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You will read about the extraordinary people who make up the VIS family in particular our athletes and staff. However, we are also surrounded behind the scenes by a supportive group including; the VIS Board, our NSO/SSA partners, our colleagues at SRV and the NIN, all who have provided leadership, guidance and encouragement which has enabled us to respond to the ever-changing circumstances.
Whilst it is stating the obvious to say it has been challenging for everyone in so many different ways, what will come through is the creativity, resilience and determination of all to make the best of the situation and respond to those challenges.
The leadership from the VIS Taskforce in navigating our way through these times has been outstanding and our thanks are expressed to Dave Crosbee, Dr Susan White, Steve Hawkins, Dr Harry Brennan, Simon Gardam and Bill Tait, with support from Rob Leeds. Together we have had to become "overnight experts" on a range of areas way outside of high performance sport, dedicate significant time to discussions, often at short notice, and make some tough calls. Always with the primary concern being the health and wellbeing of athletes and staff and our role in and responsibility to the community. Supporting us, has been everyone at the VIS who in their own way have played an important role, either in their direct support to athletes, or keeping the business ticking over, without fuss and just getting on and doing it. Our COVID-19 infographic just gives a snapshot of the activity that has been taking place for the most part, behind closed doors.
We cannot begin to imagine the impact on our athletes, from those already selected or preparing for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, those rehabilitating from injuries, to those who have just started their journey on the high performance pathway. Every circumstance is different and their stories are compelling. What we do know is that each has found a way to keep training and motivated, with some ups and downs and will have learnt so much from this unexpected interruption to their career.
In amongst all this, the mighty Melbourne Vixens left us in July following a less than ideal preparation, for an experience they could never have imagined and demonstrated grit, determination and world class netball, which enabled them to secure the SSNL premiership and in doing so brought so much joy to so many. We extend our congratulations to the team and Netball Victoria on wonderful season and thank them for keeping our spirits up, when we needed it most.
Anne Marie Harrison, VIS CEO
The Victorian Institute of Sport has two annual publications, Pinnacle Magazine and the Annual Review.
Image: Michael Dodge / @michaeldodgephoto