2023 Victorian Sport Awards Finalists Announced

Finalists across 18 categories have been announced for the 2023 Victorian Sport Awards (VSAs), an event that recognises and celebrates the achievements of our home-grown sporting heroes at both a grassroots and high-performance level.

Over 240 nominations were received from the Victorian sporting community, honouring those who have made an exceptional contribution to sport and recreation in Victoria during the previous calendar year.

Individual and team athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, administrators, media personnel and the initiatives that promoted participation from both metropolitan and regional areas were acknowledged as well as the elite sportspeople who shone at national and international tournaments.

Learn more about the finalists' achievements here.

In order to select the finalists and eventual winners from these nominations, 37 highly qualified people from the Victorian sport and recreation industry were invited to constitute this year’s judging panels.

Judges included four-time Olympian Steve Moneghetti AM OLY, Head of Female Cricket at Cricket Victoria Sharelle McMahon, COO of AusCycling Kate Palmer as well as CEOs from the Victorian Institute of Sport (Anne Marie Harrison), Tennis Victoria (Tamatha Harding), Softball Australia (Sarah Loh), Netball Victoria (Andrea Pearman), Bowls Victoria (Tony Sherwill) and Table Tennis Victoria (Andrew Weiss).

At this year’s VSAs, Scotty James (Snowboarding) and Jakara Anthony (Mogul Skiing) will be aiming to win back-to-back Frank Wilkes and Kitty McEwan Awards respectively as they have again been nominated for their achievements in 2023.

For outstanding results achieved at a national or international level in a male category, Scotty will take on Ahmed Kelly (Para-Swimming), Heath Davidson (Wheelchair Tennis) and Mark Blake (Pistol Shooting) while Jakara’s competition for outstanding results achieved nationally or internationally in a female category includes Emily Petricola (Para-cycling), Jemima Montag (Athletics) and Kate McDonald (Gymnastics).

Other notable finalists include taekwondo coach Yosafe Zakoulouta in the Leasexpress Coach of the Year category and his student Kerim Yilmaz who is a rebel Young Athlete of the Year finalist while the revolutioniseSPORT Victorian Sports Administrator of the Year (Eunice Gill Award) will be a battle between four State Sporting Association CEOs; Chet Gray (Baseball Victoria), Gen Dohrmann (Table Tennis Victoria), Jennifer McIntyre (Calisthenics Victoria) and Simon Talbot (Ultimate Victoria).

Presented by the State Government of Victoria and Vicsport, the VSAs will be held on Wednesday 12 June 2024, in the Victory Room at Marvel Stadium.

In addition to the 18 awards nominated by the Victorian sporting community, the most prestigious honour of the night, the State Government Outstanding Contribution to Victorian Sport Award, will be bestowed to an individual for their lifelong commitment to sport in Victoria.

Previous recipient of the award include Neale Daniher AO, Peggy O’Neal AO, Cadel Evans AM and Cathy Freeman OAM.

Vicsport Chair Ritchie Hinton says:

“It is extremely pleasing to see the great number of nominations that were received this year and, combined with the calibre of these nominations, it is a wonderful showcase of the successes throughout our Victorian sport and recreation industry.

“My thanks to the esteemed panel of judges who embraced the challenging but rewarding task of deciding finalists and winners and I look forward to honouring those recipients at the 2023 Victorian Sport Awards in June.”

The Hon. Ros Spence, Minister for Community Sport says:

“From grassroots officials and volunteers to world champions, these awards provide a perfect opportunity for Victorians to acknowledge and honour the outstanding achievements of our home-grown stars on and off the field.”

“Congratulations to all the finalists, it is fantastic to see these Victorians receive the recognition they deserve.”

Event details:

Wednesday 12 June, 2024
6.00pm – 9.30pm
Victory Room
Marvel Stadium, Docklands

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased through the Vicsport website or on (03) 9698 8100.

Finalists in the 18 nominated categories of the 2023 Victorian Sport Awards are as follows:

Leasexpress Coach of the Year

  • Brody Riley – Sailing
  • Nick Owen – Para-cycling
  • Peter McNeil – Skiing
  • Yosafe Zakoulouta - Taekwondo

Gallagher Community Coach of the Year

  • Chris Allen – Rugby Union
  • Jimmy Soufis – Futsal
  • Manuela Dalla Costa – Athletics
  • Tina Keown – Tennis

Sports Accounting Australia Official of the Year

  • Amber McLachlan – Rugby Union
  • Ben Fels – Sailing
  • Clare Taylor – Short Track Speed Skating
  • Daniel Flahive – Water Polo

etrainu Community Official of the Year

  • Jim Baskin – Little Athletics
  • Marita Rieniets – Athletics
  • Oliver Kellett – Rugby Union
  • Russell Turner – Cricket

AFL SportsReady Young Team of the Year

  • Emma Hende & Georgie Laws – Life Saving
  • Katie Jackson & Lucy Richardson – Rowing
  • SV Tri-Series Team – Swimming
  • Under-18 State Side – Lawn Bowls

AED Authority Team of the Year

  • Victorian Intellectual Disability Team – Cricket
  • Victorian State Team – Life Saving
  • Victorian State Women’s Side – Lawn Bowls
  • Victorian Women’s Team – Box Lacrosse

My Sport Live Community Sporting Event of the Year

  • 2023 Country Week – Tennis Victoria
  • 2023 Special Olympics Victoria State Games – Special Olympics Australia
  • Annual Primary Schools Twilight Tournament – Sale United Football Club
  • Australian Championships – Dragon Boat Victoria

Love the Game Community Sporting Club of the Year

  • Burwood Cricket Club – Cricket
  • East Gippsland Gymnastics Club – Gymnastics
  • Port Campbell SLSC – Life Saving
  • Sale United Football Club – Football

revolutioniseSPORT Victorian Sports Administrator of the Year – Eunice Gill Award

  • Chet Gray – Baseball Victoria
  • Gen Dohrmann – Table Tennis Victoria
  • Jennifer McIntyre – Calisthenics Victoria
  • Simon Talbot – Ultimate Victoria

Bunnings Trade Local Government Initiative of the Year

  • Developing Casey’s Clubs Together – City of Casey
  • Multicultural Women’s Footy for Fitness and Fun Program – City of Casey
  • Nillumbik Rainbow Golf Cup – Nillumbik Shire Council
  • The Home of Table Tennis – Latrobe City Council

VAILO Volunteer of the Year

  • Adam Webb – Swimming
  • Catherine Gordon – Volleyball
  • Hayden Eastwood – Tennis
  • Nathan Maiava – Rugby Union

VicHealth Sport and Active Recreation Initiative of the Year

  • Inverloch Pickleball – GippSport & Inverloch Community House
  • Positive Starts – Wyndham Netball Association
  • Starfish Nippers Carnival – Hampton LSC & Life Saving Victoria
  • Women’s Introduction to Motorsport Program – Motorsport Australia

Involve Masters Athlete of the Year

  • John Allen – Triathlon
  • Michele Hill – Tennis
  • Nadene Gole – Golf
  • Sharyn Harris – Artistic Skating

rebel Young Athlete of the Year

  • Brock Batty – Trampolining
  • Cameron Gatt – BMX
  • Jack Howell – Paratriathlon
  • Kerim Yilmaz – Taekwondo

Sports Excellence Scholarship Fund Outstanding Media Coverage of Sport Award

  • Bowls Victoria – Lawn Bowls
  • Radio 3ZZZ – Football
  • Renegades Recruit – Cricket
  • Swimming Victoria – Swimming

Polytan Peter Norman Inclusion Award

  • Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria – various
  • First Nations Calisthenics Club – Calisthenics
  • Inclusive Sports Training – Triathlon
  • Sandringham LSC – Life Saving

Frank Wilkes Award

  • Ahmed Kelly – Para-Swimming
  • Heath Davidson – Wheelchair Tennis
  • Mark Blake – Pistol Shooting
  • Scotty James – Snowboarding

Kitty McEwan Award

  • Emily Petricola – Para-cycling
  • Jakara Anthony – Mogul Skiing
  • Jemima Montag – Athletics
  • Kate McDonald – Gymnastic

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