while also serving as the Video Referee at two World Cups and managing the ISU system from Australia for other World Cups which allowed referees from around the world to record their decisions in real time. Delivering the Officials Training Course in the lead-up to the Australian Championships ensured there would be referees for the event and Clare also collates racing times for all Victorian skaters, working to create a national database for race times.

John Roberts - Lawn Bowls

Holding the highest officiating accreditation, John officiated the Men’s Singles Final at the Victorian Open, the State Championships and the Victorian Bowls League while on a national level, he umpired both series of the Bowls Premier League, the Australian Championships, the Champion of Champions and The Nationals. One of only two State Umpiring Coordinators who provide training and guidance throughout Victoria, John also authors Bowls Victoria articles under the title of ‘The Lawman’ where he explores rules of the game and applies them to everyday bowler scenarios. Appointed Chief Technical Officer for World Bowls, John created and delivered an online, self-paced learning officiating accreditation for the sport nationally.

Kevin Taranto - Equestrian

The only fully equipped, qualified international level judge in southern Australia, equestrian events simply would not run without Kevin. Having completed the highly regarded FEI Level 3 judging pathway, Kevin travels throughout Victoria and interstate with his significantly busy schedule including offering mentoring and support to judges who are aiming to achieve similar qualifications. Running clinics to support the judging and officiating eco-system within Australia, he also participates in Jump Judging Refresher Courses to ensure he remains up to speed with the latest education.

Kirrily Guinan - Triathlon

Recording a mountain of work in 2022, Kirrily officiated at the Oceania Triathlon Cup, Para Cup and Oceania Triathlon Junior Championships, served as Chief Race Official at the 2XU Race6 in St Kilda and Ironman 70.3 Melbourne and was Race Referee at the Victorian Duathlon Championships. Kirrily was involved in mentoring new Technical Officials with an emphasis on improving the athlete experience by applying rules fairly, acting with integrity and making both the sport and officiating more welcoming and inclusive. Kirrily has also been appointed to the Triathlon Victoria Technical Committee to work on guidelines around event operations, athlete safety, rules, education and officials’ wellbeing.


This award is open to Victorian sporting officials (umpires/referees/judges) who have made a significant contribution to their club and/or association/district in the 2022 calendar year. This award recognises a particular focus on improving community sport through fairness, integrity and making sport more welcoming and inclusive.


Anna Devonish - Athletics

A Regional Official in Geelong, Anna is the Geelong Athletics Secretary and regional delegate on the Athletics Victoria Shield League (AVSL) Committee. She officiates locally, as well as travelling to officiate at Athletics Championships, and is often the first to arrive and the last to leave. Keen to keep up her professional development, Anna regularly attends education seminars and recently completed the World Athletics Level 1 Technical Officiating Course. Her tireless efforts through 2022 ensured a successful running of the Victorian Country Championships and the recruiting of new officials and club helpers, ensuring they are comfortable in their roles and connecting them with other mentors.

Christine Christie - Athletics

Representing Ballarat Regional Athletics Centre and Wendouree Athletic Club, Christine officiates across Athletics Victoria Shield League competitions, Athletics Victoria Championship competitions, Little Athletics and school events, while also travelling interstate to officiate nationally and internationally. Typically in charge of an event site which involves managing other officials/volunteers as well as mentoring, Christine is known as a fair official who has an extensive knowledge of the sport and an ability to understand complex rules and regulations. With more than ten years experience and nine more years as a parent volunteer, Christine manages to find the balance between enforcing rules and ensuring a positive environment for participants.

David Hendy - Cycling

A former club President, David remains a mentor to his committee as well as marshals and other officials/volunteers during races, imparting his knowledge, emphasising a need for continuous improvement while also advising those at other clubs and at AusCycling. In 2022, he served as Race Director and Second Commissaire at weekly criteriums and as Chief Commissaire at the Hanging Rock Handicap, the biggest women's handicap race in Australia. A calm presence, David stresses safety and ensures all incidents are recorded while he was integral in instituting permanent race numbers for riders to help facilitate timing and make race entry as smooth as possible.

Kylie Clark - Life Saving

From Point Leo Surf Lifesaving Club, Kylie officiated at all Junior Carnivals during the 2022 season and in her role as Area Referee, she developed a team of officials in the Under-12 area. Kylie progressed to Area Risk and Response Officer for Senior Carnivals and played an essential role in the trialing, development and training of officials to use Life Saving Victoria’s new SportApp technology for marshalling and results. Kylie works to enable an inclusive and diverse environment, mentoring new officials to ensure they feel welcome and capable while developing rapport with senior officials to help carnivals run on time and be safe for all.


This award recognises a Victorian junior team who has achieved outstanding results with respect to their performances at a national, international level during the 2022 calendar year.


Saalim Naser and Riley Dumsday - Tennis

Saalim and Riley paired up to help Australia win the Junior World Team Cup, the wheelchair tennis equivalent of the Davis Cup. Not dropping a set through the singles all tournament, Riley won the opening rubber in the final against world number 22 Joshua Johns (representing top seed Great Britain) before teaming up with Saalim to win 6-1, 6-4 in the deciding doubles rubber. The victory was the second time Australia have secured the Junior World Team Cup.

St. Catherine's School 1st Eight - Rowing

A dominant 2022 for the St. Catherine’s School 1st Eight saw them go undefeated through the Victorian domestic season which included going back-to-back at the Head of the Schoolgirls’ Regatta before being crowned national schoolgirl champions at the Australian Rowing Championships. They then headed to England for the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta and edged out a team from Florida to win the Prince Philip Trophy, marking the first ever win for an Australian crew.

Under-18 Women's Team - Lacrosse

The Victorian women’s team headed to Adelaide in July for the national Under-18 tournament which also featured a New Zealand national side. Victoria got the better of their Trans-Tasman rivals while also securing a come from behind win over Western Australia and defeating South Australia in overtime. That set up a re-match against South Australia in the final and they held their nerve against the home team, winning 8-6 to bring back gold for Victoria.

Victorian Women's Under-21 Team - Hockey

Returning to competition after missing almost two full seasons due to the pandemic, the Victorian women's team had to fight through further adversity at the Under-21 national Championships with several players and their head coach forced out due to COVID-19. Putting those issues aside, the Victorians finished the group stage on top before defeating ACT and New South Wales in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively. They led 2-0 against Western Australia in the final but had to again stir themselves after a late fightback, prevailing 3-1 in a shootout to earn the gold medal.


This award recognises a Victorian team who has achieved outstanding results in respect to their performances at a state, national and/or international level during the 2022 calendar year.


Anglesea SLSC - Life Saving

While the development of a Rescue & Resuscitation team notoriously takes time, Anglesea SLSC, consisting of six people who collectively have 100+ years of lifesaving service, came together in just two seasons. They swept their way through competitions, winning all local carnivals they competed in before going on to claim the 2022 State and National Championships. This was just the second time a Victorian club had won the national title and the first since 1973.

Deakin Melbourne Boomers - Basketball

In a journey chronicled through the documentary series “Sidelined: The fight for equality in women’s basketball”, the Boomers earned a fairy tale ending to the 2021/22 season by winning the WNBL Championship. They finished the regular season on top of the ladder before beating Adelaide 2-0 in the Semi-Final series. Melbourne lost the opening game of the WNBL Grand Final series at home which sent them to Perth right when the borders re-opened. In front of a hostile crowd, they caused an upset to force a deciding game which they then emphatically won back in Melbourne, securing the club’s second WNBL Championship in their 38-year history.

Melbourne Football Club - Australian Rules Football

Backing up from the previous season in less than five months, Melbourne made history in 2022 when they won their maiden AFLW Premiership. During the first season to feature 18 clubs, Melbourne breezed through the home and away season with a 9-1 record and then beat three-time Premiers Adelaide as well as North Melbourne to set up a Grand Final against 2021 winners, Brisbane. Falling behind by two goals at quarter-time, the Demons were resolute for the rest of the game, keeping the Lions goalless and winning a thriller by just four points.

Special Olympics Team Victoria - various

In October, the Special Olympics National Games saw 750 athletes converge on Launceston to compete in nine sports across five days. Team Victoria sent the largest contingent with 208 athletes and 65 volunteers representing the state and they amassed an incredible tally, bringing home 106 gold, 90 silver and 81 bronze medals. Their performances have since helped select 20 Victorians to Team Australia for the 2023 Special Olympics World Games, making up a third of the side.


This award recognises an outstanding community sporting event that has been delivered successfully and benefitted the local community in 2022. The event will have demonstrated inclusive practices and provided benefit to, or had a positive impact upon, an individual sport or the local community.


Australian Netball Championships, A Positive Start - Netball Victoria

Through a week-long event in Traralgon, 1,400 primary and secondary students from 15 schools participated in netball skills and drills sessions before attending an Australian Netball Championship match which featured some of Australia’s best young netballers. All participants received information about opportunities to play netball at local clubs and, following the event, Morwell Netball Association started competitions for Under-11’s and Under-13’s featuring 200 registrants. One of the greatest impacts of the program was the engagement of boys in a practical netball experience, enabling a change in the attitude towards a traditional female sport.

GO Soccer Mums Cup Day - Football Victoria

With a focus on fun and health, GO Soccer Mums Cup Day created a positive atmosphere which saw 71% of participants increase their confidence in getting involved with a team and 85% saying it increased their enjoyment of playing football. Registrations were free, official referees and a medical officer was on hand, there was no set uniform and a wide range of jersey sizes provided while a “no boot/cleat” policy allowed those unable to afford soccer boots to still play. The overwhelmingly positive feedback has seen Football Victoria develop GO Soccer Mums Hubs, enabling existing clubs to host others in their zone to play fun, social small-sided games.

Junior Victorian Championships - Gymnastics Victoria

Bringing together in excess of 1000 athletes from regional Championships, Gymnastics Victoria’s Junior Championships is a multi-week extravaganza covering seven different gym-sports showcasing the best the state has to offer. A sport that is predominantly youth-focused, the event prides itself on its inclusivity and safety, ensuring all participants and their families feel comfortable, welcome and connected with Special Olympics also embedded into the competition format. The Championships are mutually beneficial for the areas that run them, such as the Geelong Arena, with those partnerships allowing Gymnastics Victoria to increase participation numbers and run high-quality, welcoming events.

West Gippsland Female Football Festival - Gippsport

Designed to find solutions for the underrepresentation of women and girls in football through the Gippsland region, particularly in pathway programs, Gippsport delivered the West Gippsland Female Football Festival by establishing and facilitating a working group of key stakeholders involving funding bodies, five community clubs, Football Victoria, coaches, community and media. All event promotion catered to women and girls with inclusive imagery and messaging while activities allowed for all ages and experiences with a focus on fun above all. Following the event and overseen by Gippsport, three clubs amalgamated into a strong, sustainable entity; Gippsland United Football Club.


This award recognises the outstanding contribution made in 2022 by a community sporting club and/or association who has demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting participation in sport and active recreation. The club will have demonstrated actions that break down barriers so that anyone, regardless of their age, cultural background, ability, gender identity, religious belief or sexual orientation, feels welcome in sport.


Barwon Valley Golf Club - Golf

A commitment to appeal to juniors and women has seen an increase in participation across Barwon Valley Golf Club. Pathway programs featuring members that support the transition from clinics to course, member introduction nights and Friday night raffles have brought in a fun, family atmosphere with 40 new female members joining the club while Barwon Valley has also achieved a gender-balanced board. Other initiatives include hosting School Sport Victoria events, engaging with schools, offering the driving range as a non-traditional introductory format and bringing in age-based membership categories with low-cost options for young people to enter or remain in the sport.

Coburg Tennis Club - Tennis

Striving to create a safe, inclusive and thriving tennis venue that caters to their entire community, Coburg Tennis Club offers a variety of playing opportunities including Tennis 4 Teens, Girls Let’s Play and open court sessions which has helped grow their participation by 37% on the previous year for a total of 1,284 contacts. Keen to trial a new program and expand their participation, the club has worked with Tennis Victoria to integrate a player with autism as well as their local NDIS Office to offer come and try days for 14 to 17 year-old clients. Sport4All has also asked them to relay their insights and learnings from these initiatives.

Melbourne University Women's Football Club - Australian Rules Football

To become more welcoming, safe and inclusive, and continue living their foundational motto of “Lead The Way”, the Melbourne University Women’s Football Club (MUWFC) delivered a Gender Inclusion Policy, Pride Strategy, First Nations Celebration, Education and Action Plan, Mental Health Strategy and the More Than Footy Program, and held corresponding themed rounds. Of the 132 members in 2022, 73 were returnees; a significant number considering turnover within university-based clubs. MUWFC has increased engagement with their junior club and University students, with an open invite to their AFL Skill Development Program and combined Pre-Season Camp, specifically targeting people aged 17-22.

Officer City Soccer Club - Football

Led by their Clubs Committee, made up predominantly of women, Officer City Soccer Club (OCSC) has a steadfast commitment to inclusion of historically underrepresented members of the community and this, alongside the implementation of social programs such as Go Girls and Girls United, saw the club increase their membership by 48% on the previous year to 258 and their female membership by 36%. OCSC’s Casual Kicks Kids program engages children whose families are unable to afford competition and a Family Day with Cardinia Shire Council further engaged local youth. Completing Proud 2 Play’s Rainbow Ready Clubs program, OCSC has developed an action plan to be a welcoming environment for the LGBTQI+ community.


This award is open to Victorian sports administrators who have demonstrated an outstanding level of achievement during the 2022 calendar year at the State Sporting Association, Regional Sports Assembly, Local Government Authority or National Sporting Organisation (Victorian based) level. The recipient’s contribution will have provided benefit to, or had a positive impact upon, an individual sport or the industry as a whole and their standards of excellence will have distinguished them from peers.


Danielle Lowerson - Tennis Victoria

By championing inclusion and diversity education and initiatives, Danielle has enabled more Victorians to engage with tennis regardless of the barriers they may face as players, coaches and Australian Open ball kids. In collaboration with Buldau Yioohgen, Danielle delivered multiple Culture on Court events across Melbourne for 150+ participants while she helped 21 tennis clubs deliver initiatives through the Accessible, Community, Equality Grants aimed at enhancing access to tennis for underrepresented groups. Danielle also assists more young people to engage as volunteers and leaders at their local club by integrating diversity and inclusion into Tennis Victoria’s Future Leaders program.

Megan Carr - Golf Australia

Utilising a participant-focused approach, Megan has been a game changer for women’s participation in golf. Through a series of participation and governance initiatives, she helped to create pathways for women to engage in the sport in ways, and at times, that suited them with 5,500 new female participants trying golf for the first time in 2022. Megan is the key driver of clubs becoming signatories to the Women in Golf Charter while also serving as a Board Director at Sports Focus in Bendigo and a member of Sport Australia’s Sport Volunteer Coalition.

Petrina Astbury - Marque Sports Car Association Victoria

2022 saw Petrina embark on a new role as Council Chair for the Victorian Motorsport State Council. Providing an important link between clubs and the Motorsport Australia Board, Petrina onboarded six new clubs as well as increasing the opportunity for more Victorians to participate and her regular advice to clubs and venues has added significant value across the Victorian motorsport landscape. In her other role as President of Marque Sports Car Association of Victoria, Petrina helps deliver come and try events, offering participation opportunities to new competitors.

Stephanie Millar - Calisthenics Victoria

Embracing new approaches through ‘The Solo Project’, Stephanie was pivotal in increasing calisthenics participation and engagement. She was also responsible for the development and implementation of the Cali Champ product, developing a community of elite clubs working together for the betterment of calisthenics which resulted in 1,700 entries at State Championships in 2022, up from 800 in 2019. Having completed the Change Our Game finance training, Stephanie’s commitment to further education and development has enabled her to support a governance reform and lead the implementation of the 11 Child Safe Standards among the state body.


This award recognises the work of individuals, clubs, teams, groups or organisations (including SSAs) who have succeeded in enabling more people to participate in sport activities, with a particular focus on increasing participation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or the 2022 Victorian floods.


Community Sport Flood Recovery - Regional Sport Victoria

In the wake of the 2022 floods, Regional Sport Victoria (RSV) collaborated with their member organisations to develop a response strategy. A shared online platform was created to provide a central information point and the ability to engage a ‘surge workforce’ for those regions requiring assistance. 24 unique sports and recreation activities were supported with RSV and Regional Sport Assembly staff enabling community sporting clubs to get back to playing sport faster than initially thought.

Injury Surveillance Project - Yarra Junior Football League

Yarra Junior Football League, in partnership with La Trobe University, implemented the first systematic injury surveillance of junior sport in Australia. Aligning to the Olympic Committee’s current recommendations, the research recorded characteristics of injuries through 2022 with 10,500 participants from 475 teams covered. Ultimately, the project assisted the development of policies, rule changes and modifications aimed at creating a safer match day experience while also improving retention rates and enhancing education opportunities for volunteers, players and parents.

Reflecting their community - Red Cliffs Golf Club

A ‘Get into Golf’ program by the Red Cliffs Golf Club targeted new members and their local Pacific Islander Community. The program was aimed at encouraging golf and social inclusion activities, with an average of 50 participants being involved in each activity. The program has evolved to include weekly Friday night Ambrose events, shared social events with food, dance and singing. These ongoing activities continue to grow existing participation between their new, existing and community members. Pacific Islanders now make up 9% of the club’s membership base.

Women Leaders in Tennis - Tennis Victoria

Targeting senior leaders, club volunteers and administrators, the Women Leaders in Tennis initiative opened opportunities for women and girls on and off the court with the aim to remove any limits for them within the sport. The four-month program was delivered in three modules of leading self, leading others and leading change with all 64 participants engaging an Action Learning Project within their club. One highlight was the generation of the Macedon Ranges Girls Tennis Academy which addressed the participation drop-off of girls by supporting them to attain a coaching certificate and employing them as assistant coaches for girls' squads; creating role models and nurturing a supportive culture.


This award recognises a Local Government Authority who has made a significant contribution to sport in 2022 through the development of a participation program or facility.


Creating LGBTIQ+ connection and inclusion through sport and active recreation - Cardinia Shire Council

In 2022, Cardinia Shire Council enabled more people to feel safe to participate in sport and active recreation through events such as the IDAHOBIT Sport and Movement Festival, Parklife which created a space free from stigma and discrimination for LGBTIQ+ folk to develop a more positive relationship with their own bodies and Rainbow Ready Clubs which offered a framework for club education and capacity building. Using shared learnings has enabled these initiatives to go from conversation to action, all while amplifying the voices of the LGBTIQ+ community and their allies.

Disc Golf Activations - City of Kingston

In partnership with Melbourne Disc Golf, Active Kingston delivered free Disc Golf activations to introduce the sport to the local community. These introductory sessions helped gauge interest in the development of a nine-hole Disc Golf course at Bicentennial Park with 79% of 180 participants surveyed supporting of the design which takes into consideration the existing sporting infrastructure. Once built, discs will be able to be borrowed from the nearby Chelsea Library, keeping costs low for new users and families interested in trialing a new sport.

Nillumbik Women in Sport Breakfast - Nillumbik Shire Council

Empowering local women and girls in their roles as sport coaches, officials, administrators, volunteers and athletes, the Nillumbik Women in Sport Breakfast attracted 95 attendees from over 30 local sporting clubs and organisations. Featuring guest speakers Bianca Chatfield, Maddie Hogan, Elliot Flowers and Deanna Berry, the Breakfast continued to advocate for gender equity in sport while celebrating local ‘Champions of Change’. Through a Change Our Game Community Activation Grant, Nillumbik Shire Council was able to ensure the Breakfast was delivered free of cost, removing the financial barrier to much-needed professional development for sporting groups.

Promoting healthy and active living: Innovation in engaging CALD communities - Maribyrnong City Council

Collaborating with the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation and Victoria University, Maribyrnong City Council delivered health and wellbeing programs showcasing local services and fitness and education opportunities for CALD participants to embrace as part of their everyday lives. In two-hour sessions across ten weeks, 18 Vietnamese men through Sons of the West and 51 Vietnamese women and 51 East African women though Daughters of the West program(s) were positively engaged. Consultation with CALD communities before and after these programs ensured needs were met, bicultural staff members were engaged as community representatives while health education was provided in different languages and in a culturally appropriate manner.


This award recognises the exceptional contribution made by a volunteer to the Victorian sport and active recreation community during the 2022 calendar year. The recipient's contribution will have provided benefit to, or had a positive impact upon, an individual sport or the industry and their contribution and commitment will have distinguished them from their peers.


Harry Saltis - Taekwondo

President of Australian Taekwondo Victoria, Harry reinvigorated the sport following COVID-19 interruptions by ensuring Taekwondo was listed through the Get Active Kids Voucher Program, allowing 50+ clubs access to the sport for children from lower social economic backgrounds. He was part of the organising committee that saw 1,000 athletes compete at the Taekwondo Nationals in regional Victoria and, as part of Team Victoria, coordinated the Australian Taekwondo Victoria National Camp where 90 of the best up-and-coming taekwondo athletes trained together. Harry also served on the Australian Taekwondo Membership Committee, helping to raise the number of Victorian taekwondo practitioners and making the sport more accessible.

Mark Goldspink - Netball

As President of the Nillumbik Force Netball Association, Mark established the first strategic plan and maintained working stakeholder partnerships with members of state parliament, local councillors and council officers to ensure that a complete facility upgrade was achieved in seven years. The upgraded pavilion features a new multi-purpose social room and amenities as well as a unisex change area for umpires and players; a significant upgrade from the two female toilets which had previously served over 1,000 players every weekend. Awarded Life Membership of the Association, Mark was also named the 2022 Netball Victoria Volunteer of the Year.

Meagan Keating - Basketball

Meagan was the driving force behind Rochester Basketball Association’s flood recovery effort as the association’s secretary and now President. After their regular courts were damaged, Meagan collaborated with Basketball Victoria and Goalrilla to secure an outdoor court for local youth and families to continue playing basketball, another court in Kyabram for fun days as well as Bamawm for representative training. Practice matches were initiated to enable families an opportunity to escape the flood zone and have a day out while Meagan ensured all representative teams were still able to participate in tournaments. She also gained support to remove financial pressures and enable Rochester’s team to participate in the Junior Country Championships.

Sandra Klippel - Swimming

Holding multiple roles including Secretary of Tallangatta Swimming Club and Vice President (Southern Division) of the Ovens & Murray District Swimming Association, Sandra has been instrumental in growing a positive, welcoming and engaging culture between clubs which has seen membership numbers almost triple, completely reversing the dwindling participation numbers they faced at the start of 2022. As an Event Referee, Sandra also often works poolside, coordinating teams and assisting in event delivery.


This award recognises the work of individuals, clubs, teams, groups or organisations (including SSAs) who have succeeded in enabling more people to participate in active recreation during the 2022 calendar year. This could be through a single initiative, event or longer-term initiative (i.e. program, project or campaign) which has provided significant benefit to Victorian sport during 2022.


Regional youth communities connection through softball - Softball Victoria

Supported by VicHealth’s The Big Connect Future Healthy initiative, Softball Victoria reignited the sport in regional Victoria by providing new opportunities for people of all ages, gender, culture and playing ability throughout East Gippsland, Bass Coast and the Goulburn Valley. Co-designed with local youth, the bespoke programs are proving successful in returning, supporting, and sustaining softball to these regions while also re-engaging and equipping the local workforce. The establishment of permanent grounds used for community softball also aided the growth with an overall membership increase of 14% for the year.

Lacrosse Together - Lacrosse Victoria

Developed using co-design techniques, Lacrosse Together is a non-competitive, social and inclusive initiative targeted at LGBTIQ+ university students. The program helps reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness with allies also included to foster an inclusive environment and promote a culture which affirms the LGBTIQ+ community. 68 participants and three partner universities were involved before the initiative culminated in the Lacrosse Together Pride Cup which featured 22 teams made up of 203 participants from 13 lacrosse clubs as well as a team from each of the main Lacrosse Together partner universities.

Victorian Blind Tennis Program - Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria

In 2022, Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria (BSRV) engaged nine ambassadors who are blind or vision impaired to play a key role in increasing awareness and participation in blind tennis. The program expanded beyond a social Friday evening format to create competition pathways at all levels with BSRV helping participants find a local club. A key focus was BSRV’s dedicated children’s blind tennis program which responded to declining participation numbers following COVID-19. As a result, 40 regular participants with vision loss were engaged as well as an additional 80 through metropolitan and regional come and try days.

Women's Only Slide Night - WaterMarc Banyule

Recognising women from CALD backgrounds face many barriers to water participation, WaterMarc partnered with Banyule City Council’s Youth Service Team to deliver the Women’s Only Slide Night. The event provided a safe and welcoming environment where facilities were open after hours, windows were covered to further ensure privacy and only female members were on staff. Over 500 participants were involved throughout 2022, including mothers who otherwise had not been able to assist their children in swimming lessons with 81% of survey respondents saying they got involved in the event because they felt safer than normal.


This award is open to Victorian Masters athletes or teams who have achieved outstanding results in respect to their performances at a national and/or international level during the 2022 calendar year.


Jarrod Broadbent - Tennis

Jarrod’s year began with two victories at the Australian Seniors Championships, winning both the Men’s 50’s Singles and Doubles before following up with another Singles win at the Oceania/Asia Pacific Championships in March and finishing Runners-Up in Doubles. Heading overseas to Florida in May, he captained the men’s Australian Teams to a bronze medal and came runners-up in the Singles World Championships. Ranked number one in 50+ Men’s Singles in the world, Jarrod was awarded Most Outstanding Tennis Senior at the 2022 Victorian and Australian Tennis Awards.

Jordan Morgan - BMX

Returning to competition for the first time since 2018 due to injury, Jordan’s dedication and perseverance paid off in October as he became the State Champion in the 30+ Open Wheel Male Category. Not content at claiming just one title, he then backed up the following month with two more victories at the AusCycling National Championships in Tasmania, winning the 30-34 Men's Class and Masters Men Class on the 20" BMX.

Samantha Barrow - Life Saving

As a coach for Mordialloc SLSC’s Beach Team, Samantha provides the perfect inspiration for younger athletes and she added substantially to her trophy cabinet in 2022. She claimed seven medals in beach and water events at the Victorian Masters Championships including firsts in Beach Sprint, Board Relay, Taplin Relay and Beach Relay. Samantha also finished second in the 2km Long Run and 2x1km Long Run Relay in the Open Women’s Events at the Victorian Championships before finishing at the Australian Championships with a gold medal in the 45-49 years Women’s Beach Sprint and a silver in the Beach Flags.

Tanja Nishibata - Rowing

Representing Melbourne Rowing Club, Tanja was a force to be reckoned with across state and national competitions in 2022. At the Rowing Victoria Masters State Championships, Tanja took home six golds and three silvers across six different boat classes and she carried that form into the Australian Masters Rowing Championships, winning a further two bronze, one silver and seven gold medals, including a convincing win for Victoria in the Women’s Interstate Masters Quad Scull. Prevailing in the Women’s Masters D single scull and Champion of Champions single scull, Tanja was crowned the Top Women’s Masters Sculler in the country by five seconds.


This award recognises Victorian junior athletes who have achieved outstanding results in respect to performance/s at a national and/or international level during the 2022 calendar year.


Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva - Rhythmic Gymnastics

With a list of achievements rivalling any rhythmic gymnast in Australia’s history, Alexandra had another outstanding year in 2022. Named the All-Around Champion at the Australian Gymnastics Championships after winning four individual gold medals and a team gold medal, Alexandra also secured individual gold, bronze and team silver at the Commonwealth Games. The 21-year old became the first Australian gymnast to reach the podium at the Maccabiah Games, bringing home five bronze medals and she was the top contributor for Australia when they won gold at the Oceania Gymnastics Championships. A ranking of Number 30 at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships is also an all-time equal-best for an Australian.

Amy Lawton - Hockey

Proving herself both at a national and international level in 2022, Amy travelled to Spain and the Netherlands with the Hockeyroos and won a bronze medal at the Hockey World Cup. Less than a month later, the Hockeyroos backed up with a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games and Amy’s efforts saw her nominated by the Federation of International Hockey as one of the world's best Under-21 players. At home, Amy represented HC Melbourne in the 2022 Women’s Hockey One season, leading them to finish the regular season on top of the ladder before claiming Player of the Tournament honours.

Dyson Daniels - Basketball

A product of the country Victorian basketball pathway via Bendigo, Dyson became the 28th Australian selected in the NBA when he was drafted eighth in 2022 by the New Orleans Pelicans. Making an immediate impact at the defensive end, despite playing limited minutes as a rookie, Dyson was often tasked with guarding the opposition’s best guards and averaged five points, 2.1 assists and a steal in 27 games to the end of 2022. He also featured in the Rising Stars Challenge during the All-Star weekend, helping his team win the title.

Willis Droomer - Surfing

Representing Team Australia at the 2022 International Surfing Association (ISA) World Junior Surfing Championships in El Salvador, Willis beat 114 competitors to become the first ever Victorian to win the Under-16 title. Spain’s Hans Odriozola looked to be the surfer to beat throughout the event and put up two quick scores in the final before Willis responded with a 7.83. Competitors from France and Hawaii were only able to find mid-range 6’s in response before Hans stumbled which opened the door for Willis who scored a 7.67 to claim the victory.


This award recognises the coverage of elite and community sport to the wider public via various online, digital, broadcast and/or print media platforms in 2022. Through positive and inspiring media coverage, the sport has benefited from an improved public-facing image, increased participation, inclusivity and/or greater exposure.


2022 Australian Open - Golf Australia

The 2022 Australian Open saw men and women competing on the same course at the same time for equal prize money - a first for any national golf open in the world. An All-Abilities field also competed concurrently and Golf Australia altered plans from a standard tournament to ensure all three winner presentations, media opportunities and press conferences were held side-by-side. Dedicating a team of 12 promotional staff, the Open received record attendance, strong broadcast figures and significant media engagement with a highlight being Minjee Lee's Offsiders interview which candidly unpacked why, as one of Australia's most successful female athletes, she is still not a household name.

Chris Tetaz - Victorian Institute of Sport

Featuring in the Victorian Institute of Sport’s (VIS) ‘Pinnacle’ magazine, Chris’ inspiring story on long jumper Brooke Buschkuehl portrayed the realistic and inspiring pursuit that motivates athletes to achieve their goals through dedication and resilience. ‘The Lowest Lows, The Highest Highs and the Tears In Between’ promoted seeking out support networks, prioritising physical and mental health and pushing through setbacks as a natural part of the journey. A school visit from Brooke demonstrated her position as a role model while communicating the values of inclusivity, well-being and resilience to the next generation, views that are also held by the VIS.

Girls on the Grid Podcast - Priya Richards and Tenayah McLeod

Hosted by Priya Richards and Tenayah McLeod, the Girls on the Grid podcast focuses on women working, participating and competing in motorsport. It shines a light on the leaders, role models and aspiring young women who are making their way in a traditionally male dominant sport while showcasing motorsport as a welcoming and positive environment. Highlighting that motorsport is more accessible than many people think and participation in grassroots motorsport is possible even with your own road car, Girls on the Grid also promotes Motorsport Australia's Girls on Track Program which aims to inspire and support the next generation of women in motorsport.

National Premier League Coverage - Radio 3ZZZ

3ZZZ’s live coverage of National Premier League of Victoria men’s and women’s matches aims to bring back pure football to the community, with a commentary team featuring equal gender representation and matches made accessible for supporters unable to travel. A complementary podcast features a weekly round-up and interviews with grassroots football organisations and local football personalities, highlighting the unique nature of football as an inclusive sport. Partnering with Football Victoria and South Melbourne Football Club, 3ZZZ showcases how and why football is inclusive of everyone, such as their 2022 coverage of the Victorian All-Abilities Celebration Day.


The Peter Norman Inclusion Award recognises an individual or organisation that has made a significant contribution to safe, fair and inclusive sport in the 2022 calendar year. The recipient would have demonstrated actions that break down barriers for people accessing sport so that anyone, regardless of their age, cultural background, ability, gender identity, religious belief or sexual orientation feels welcome in sport.


Christine Granger - Proud 2 Play

CEO of Proud 2 Play, Christine is at the forefront of opportunities to advocate, connect and engage the sport and rec industry on behalf of the LGBTIQ+ community and has developed a substantial number of projects to create safe and inclusive spaces. In 2022, she helped provide education to 882 individuals from 91 community sports clubs, oversaw ten clubs that undertook the Rainbow Ready Clubs program, delivered training to the netball community around trans and gender diverse (TGD) inclusion, advocated for Tennis Australia’s inaugural Pride Day and launched the Proud 2 Play TGD advisory committee to elevate their voices in the sport and recreation industry.

Culture on Court - Tennis Victoria

A partnership between Tennis Victoria and Anglicare Victoria’s Aboriginal Youth Leadership Academy, Buldau Yioohgen, Culture on Court (CoC) is a program connecting community through the joy of tennis and enabling marginalised groups to comfortably participate under the leadership of Aunty Kellie Hunter and Uncle Les Corlett. Events were run in Bendigo and Castlemaine while 150 attendees were involved in an event at Melbourne Park. In addition, 12 Victorian Aboriginal young people participated in the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival in Darwin, incorporating Buldau Yioohgen Northern Experience on Country and creating unique and memorable cultural experiences for the entire team.

Indigenous Surfing Program - Surfing Victoria

The Victorian Indigenous Surfing Program utilises surfing as a vehicle to connect Indigenous Victorians with the ocean, their community and nature whilst learning new skills, water safety knowledge and healthy habits. Running along the Victorian coastline along with key inland waterways, the program enrichens Indigenous communities through surfing and stand up paddleboarding, allowing participants to be physically active in a safe, fun environment that also reduces barriers to participation. Reaching 700 participants annually with an age range of 4-70, 52% of participants in 2022 identified as female.

Southern Lights - Ice Hockey

Southern Lights Ice Hockey prioritises diversity and inclusion by specifically targeting the underrepresented LGBTIQ+ sporting community. They ran two come and try sessions to coincide with the Midsumma Festival Carnival (which they also participated in) and held public events to skate alongside representatives of the club while building awareness and connection. Growing from a single team of 16 in 2018 to almost 120 people in 2022, most of whom identify as members of the LGBTIQ+ community, Southern Lights have influenced other clubs to run Pride Nights, including IceHQ which had 350 people attend, and built relationships with other queer-run clubs outside of ice hockey.

This award recognises a Victorian individual athlete who has achieved outstanding results in respect to performance/s at a national/international level in the male category during the 2022 year.


Jesse Coulson - Life Saving

In addition to serving as Head Nipper Coach at Williamstown SLSC and fostering a training environment for seniors, Jesse’s individual performances were outstanding in 2022. Nationally, he finished first in the Open Male Board Race and Open Male Taplin Relay as well as second in the Open Men’s Surf Race and fifth in the Open Male Iron. At the Victorian States, he earned gold medals in the Open Male Taplin, Open Male Rescue, Tube Rescue and Open Male Surf Teams as well as silver in the Open Male Ski Relay on his way to being crowned Overall Male Point Scorer.

Scotty James - Snowboarding

Scotty’s 2022 began when he won his fourth gold medal at the X-Games in Aspen in late January. He was then selected to compete for Australia at his fourth Winter Olympics and against a star-studded field, he produced a score of 92.50 with his second run to secure the silver medal, his second career Olympic medal. Wrapping up the calendar year at the World Cup in Copper Mountain, Colorado, Scotty performed one of the finest runs in halfpipe history to score 99.00 and win gold.

Tony D'Alberto - Motorsport

Claiming five podium finishes and two wins through the 2022 season, Tony won the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, the feature category of the Shannon's SpeedSeries (National Motor Racing Championships). That victory capped off a special year which also saw Tony compete in five national and international categories including the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the Bathurst 12 Hour and the Bathurst 1000 where, alongside co-driver Anton De Pasquale, he finished seventh.

Tyson Bull - Artistic Gymnastics

In 2021, Tyson created history when he became the first Australian to make an Olympic men's artistic gymnastics final and he carried that success into 2022, claiming his first medal at a Challenge Cup or World Cup when he won gold on the horizontal bar in Slovenia. That set him up for a strong tilt at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games where he won silver with those performances leading him to be named as Gymnastics Victoria’s Men’s Artistic High-Performance Gymnast of the Year.

This award recognises a Victorian individual athlete who has achieved outstanding results in respect to performance/s at a national/international level in the female category during the 2022 year.


Aoife Coughlan - Judo

In addition to top-five finishes at three competitions throughout Europe and Asia, Aoife won a bronze medal in Prague at the European Open and a silver at the Oceania Open. She then went one better at the Commonwealth Games, claiming gold, as she continues to forge one of Australia’s great careers in judo. Arguably, her silver medal at the Tokyo Grand Slam (the best ever result for an Australian) was even more impressive as that tournament is considered the toughest judo competition outside of the World Championships.

Elizabeth Watson - Netball

Captain of the Australian Diamonds, Liz added to her already stacked resume with another stellar year in 2022. She led her team to a win over New Zealand in the Constellation Cup and Australia were Champions in the Quad Series over New Zealand, England and South Africa. They then won gold at the Commonwealth Games, bouncing back from a loss to Jamaica in the group stage by beating them in the final. Domestically, Liz co-captained Melbourne Vixens to the Grand Final and won the club MVP before being named in the Team of the Year at the Australia Netball Awards and winning the Liz Ellis Diamond.

Jakara Anthony - Mogul Skiing

Statistically, Jakara’s 2022 was the most successful season by an Australian winter sport athlete in history. At the Winter Olympics, she won every round of the competition and became Australia’s first winter gold medalist since 2010. She also claimed a double podium weekend in France which made it 12 medals from 13 starts for the year, the most ever by an Australian in a single season. She secured her first overall World Cup Crystal Globe as the number one ranked mogul skier as well as the dual mogul Crystal Globe before capping it all by being named Athlete of the Year at the 2022 Snow Australia Awards.

Jessica Gallagher - Rowing/Track Cycling

At the Australian Rowing Championships in 2022, Jess claimed gold in the PR3 Mixed Coxed Four before convincing victories in the PR3 Women’s Single Scull, for both club and state, helped her earn selection on the national team in the PR3 Mixed Four at the World Rowing Championships. A dual athlete who is just as impressive out of the water, Jess then shifted her focus to track cycling and was named to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games. She won gold in the 1000m Time Trial and Sprint Para-Sport B Tandem, improving on the silver medals she achieved in these events in 2018.

The Victorian Outstanding Contribution to Sport Award is presented to an individual or organisation in recognition of outstanding achievement in, or contribution to, sport in Victoria.

Based on their significant role in the Victorian sport and active recreation sector, the winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Sport Award will be recommended by a panel of expert industry representatives to the Vicsport Board who will determine the final recipient.

It is the only award presented at the Victorian Sport Awards which is not decided upon by the judging panels.

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