The Academy has recently established an ambassadors program and is delighted to have the support of its first two ambassadors, Tim Matthews and Don Elgin. Tim and Don are both Paralympic athletes who, between them, share one world and six Australian records.
The Academy recently established its Ambassadors Program to provide support for its elite athletes and coaches, and also to promote the Academy.
At their recent induction ceremony, Tim and Don addressed a group of Academy athletes and agreed to promote and support the Academy programs and activities.
The Gippsland Sports Academy Awards Night on Friday the 7th of April at the Premiere Function Centre, was an evening enjoyed by all.
The guest speaker for the evening was from the “Oarsome Foursome” Rowing Team Mr. Drew Ginn, aformer Gippsland boy who enthralled guests with an inspiring and interesting message for all our budding champions.
The Tim Forsyth Award for the most outstanding achievement, which is named after the Academy’s Patron Tim Forsyth. The nominees were Hamish Nelson - Athletics, Ben Dunlop - Golf, Lichelle Clarke - Swimming, Brad Soutar - Squash, David Donchi - Tennis, Laura Nelson - Volleyball, and Jack Burgess - Badminton.
The David Drane Award: Awarded as an encouragement award, and named after David Drane who was actually the inspiration for the creation of the Gippsland Academy of Sport. The nominees were Zachariah Nelson - Athletics, Alexandria Bantock - Golf, Andrew Cameron - Swimming, Darcy St. John - Squash, Edward Hawke - Tennis, Harley Atcheson - Volleyball, and Daniel Belfield - Badminton.
The Phil Shelley Sports Development Award, presented to an individual that is gone beyond their normal duties to assist in the development of the sport and the athletes involved. The nominee does not have to be an athlete for this award. The nominees were Ann McCurley - Athletics, Robert Goldie - Golf, Dr Ralph Richards - Swimming, Mike Lang - Squash, Jeff Hawke - Tennis, Aaron Magnuson - Volleyball, and Fred Stanlake - Badminton.
The Tim Forsyth Award was won by Hamish Nelson (Athletics). Hamish competed for Yallourn-Newborough Athletics Club and with Melbourne University Athletics Club as his second claim club. His results included:
The David Drane Award was won by Alexandria Bantock (Golf). Alex Bantock has completed a very successful first year with the Gippsland Sports Academy Golf Squad. Alex started the year with her handicap at 28, and as a result of her hard work during 2005, has seen her handicap drop to 16.
Combined with this have been some very promising performances at tournaments during the year, and attendance at development camps run by the Victorian Golf Association. Alex has show commitment to her golf and the Squad by a high level of attendance at Golf Squad training sessions during the year.
The “Phil Shelley Sports Development Award”, won by Dr Ralph Richards (Swimming). Ralph has been nominated for his dedication and commitment to The Gippsland Swimming Program over the last 8 or so years. He has fulfilled all roles as an unpaid coach, advisory panel member and overall mentor for the swimming program in Gippsland.
Ralph’s longevity and willingness to support and assist the program in whatever role was required has been invaluable to The Sports Academy. His co ordination and liaison with VIS and Regional Academies has ensured the success of all programs.
The Gippsland Sports Academy is pleased to have appointed Ms Tabetha Timbs to the position of Project Officer. Tabetha will be responsible for organising induction days, graduations, and other key events in the Academy’s calendar.
Tabetha replaces Jess Lyons who has moved to Melbourne where she will pursue her university studies and her badminton career.
The Academy is gearing up for an active year with the recent commencements of tennis and badminton programs, and with golf and squash both to resume next week.
We are also pleased that the new sport, lawn bowls, will commence shortly after, in April.
Programs about to finish are athletics, volleyball, and soon swimming. However, these three sports will immediately begin planning for their 2006 programs. They will recommence from May onwards.
This year, the number of athletes in Academy programs is expected to increase above last year’s record of 150.
The Gippsland Sports Academy focus is to provide a pathway for all Scholarship holders to progress to State, National and International level. We now have four Tennis Program athletes enrolled in the Tennis Victoria "My Tennis School" at Box Hill. They are: Edward Hawke from Traralgon, Vicky Stuckey from Flynn, Ivan Kiriakov from Traralgon, and Kate Marshall from Pakenham.
Our Squash Program has also had two members accepted as Scholarship holders in the Victorian Institute of Sport Squash Program. They are: Brad Soutar from Morwell and Robert Templeton from Leongatha
Several Badminton players have been competing well through out the year. Twin brothers Damien and Haydn Hector topped off an outstanding year winning the U/13 Victorian Title. Damien was also the runner up in the mixed doubles. Jack Burgess also had consistent results and was selected to represent Victoria in the up coming U/17 June Bevan Carnival to be held in Perth in April.
Gippsland Athletes dominated at the recent Vic Country Track and Field Championships that were held in Ballarat in late January. Several athletes won gold medals. Hamish Nelson and Mitchell Cooper were stand out performers, with Hamish taking away 7 gold and 2 Silver and Mitchell winning 4 gold and I silver. Zac Nelson, Anthony McKay, Kane Smith, Daniel McKay, Adam Daldry and David Broberg all winning at least one gold and some picking up minor medals. Although the boys were outstanding on the day many of the girls competed well picking up minor medals.
Six Academy Swimmers contested the Commonwealth games Trials. They were: Melissa Hopley (Morwell), Sven Eriksson (Warragul), Andrew O’Connor (Glengarry), Jarrod Raun and Jeremy Saunders (Traralgon), and Emily Swinbume (Boisdale). Two former Academy swimmers, made finals. Sam Ashby competed in the Individual Medley and Ashley Delaney in the Backstroke, where he won bronze.
At this early stage the Gippsland Sports Academy has two personnel in the Commonwealth games Teams. Lichelle Clarke is in the swimming team and athletics coach, Aaron Neighbor, will compete in the discus event.
Congratulations to all. Well done!
Several Academy swimmers competed in the recent Pacific Schools Games (for the Asia-Pacific region, including China). We have seen results for Jeremy Saunders, Jeremy Meyer, and Andrew O’Connor and all have accredited themselves well against international competition. All swam well in heats and made at least two finals - an oustanding achievement.
Best results were Jeremy Saunders’ second in the 15 years 100 m breaststroke, third in the 200 m individual medley, and Andrew O’Connor’s third in the 18 years butterfly.
Academy Track and Field athletes Mitchell Cooper, Hamish Nelson and Zac Nelson also entered a swag of events. Mitchell was second in the long jump, but all three narrowly missed places in other events in which the standard of performance was extraordinarily high.
The consistently high achievements of Academy athletes in both swimming and track and field demonstrates the importance of regional Academies in fostering talented athletes. The programs also gain from having athletes perform well at international events because all squad members observe and learn from the participants’ experiences.
It commenced at 10.00am on Sunday 22nd May with about 50 athletes from all seven sports involved. A presentation from Damien Brown Olympic games weightlifting representative and 4 time Commonwealth games gold medallist. This emphasised the benefits of Live Clean/Play Clean absence of Drugs in Sport, followed by an interactive media Awareness session conducted by Mr Ian Needham.
All athletes, parents and staff eagerly consumed a BBQ lunch. The afternoon was spent participating in numerous adventures based Activities. These activities were aimed at motivating each individual and allowing for Teamwork and Leadership skills to come to the fore. The day fits into line with the Gippsland Sports Academy’s objectives of ensuring all athletes in the Academy receive education in Leadership, Teamwork, Goal Setting, Time management, Resume writing and Interview Skills. This of course also includes Sports coaching, Sports Psychology, Strength and Conditioning and Nutrition.
All Athletes from Swimming, Golf, Badminton, Athletics, Volleyball, Tennis and Squash thoroughly enjoyed the experience and can’t wait until next year.
Thank you to our valued sponsors whom supplied material for show bags:
The Gippsland Sports Academy, sponsored by Loy Yang B Power Station, is very pleased to announce that Bryan Heron has been appointed to the position of Executive Officer for the Academy.
Bryan will commence duties on 17th March, and is looking forward to the challenges associated with his appointment. He is especially keen to have the opportunity to contribute to the development of pathways for Gippsland’s young athletes to realise their full potential in their chosen sports.
Bryan comes to the Academy with a wealth of experience having formerly been the Manager of the Won Wron Prison. Bryan lives in Traralgon and has a strong interest in sport and community life. Tennis, Golf, Cricket and Football feature prominently as does his former involvement in co-ordinating the annual Won Wron Prison "Prisoners on the Run" event. Bryan is very keen to advance the 7 existing Academy Programs, and, in addition, ensure that the Gippsland Sports Academy Annual Awards Evening, scheduled for 1st April next, at the Premiere Function Centre, Traralgon, is highly successful.
The Academy is also pleased to announce that Jessica Lyons has been appointed to undertake an Office Administration Traineeship on a full-time basis. Jessica comes to this position with the benefit of being currently associated with the Academy, as a member of the Academy’s Badminton Program and the Victorian Under 19 and Open representative squads in 2004.
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