2022 Victorian Sport Awards Winners Announced
The Victorian Sport Awards (VSAs) is the night of nights for the Victorian sporting community, an event that recognises and celebrates the achievements of our home-grown sporting heroes and legends.
Each year, the Victorian Sport Awards honours the athletes, coaches, administrators and volunteers who have made an exceptional contribution to sport in Victoria as well as the initiatives that promoted sport and active recreation participation.
Presented by the State Government of Victoria and Vicsport on Wednesday 7 June 2023, this year’s VSAs were held in the Victory Room at Marvel Stadium.
Winners across 19 categories were announced after being nominated by State Sporting Associations as well as teammates, club members, friends, family and the recipient’s local community.
An esteemed panel of 37 highly qualified Victorian sports people including Olympians, world-renowned athletes and State Sporting Association CEOs were then charged with selecting the finalists and winners.
Judges included four-time Olympic marathoner Steve Moneghetti AM OLY, Head of Female Cricket at Cricket Victoria Sharelle McMahon as well as CEOs from the Victorian Institute of Sport (Anne Marie Harrison), Netball Victoria (Andrea Pearman), Bowls Victoria (Tony Sherwill) and Disability Sport & Recreation Victoria (Liz Tesone).
The most prestigious honour bestowed on the night is the Outstanding Contribution to Victorian Sport Award, presented to an individual in recognition of outstanding achievement in, or contribution to, sport in Victoria. This year’s recipient was Neale Daniher AO.
Part of a famous footballing family, Neale and his three brothers combined to play 752 games during their careers, the second most by a set of siblings. He made a move to the coaches box in 1993, serving as assistant coach during Essendon’s 1993 Premiership before taking the head coaching reins at Melbourne in 1998 where he held the position for ten years which included a run to the Grand Final in 2000.
Forced to end his coaching career due to health concerns related to motor neurone disease (MND), Neale co-founded FightMND in 2014 and since then, the organisation has raised over $50 million through donations, merchandise sales and a number of national events.
The organisation’s most recognised initiative is the Big Freeze which, now in its ninth year, is held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground prior to the King’s Birthday AFL match between Melbourne and Collingwood while the player judged best on ground in the ensuing match is awarded the Neale Daniher Trophy.
Vicsport Chair Ritchie Hinton says:
“The Victorian Sport Awards provides the opportunity to celebrate the best our state’s sporting community has to offer. This year, once again, demonstrated the outstanding dedication and aptitude of those who work, volunteer, play and compete throughout our industry.
“It is also an honour to acknowledge the achievements of this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Victorian Sport award recipient, Neale Daniher AO. His commitment to MND education and fundraising for a cure is nothing short of heroic and an inspiration to all Victorians.”
The Hon. Ros Spence, Minister for Community Sport says:
“From football legend and tireless FightMND campaigner Neale Daniher to community teams, volunteers and coaches leading the way at grassroots level, it’s fantastic to see Victorian home-grown heroes receive the recognition they deserve.
“Congratulations to all our winners and finalists. You’ve done us proud.”
Winners in the 20 total categories of the 2022 Victorian Sport Awards are as follows:
Southern Cross Trophies Coach of the Year
- Angela McMillan – Aerobic Gymnastics
Gallagher Community Coach of the Year
- Presley Naea – Rugby Union
Sports Accounting Australia Official of the Year
- John Roberts – Lawn Bowls
etrainu Community Official of the Year
- Kylie Clark – Life Saving
AFL SportsReady Young Team of the Year
- Saalim Naser and Riley Dumsday - Tennis
AED Authority Team of the Year
- Anglesea SLSC – Life Saving
My Sport Live Community Sporting Event of the Year
- GO Soccer Mums Cup Day – Football Victoria
Love the Game Community Sporting Club of the Year
- Officer City Soccer Club – Football
GameDay Sports Administrator of the Year – Eunice Gill Award
- Danielle Lowerson – Tennis Victoria
Leasexpress Sport Initiative of the Year
- Reflecting their community – Red Cliffs Golf Club
Bunnings Trade Local Government Initiative of the Year
- Creating LGBTIQ+ connection and inclusion through sport and active recreation – Cardinia Shire Council
VAILO Volunteer of the Year
- Harry Saltis – Taekwondo
VicHealth Active Recreation Initiative of the Year
- Women’s Only Slide Night – WaterMarc Banyule
Involve Masters Athlete of the Year
- Jarrod Broadbent – Tennis
rebel Young Athlete of the Year
- Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva – Rhythmic Gymnastics
View Melbourne Outstanding Media Coverage of Sport Award
- 2022 Australian Open – Golf Australia
Polytan Peter Norman Inclusion Award
- Southern Lights – Ice Hockey
Frank Wilkes Award
- Scotty James – Snowboarding
Kitty McEwan Award
- Jakara Anthony – Mogul Skiing
Victorian State Government Outstanding Contribution to Victorian Sport
- Neale Daniher AO