2022 Award of Excellence Event Preview

Tonight, the Victorian Institute of Sport will celebrate it’s athletes at the 2022 Award of Excellence.

Broadcast journalist and author, Samantha Lane, will host the event which will be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The awards to be presented include the coveted Award of Excellence, as well as the Para Athlete Award, 2XU Rising Star Award, the Sarah Tait Spirit Award, the Open Universities Australia Performance Lifestyle Award, and the Frank Pyke Achievement Award.

Award of Excellence

The Award of Excellence is the pinnacle of VIS awards and is presented to the athlete(s) who has achieved outstanding sporting results at major events during the calendar year, while also contributing to the promotion and development of their sport and/or making a significant contribution to society beyond pure sporting performance.

The finalists are:

  • Anabelle Smith (Diving)
  • Col Pearse (Para Swimming)
  • Australian Diamonds team members; Kate Moloney, Liz Watson, Jo Weston, and Kiera Austin (Netball)
  • Jemima Montag (Athletics)

Anabelle Smith finally won that elusive gold medal that she had been dreaming of. Diving alongside partner Madison Keeney in the 3m synchronised springboard event, the pair were unstoppable at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Col Pearse had a year to remember in 2022. He achieved gold at the Commonwealth Games and won two silver medals at the 2022 Para World Championships - which included an Oceania record.

As members of the Australian Diamonds netball team, Liz Watson, Jo Weston, Kate Moloney and Kiera Austin picked up a gold medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. It was fitting that it became Australia’s 1000th gold in Commonwealth Games History.

Jemima Montag won her second-straight Commonwealth Games gold medal in the women’s walk. She also came fourth at the World Athletics Championships by just 19 seconds.

2XU Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award, presented by 2XU is awarded to an athlete who is eligible to compete in their sports ‘age grade’ categories (maximum age U23) who has achieved outstanding sporting results during the year, complemented by demonstrable success in other areas of their life

The finalists are:

  • Amy Lawton (Hockey)
  • Col Pearse (Para Swimming)
  • Mark Crosbee (Canoe Slalom)
  • Charli Petrov (Diving)

Para Athlete Award

The Para Athlete Award is presented to the athlete with a disability who has achieved outstanding sporting results during the year, complemented by success in other areas of their life.

The finalists are:

  • Col Pearse (Para Swimming)
  • Jess Gallagher (Para Cycling)
  • Qian Yang (Para Table Tennis)

Open Universities Australia Performance Lifestyle Award

The Performance Lifestyle Award is proudly presented by Open Universities Australia and is an award which recognises the athlete who has achieved personal excellence in their studies, career ambitions, and/or work setting whilst pursuing their dual sporting career. The award epitomises the VIS motto of ‘Success in Sport and Life’

The finalists are:

  • Brooke Buschkuehl (Athletics)
  • Jemima Montag (Athletics)
  • Liz Watson (Netball)

Sarah Tait Spirit Award

This award, which was renamed in 2016 in honour of the late Olympic rower, recognises the athlete who most encompasses the spirit of the VIS. This athlete has demonstrated courage, commitment and persistence to achieve their sporting goals, whilst showing the ability to inspire and bring out the best in others, engage with and bring pride to their community.

The finalists are:

  • Liz Watson (Netball)
  • Shae Graham (Wheelchair Rugby)
  • Rachael Lynch (Hockey)

Frank Pyke Achievement Award

The Frank Pyke Achievement Award, named in honour of the inaugural Executive Director of the VIS, will be presented to an athlete who had a successful sporting career as well as making a significant contribution to the VIS and their sport, and most importantly been successful in their career path. This Award reflects the VIS motto, “Success in Sport and Life” over the span of the athlete’s career.

Coach Awards

The Coach Awards are presented to an athlete in each VIS sport program who is the most deserving within this calendar year. Criteria for the Award is decided by each coach/program manager and the award made to the athlete who best meets the criteria, it may be for personal endeavour/achievement or service to the VIS/team or sport.

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