The Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards (VDSR Awards) are a celebration of the achievements of sportspeople with disability, the coaches, organisations, officials and volunteers who support them and the inclusive sport and recreation sector across Victoria.
Hosted by Disability Sport & Recreation, the VDSR Awards are an opportunity to discover unsung heroes and rising stars and celebrate what’s truly great about accessible and inclusive sport.
After a number of delays due to COVID-19, this night of nights for the disability sporting sector will be held on Thursday 3 December 2020 as a virtual event.
Entrants in the Awards are nominated by state sporting associations, regional sport assemblies, local government, teammates, club members, coaches or their local community in recognition of their outstanding contribution to inclusive sport and recreation.
Disability Sport & Recreation invited 13 highly qualified judges from the sector and charged them with assessing nominations across 11 award categories to work out the finalists and winners.
With a 33% increase in nominations this year – particularly for Initiative of the Year, which tripled in submissions – selecting the finalists was a competitive and difficult task.
“The incredible response to the Initiative of the Year category means there is a clear need for new programs that get people with disability active and those programs are indeed happening across Victoria,’ said Disability Sport & Recreation CEO, Richard Amon.
“With the possibility of large indoor gatherings some way off due to COVID-19 restrictions, we have made the decision to host our 2020 Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards as an online event.
“We believe the new date of Thursday 3 December will be a fitting way to celebrate International Day of People with Disability and a much needed win for our sector.
“It’s been a difficult year for both our members and the sector – by going virtual with our awards, we hope to bring a spark of positivity to remind everyone of what we can achieve in 2021 as we begin to return to community sport.” said Amon.
The VDSR Awards have previously celebrated elite level Paralympians including Dylan Alcott, who recently won his 11th grand slam singles title in wheelchair tennis and Dr Jessica Gallagher, who went on to become the 2018 Commonwealth Games Sports Ambassador for Cycling.
They have recognised the dedication and commitment to the sector by many individuals including Maurice Gleeson, who has worked tirelessly for the blind and vision impaired community for over 40 years and Greg Crump, whose contribution to wheelchair tennis both here and abroad stretches over 30 years.
Nominations for the 2020 VDSR Awards are for achievements, initiatives, programs, activities and developments that took place between January 2019 and December 2019.
Finalists in the 2020 Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards are:
- Timothy Chiu – DSR Kids recreational camps
Female Sportsperson of the Year
- Carol Cooke – para cycling
- Phoebe Mitchell – swimming
- Shae Graham – wheelchair rugby
My Sport Live Male Sportsperson of the Year
- Jaryd Clifford – para athletics
- Josh Barry – lawn bowls
- Clint Pickin – para triathlon
Marg Angel Junior Sportsperson of the Year
- Georgia Powning – athletics
- Teisha Shadwell – wheelchair basketball
- Tori English – athletics
Masters Sportsperson of the Year
- Chris Henderson – AFL Wheelchair
- Julie Matthews-Eva – ballroom, new vogue and latin dancing
- Duke Trench-Thiedeman – para badminton
Carbine Club Team of the Year
- Geelong Swimming Club
- Hawthorn Football Club blind team
- Bowls Victoria Physical Disability State Side
Coach of the Year
- Elle Dow – aussie rules football
- Sadat-Jon Hussain – swimming
- Margie Cerato – various
Official of the Year
- Cindy McDougall – athletics
- Tony Warland – tennis
PwC Volunteer of the Year
- Nicole and Maria Vallos – tennis for Special Olympics Victoria
- Jeff Waldron – AFL and speedway
- Caytlyn Sharp – athletics
Initiative of the Year
- Accessible Beaches (Shane Hryhorek)
- Access Key Project (Access Ability Australia)
- Autism Gym (Gymnastics Victoria)
Inclusive Sport, Recreation or Open Space Infrastructure
- Casey Stadium (City of Casey and YMCA Victoria)
- Saints Play (St Kilda Football Club)
The awards ceremony will be a free event and details will be released closer to the date on how you can watch and get involved on the night.
This event is proudly supported by My Sport Live, the Carbine Club, Sport and Recreation Victoria, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and Box Hill Institute.