2022 Victorian Sport Award Winners
Congratulations to the below individuals, organisations, clubs and Local Government Authorities, winners of the 2022 Victorian Sport Awards!
This award recognises 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.
This award recognises Victorian sporting officials (umpires/referees/judges) who have made a significant contribution to their club, and/or association/district in 2022, with a particular focus on improving community sport through fairness, integrity and ensuring sport is more welcoming and inclusive.
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.
This award recognises Victorian officials who have demonstrated excellence in their role as an official of their chosen sport during the 2022 year.
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.
This award recognises Victorian sporting officials (umpires/referees/judges) who have made a significant contribution to their club, and/or association/district in 202 with a particular focus on improving community sport through fairness, integrity and making sport more welcoming and inclusive.
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 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.
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 202 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.
This award recognises an outstanding community sporting event that has been delivered successfully and benefitted the local community in 2022.
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.
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.
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 recognises Victorian sports administrators who have demonstrated an outstanding level of achievement during the 2022 calendar year at the SSA, RSA, LGA or NSO (Victorian based) level. The recipient’s contribution has provided benefit to, or had a positive impact upon, an individual sport or the industry as a whole, and their standards of excellence has distinguished them from peers.
Danielle Lowerson - Tennis
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 recognise 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 panel.
Neale Daniher AO
Since diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in 2013, Neale has inspired the entire country through his determination to live life to the fullest and face the challenges that MND brings with courage and humour. He is also devoted to helping others who are suffering from the disease and those who may be diagnosed in the future.
Part of a famous footballing family, Neale and his three brothers, Terry, Anthony and Chris combined to play 752 games during their careers, the second most by a set of siblings. Neale played 82 games for the Essendon Boomers before recurrent knee issues saw him make a move to the coaches box, serving as assistant coach during Essendon’s 1993 Premiership and at the Fremantle Dockers during the club’s first three seasons.
He then took the head coaching reins at Melbourne in 1998, holding the position for ten years which included a run to the Grand Final in 2000. In 2004, with Melbourne facing tough times both on and off the field, Neale earned the nickname, ‘The Reverend’, due to his impassioned preaching skills which not only boosted membership numbers and raised the profile of the club, but helped spark a streak of 14 wins from 18 games to start the season.
Co-founding FightMND in 2014, Neale and the organisation have raised over $50 million through donations, merchandise sales and national events including their most recognised initiative, The Big Freeze at the MCG, which is now in its ninth year.
Raising awareness and funds by sending celebrities down a slide into a pool of icy water, the event has become a staple of the AFL calendar with Big Freeze beanies also a common sight throughout Victoria. In the ensuing King’s Birthday match, the player adjudged best on ground is awarded the Neale Daniher Trophy.
While seeking a cure for the disease they call ‘The Beast’, FightMND has invested $7 million into vital assistive equipment to help improve the quality of lives of Australians living with MND while also helping to develop guidelines and frameworks of MND care for health professionals and carers.