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Congratulations to the 2018 Sports Awards Winners

Congratulations to the 2018 Sports Awards Winners

11 October 2018

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Greater Dandenong Sports Awards. The awards celebrate the many amazing achievements made and the wonderful support provided ty dedicated volunteers that enable everyone the opportunity to play sport socially or competitively across Greater Dandenong.

Read about their achievements below:

Male Athlete of the Year
Brandon Barnes

Since being signed by Dandenong Thunder to play in the NPL at the beginning of 2016, Brandon Barnes has scored 98 goals in 76 games. In both 2016 and 2017 he won the NPL1 Golden Boot and Player of the Year leading the Thunder to promotion to the NPL where in 2018 he is currently leading the goal scoring charts scoring 22 goals in 22 games.

Brandon has not only put himself in the spotlight by continually scoring goals but the wider south eastern football community on the map. Brandon has got the attention of A-League clubs and other NPL club Australia-wide. He is a local hero for all young footballers who want to play at the highest level. Officials at the Dandenong Thunder believe all young kids want to play like him and become just like him. 

Female Athlete of the Year
Jessica McCulloch  

Jessica represented Victoria at Special Olympics National Games in A Grade 2014 Women's team and B Grade mixed team in 2018.

Selected for Team Australia Women's team she competed in Los Angeles at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games achieving a Gold Metal at these games. Jessica is part of the Special Olympics Australia network that provides weekly sports training and regular competition for people with intellectual disabilities.

Junior Athlete of the Year
Jennifer Audy  

Jennifer is a 12 year old student at St Anthony's Primary School and resides with her mother and has five siblings. Jennifer's mother Judita was a refugee of South Sudan.

In 2017 Jennifer came second in the School Sports Victoria Cross Country State Competition and then competed in the National Competition in Hobart where she came 15th. Jennifer then came 7th (800 meters) when she competed in the National Track and Field Championships in Adelaide in December 2017. Most recently, in July 2018 Jennifer came 1st in the School Sports Victoria Cross Country Championships, qualifying for the Australian Cross Country Championships where she finished 13th. 

Masters Award
Marcela Nemas  

Marcela rowed as a teenager in Czechoslovakia before fleeing to Australia. After a 40 year absence from rowing, Marcela joined Carrum Rowing Club in 2013.

Marcela claimed silver in the G-K single scull at the 2016 VIC Masters State Championships, and bronze in the same event in 2017 (along with a silver in the double scull that year). Unfortunately Marcela suffered a heart attack in late 2017 but that didn't stop her. Marcela won Gold against some tough interstate competition at the 2018 VIC Masters State Championships in the G-K single, paired with a bronze medal in the double scull event. She then made the trip to Tasmania to compete in the 2018 Australian Masters National Rowing Championships where, at 75 she was the oldest female competitor at the event, and claimed the National Title for the Women's I single sculls event. 

Volunteer of the Year
Winner: Peter Keyaerts, Lyndale Cricket Club  

Peter was nominated for his 55 year involvement with the club, from player to administrator to now groundsman. A huge achievement especially considering the club has been running for 56 years. Peter’s level of involvement spans across senior and junior age groups and continues today.

Peter's has been involved with a number of roles over the years including coaching, co-coordinator and general helper. He is often assisting children with their training and transport to and from training or competition. 

Team of the Year
Winner: Noble Park Junior Football Club U12s

The Noble Park Junior Football Club provides a fun and engaging environment for all children to participate in local sports. Current AFL player and past Noble Park Junior player, Adam Treloar joined the coaching team this year. Player numbers improved in 2018, with the Under 12s managing to field a full team each week. Each player received one-on-one coaching to assist them with skill development, while they also committed to twice weekly training sessions across the season. 

Club of the Year
Winner: Silverton Cricket Club

The Silverton Cricket Club had a number of positive achievements throughout 2018, including:

  • The creation of a Junior Performance program giving children aged 4-17 a tailored strength and conditioning program in a fun and dynamic setting, including support for mental performance and dealing with peer pressure. 
  • Junior player numbers have grown by 200 per cent and team numbers have increased by 400 per cent for the upcoming season, with numbers sitting at their highest level for 15-20 years.
  • Setting up a No Violence campaign and raised $2000 for a local family who were victims of a violent crime.
  • The creation of a ladies social team fostering a sense of belonging, friendship, fitness and fun specifically for women.
  • Working with local schools to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Coach of the Year
Winner: Michael 'Mick' Carlsson, Noble Park Junior Football Club

Over the course of Mick’s coaching his teams have included a variety of children from different backgrounds, including culturally diverse children, boys and girls, and children of all abilities. Mick insists on respect, respect for oneself, for each member of the team, for the opposition and the officials (umpires) who attend the games.

Each week he sets aside time to have an individual conversation with each child to give them feedback on how they are going, what they have done well, what they need to work on and techniques to achieve their goals.

Over the past six or so years Mick has worked with the club to build its community focus, he has attended clinics, community events anything else that will promote not only the club but the benefits of being a part of a community group.

Positive Community Engagement Award
Michael Palma, Parkmore Junior Football Club 

Michael is dedicated to ensuring that the Parkmore Junior Football Club remains a vital part of the junior sport landscape. He is very inspiring and many at the club believe he is the sole reason why the club still exists.

This year the Parkmore Junior Football Club Under 14 team were winless after five games, but through hard work Michael was able to engage some new players from a local high school. As a result, the team went on to win the 2018 premiership. Michael was able to galvanize the group and the club with empathy and genuine care. The premiership was a wonderful reward for all of his tireless work.

Michael also assists around the community in delivering cultural awareness sessions, with the distribution of information to targeted community groups and assisting the AFL Multicultural and Indigenous events and activities.

Sports Achievement Award
Balloon Football - SCOPE 

The Balloon Football - SCOPE league consists of eight teams and 57 players. The league plays games at Springers Leisure Centre. This program enables people with a disability to actively contribute to leading, shaping and influencing their community as well as participating in a team sport for the first time in their life.

The program also provides pathway opportunities and drives inclusion and an increased awareness in the community. In 2018, the program partnered with Nazareth Secondary College to give students the opportunity to assist in volunteering with the program.

Outstanding Contribution to Sports
Jack Ferro 

Jack has been the heart and soul of the Keysborough Soccer Club under 13's team for the last two years. Every week he records a video of the game, and spends the weekend editing it so the team can enjoy the highlights and clips. Jack also watches the game and records individual player statistics which he compiles every week into a newsletter for all kids and parents. He's also established relationships with local businesses and arranges prizes for the kids each week, awarding players not only for ability but also effort and attitude.

Jack takes his commitment to the team very seriously. Every week he has his highlights and newsletters ready, gets the game statistics and chases parents/coaching team for their nominations for player awards. He always suggests ideas on where the club can make improvements and make the experience a better one for all of the kids, their parents, and even our opposition.

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