The Greater Dandenong Sport Awards recognise exceptional contribution by those people within our community who work hard in their chosen sport to achieve the best result possible and also to provide opportunity to enrich the lives of others through providing the opportunity to participate in sport.
Nominations were sought throughout 2015 for individuals and sporting clubs whose outstanding work has made a positive contribution to the Greater Dandenong sporting community in areas such as enhancing performance, improvement, engaging disaffected youth through sport and inclusive engagement of all groups within our community to increase participation.
The inaugural City of Greater Dandenong Sports Awards presentation, held Wednesday 29 July was attended by over 100 guests. Master of ceremony Brett Phillips along with guest speakers Larissa Anderson and Stuart Munro provided an entertaining evening at the Keith Miller Pavilion, Shepley Oval.
Mayor Cr Sean O’Reilly highlighted the importance community sport clubs, team, players and volunteers play in the municipality providing physical health, mental wellbeing and social connection.
Congratulations to our 2015 award winners
Community Project of the Year Noble Community Tennis Club
The Noble Community Tennis club joined forces with Dandenong Sudanese Australia Integrated Learning, a Sudanese initiative to assist new arrivals and their community in general, to settle in Australia.
From the project a number of Sudanese kids have are now an integral part of the club’s tennis community, where parents and kids have been able to foster new friendships outside their own community/ethnic group.
Community Team of the Year Noble Park Junior Football Club – Under 13 team
Bringing together a group individuals from a wide social and economic background with some players having little to no experience in football can be a huge challenge.
Despite these struggles the Noble Park Junior Football Club U/13 team created a desire to improve as a group following poor performances in previous seasons.
Through the dedication, positive attitude and perseverance of all involved, the team had great success winning its Divisions Grand final for the 2014 season.
Athlete of the Year - Male Sifan Badada – Springvale Little Athletics Club
Sifan Badada is 14 years old and originally from Ethiopia Aroma Africa. Following his arrival in Australia, Sifan fell in love with athletics and has been training and competing ever since.
At the Southern Metropolitan Regional meeting in February 2015 he won the Under 14 boys triple jump and 800m, came 3rd in the javelin and 4th in the 400m final. At the State Championships in March he came third in the 800m event running 2.11.54.
An inspiration to his club, Sifan is always looking to give back and is the first to put his hand up to help pack up or help athletes complete a race/event, he is a team player on and off the track. Sifan aims to go to the nationals and one day represent Australia.
Athlete of the Year - Female Carin Eastburn – Dandenong Women’s Cricket Club
The 2014-15 season was a standout year in the Victorian Women's Premier Cricket competition for Carin. While maintaining her own on-field performance that saw her awarded the Carey Cook Memorial Award as DWCC’s Club Champion, Carin was also leading a young and largely inexperienced side that required balancing the needs of developing aspiring players and team performance.
At times this saw Carin minimise her own opportunities in order to allow younger team mates the chance to gain experience. Carin is also a long-standing member of the DWCC committee and is looking for another outstanding year in the 2015-16 season.
Athlete of the Year - Junior Aaliyah Corles – Lifestyle Martial Arts
Aaliyah Corles at 12 years old has been involved in Elite Sports for over 7 years and is part of an International Development Program for Wushu, where she has made signficiant progress.
Along with 10 years of gymnastics experience achieving National Level 7 in gymnastics, she represented Australia in Turkey at the 2014 World Junior Games, was a two time gold medallist at the 2014 Australian Games and won the 2014 Leader Sports Star for the Dandenong Region. An inspiration to the juniors at her club and the little kids she coaches as part of her Junior Leadership Program.
Aaliyah’s passion and dedication in achieving excellence, shows through her persistence and patience when coaching even the most challenging little children. Always competing with excellent sportsmanship, she has been a credit to her coaches, her team and young people her age.
Club of the Year Rosswood Tennis Club
The Rosswood Tennis Club has risen from the point of closure, to go on and win the national and state prize for the Ultimate Club Challenge and re-establish itself as a leading tennis club in the municipality.
Constantly attending community events partnering with Tennis Victoria, at Sports Fest and the Australia Day Festival, has resulted in club growth and membership increases from 20 to over 100 in the past year.
Club members work tirelessly to ensure the club blossoms into a professional and community friendly club.
Volunteer of the Year (joint winner) Emma Gallagher – Dandenong Women’s Cricket Club
Emma has been a driving force behind the rebuilding of the Dandenong Women’s Cricket Club. She is always the first person to offer support to other members and shows strong leadership in developing others.
Emma is heavily involved in many programs within the club, including junior development, sponsorship, governance and planning. Emma is a team player putting everyone's needs first and is always considering what's best for the individual, community and the club.
She is a great example of what best practice is when talking about a club volunteer.
Volunteer of the Year (joint winner) Tracey Walden – Noble Park Football Club
Involved with Noble Park senior and junior football clubs for over 35 years, there is nothing Tracey wouldn't do for the club. From uniform to registration to help with fees or competition information, Tracey is the person everyone seeks.
Ask club members or anyone within the EFL who is the most influential member of Noble Park Football club they would all say, Tracey Walden. Like most true selfless volunteers, when you tell Tracey she deserves a medal for the work she does, she laughs and says belonging to the club is my reward.
Coach of the Year Michael Selio – South East Titans Rugby League Club
As coach of the four teams including the Women's Tackle for the South Eastern Titans Rugby League Club Michael dedicates writing programs tailored for each team, against the specific team skill base and capabilities.
Michael empowers his team members to embrace and showcase a positive attitude in the sport of rugby league, inspiring others through his leadership. Michael made a positive impact by creating an inclusive environment demonstrated by being a key figure in advocating the women's tackle competition through the Victorian Rugby League competition in which this year is the first year for the competition.
It's the simple things that reflect Michael's character as a coach such as providing a congratulatory applause every time the opposition scores a try or goal.