Whitehorse City Council

Whitehorse Sports Awards

The Whitehorse Sports Awards acknowledge the hard work and dedication of local athletes, sporting clubs and their volunteers.

ParksAndRecreationAthleticsTrackSprinterThe awards recognise the important contribution that local sporting clubs make to the community and the outstanding achievements of their members. They also acknowledge excellence in club management and the behind-the-scene efforts of club volunteers.

To be eligible, nominees must live in, attend school or be a member of a sporting club within Whitehorse. Unless otherwise stated, nominations should be based on achievements from the past year.

The award categories are: 
Sportsperson of the Year: an athlete of any age who has consistently achieved a high level either at local, state or national level in the last year, has displayed excellent sportsmanship, as well as putting something back into sport.

Junior Sportsperson of the Year: an athlete, under the age of 18 as at 1 January 2015, who has performed at a high level throughout the year and shown excellent sportsmanship.

Athlete of the Year with a Disability: an athlete of any age who has consistently achieved a high level either at local, state or national level in the last year, has displayed excellent sportsmanship, as well as putting something back into the sport.

Volunteer of the Year: a person who gives freely for the benefit of a sports club, has contributed over a long period (or made an extraordinary contribution in the last year), and fosters a positive focus on personal development within the club.

Sports Club of the Year: a club that fosters participation and enjoyment at all levels of the sport, shows innovation in administration, focuses on skills development and personal growth for members, provides opportunities for a diverse range of participants as well as broad community appeal.

Team of the Year: a sporting and recreational team that has accomplished significant achievements in its given pursuit, performed consistently and offered participants a positive experience.

Coach of the Year: open to any coach who coaches at a club based in Whitehorse. Will be judged on the philosophy they bring to the club, the positive values they instil in their athletes as well as achieving to a high standard.

School Award: a school with the best overall performance by individual athletes and teams. Nominations will be judged on the achievements of the school, the level of participation, and the educational benefits this participation has had for students. Student achievements must be performed representing the school.

Each year, the awards open in July and close in August with the awards night held in October.

For more information, call 9262 6333 and ask to speak to the Administration Officer in the Arts and Recreation Development Department. 

Whitehorse Sports Awards 2015

Talented local sports men, women, teams and volunteers were honoured for their outstanding effort and dedication at the Whitehorse Sports Awards 2015.

The awards – open in nine categories – recognise the outstanding achievements of local sportspeople and sporting clubs while acknowledging the behind-the-scenes
efforts of people in sporting and recreation clubs in Whitehorse.

Travis Mahoney
Nunawading Swimming Club
Travis Mahoney, Captain of the Nunawading Swimming Club, is a strong swimmer showing incredible promise. He has represented Australia on several occasions including the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series, as part of winning Australian Swim Team, and the 2015 World University Games in South Korea.

In August this year, Travis swam against swimming legend Michael Phelps in the US National Championships. Travis won a silver medal in the 400m Individual Medley and bronze medal in 200m Individual Medley. As captain of the Nunawading Swimming Club for the past 2 years, Travis has proven to be an excellent role model to the younger and less experienced athletes. He inspires and challenges his teammates on a daily basis to be better athletes and to support each other in their goals. Recently Travis received a lifetime achievement award from the Metro East district for his dedication to the sport of swimming.

Ethan Newnham
Ringwood Diving Club and Box Hill High School
Diver Ethan Newnham is really making waves in his sport! This year, Ethan won five gold, three silver and one bronze medal in his diving events at the Victorian Elite Junior Championships, Victorian Pacific School Game Trials and Australian Elite Junior Championships. He was also selected to join the 2015 National Junior Squad by Diving Australia. Recently, Ethan was nominated by Diving Victoria for Male Junior Elite Diver 2015 and Most Improved Male Diver 2015.

Ethan strives to be a good role model and shares the love of his sport with others. He always encourages and congratulates his fellow divers at training and in competitions. Throughout the year Ethan has represented Box Hill High School at School Sports Victoria events with pride, responsibility and respect, winning an award.

Kieran Johnson-Vickers
Eastern Gymnastics Club
Kieran Johnson-Vickers is a talented gymnast. In October 2014, Kieran competed at the National Games for Special Olympics, winning one gold, four silver and two bronze medals.
Kieran demonstrates excellent sportsmanship. He sees all competitors as a friend and is just as happy for them to achieve as he is himself. Kieran has worked hard to complete his beginner coach accreditation and now volunteers his time coaching and helping in the Eastern Gymnastics Club office.

Eastern Gymnastics Club
Eastern Gymnastics Club has more than 750 members, welcoming all ages and ability from Walking Kinder Gymnastics to Adults Gymnastics. The club designs classes to suit demand, including a program for inactive women, Teen Gym and inclusive programs such as Autism Spectrum Disorder Specific classes. Eastern Gymnastics Club has a strong emphasis on community and encourages young members to be active and good club members. The club’s coach development program is admired and replicated by other clubs. The club is also an inclusive employer with coaches, staff and volunteers with disabilities being an important part of the club.

Blackburn Junior Football Club, Boys Under 15 A Grade Team
The Boys Under 15 A Grade Team has won five consecutive Eastern Football League A grade
Grand Finals in a strong junior competition after being undefeated in the 2015 season.
This incredible accomplishment is an EFL record breaking achievement. It has been challenging year for the majority of the team playing representative football in addition to the season with Blackburn Football Club. Nine players represented the EFL in the Victorian Under 15 championships. Five of those players were champions in Division 1 and four players were runners up in Division 2. Twelve of the 25 players are on the Under 15 TAC list.
The boys have a strong bond on and off the field and play with a team first mentality. Their humility and sportsmanship is as equally impressive as their winning record.

Mark Laidlaw
Nunawading Swimming Club
Mark donates an extraordinary amount of time as a volunteer for Nunawading Swimming Club where he has volunteered for more than six years as a Technical Official on the committee and a general volunteer. Nearly every Saturday morning at training Mark is the first one there and last to leave after cooking pancakes on the BBQ in the dark to ensure swimmers have a hot breakfast.

Mark is also the ‘anonymous’ volunteer who does things around the club without anyone asking or expecting any recognition, whether it be putting together benches or organising equipment for a meet.

In Mark’s role as a Technical Official, Mark regularly identifies and approaches new families within the club and encourages them to assist at club run meets and functions. The number
of officials in the club has grown every year since Mark has been involved.

St Philip’s Primary School, Blackburn North
St Philip’s is a small school with only 135 students, but it has an impressive list of achievements in sport. All students in Years 4, 5 and 6 participate in interschool sports with many progressing to the division level in swimming, cross country and athletics.

In 2014, the school came third at the District Athletics Carnival where 23 students progressed to the division level and one student made it to the regional finals. St Philip's also won the Cricket Victoria District Final of Milo/ Kanga Cricket and progressed to Region and made the Grand Final but lost in a tight match.

In 2015, St Phillip’s were also the Premiers in the District for Open Kanga Cricket, Open Football, Open Soccer and Open Basketball.

Many children have taken up a sport in the community as they have enjoyed their involvement in interschool sports. Students learn to persevere, work in teams and appreciate the importance of healthy eating and exercise. They are also taught to accept the umpire’s decision, with the school’s motto being “the umpire is always right, even when they are wrong”.

Paul Harte
Blackburn Football Club
Paul Harte’s team has won five consecutive Eastern Football League A Grade finals – a record breaking achievement – in arguably the strongest junior competition in the state.
He coached another exceptional year for the 25 players who managed to go through the 2015 season undefeated for the first time. Paul has a strong relationship with all the players and is highly respected amongst the players and parents at the club, especially as the appointed player welfare manager. Paul conducts himself with integrity and honesty as he gives a lot back to the sport, developing each individual’s strength and emphasising a high performing team. Paul is a triple premiership coach with the club. He was a mentor coach for the U14 to 17 age groups coaches and the EFL inter-league assistant coach this year.

Samuel Harte
Samuel Harte displays excellent sportsmanship in all his sporting pursuits. He always has the utmost respect for coaches, teammates, opponents and umpires.

In 2015, Samuel played football with the national champions in the U15 Victorian State Representative Team and the U15 Oakleigh Chargers Squad Firsts side. Sam is a five time premiership player, duel best and fairest and Vice-Captain for the Blackburn Junior Football Club. In the 2014 – 2015 Cricket Season, Samuel was a Premiership Player winning the batting average for Blackburn Cricket Club E Grade, Best Finals Player for the Blackburn Cricket Club U16 A Grade Team and Vice-Captain for Semi Finalists Box Hill Representative U15 Team in the JG Craig Cricket Competition. He also won the Batting Award at Whitefriars College where he is a student.