20th Anniversary Annual Awards Night

Awards Night 1 - 20th Anniversary Annual Awards Night

Gippsland Sports Academy Annual Awards Night & 20th Year Celebration

On Friday the 19th May, 96 young Gippsland athletes received graduation certificates from the Gippsland Sports Academy.

The function was held at the Premier Centre Traralgon and recognizes the achievements of the athletes over the preceding 12 months.

2017 is the 20th year of operation for the Gippsland Sports Academy and this was acknowledged with all guest’s receiving a celebratory lapel badge and a panel interview with past Board Members and Athletes. This was very well received by the audience and gave a great insight to the work the Gippsland Sports Academy has achieved over the past 20yrs.

As always there are four major awards presented on an annual basis. They are:

The Rising Star Award is designed to assist identified athletes from within the Gippsland Sports Academy to prepare effectively as they look to take the next step in their sporting career.  As of 2015 the GSA will regard this initiative as an underpinning award to The Future Talent Program facilitated by the Victorian Institute of Sport. Once identified, athletes will be provided with funding through the Gippsland Sports Academy to assist them in their preparation.  This was awarded to Emily Beecroft.

The Phil Shelley award for service to the Gippsland Sports Academy and sport in Gippsland.  This was awarded to Donna Rowand. As coach and Head Coach at Sale, Donna works with all swimmers, coaches, committee and parents to achieve the best outcomes. Having had National Swimmers competing at the highest level for the past 5/6 seasons is testament to her dedication to the sport and our athletes.

Becoming involved with the GSA Swimming Program was a natural progression from the GSI Squads and Donna took to working with these athletes, coaches and Advisory Panel with her normal enthusiasm. Donna is a great asset to our Program and is there for all involved.

The David Drane Award for encouragement was won by Tatum Cotterrell. Tatum is a dedicated ,hard working  and motivated gymnast. Within her own club, Energetic Gymnastics she is well respected by her team mates and coaches. Her positive attitude during training and competitions is admired by many throughout the Gippsland Gymnastics community. Tatum has represented her club and the Gippsland Gymnastics community with pride on many occasions being named Level 7 Gippsland Champion and Level 7 South East Region Champion for 2016.

The Tim Forsyth Award for Sporting Excellence was won by Emily Beecroft. Emily has taken all before her this season culminating in her selection on the Australian Paralympic team for Rio where in every event swim she achieved a personal best and missing a medal by the barest of margins (0.03) in finishing 4th in the 50 freestyle.

After a short period to recharge Emily recently competed in the selection trials at the Australian Championships for the Paralympics, breaking a world record and picking up silver in the 50 Fly gained her selection on the Australian Team to compete in Mexico later this year.

Emily is an outstanding young person never letting her disability get in the way of athletic, personal or professional challenges. In March Emily was named Victorian Young Athlete of the Year at the 2016 Victorian Sports Awards, all at the Academy look forward to her continued improvement and success for the region, state and country.

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Founding GSA Members:

Carolyne Boothman, Darrell White & Phil Shelley

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Past Athletes Panel:

Anthony Brown, Courtney Ford & Ash Delaney

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96 Graduating athletes with over 240 Guests


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Emily Beecroft with Latrobe City Mayor Kellie O’Callaghan

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Emily Beecroft with GSA EO Jim Vivian


Overall Award Winners:

Rising Star Award:

From L – R: Emily Beecroft (Swimming) & Anne Marie Harrison (Victorian Institute of Sport CEO)

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Phil Shelley Award:

From L – R: Phil Shelley & Donna Rowand (Swimming)

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David Drane Award

From L – R: Tatum Cotterrell (Gymnastics) & Di Blackwood (GSA Board Chair)

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Tim Forsyth Award

From L – R: Tim Matthews (Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) Performance Talent Manager) & Emily Beecroft (Swimming)

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