Melbourne University Sport is pleased to announce the winners of the University’s sporting club awards for 2015.
Melbourne University Hockey Club’s senior men’s coach Davin Smith is the University’s 2015 Club Coach of the Year. Smith guided the men’s Firsts to Hockey Victoria’s Vic League 1 minor premiership and promotion back into the Premier League for season 2016 – the first time the Club has played in the top hockey competition in the state for a number of years. He also actively led the Club’s post-season campaign to recruit New Zealand’s most capped player and Olympian Phil Burrows as the 2016 Director of Hockey and men’s senior coach.
The Club Team or Individual Performance of the Year goes to the Volleyball Club’s University Blues who won their third successive women’s Australian Volleyball League title. The Shannon Winzer-coached team dominated the national league during 2015, dropping just one set on their way to an undefeated season. Going into the gold medal game against UTS-SU as the competition’s shortest-priced favourites, the Uni Blues unbelievably lost the first two sets to stare down the barrel of defeat. With the knowledge of their undefeated season behind them, as well as their desire to create AVL history and three-peat, the team rallied to win the next three sets and claim the title. Uni Blues players Rebecca Walter, Shae Sloan, Kat Chen, Eliza Karley Hynes, Jaimee-Lee Morrow were also named in the All-Star team for 2016.
Soccer Club Secretary Rachel Bach is the Club Personality of the Year. Bach coordinated all aspects of women’s soccer at the Club in 2015 but was particularly important in welcoming new players to the Club. She also set about further developing a fun and social environment off the pitch – and this enjoyable club atmosphere ultimately paid dividends with the Club winning Football Federation Victoria’s State League 1 title. Bach also supported new volunteers across both women’s and men’s programs by passing on her knowledge and experiences from her long association with the Cub.
Hockey‘s very successful season has earned them the Club of the Year mantle for 2015. The Club fielded 19 teams across various Hockey Victoria competitions, winning three premierships and playing finals in another seven. Teams provided opportunities for some 100 University of Melbourne students to play regular play hockey each weekend throughout the season. Off the pitch, the Club continued to build its Hockey Club Chapter of the University’s Sport Foundation and also continued to support the Elite Athlete Program with club-specific scholarships for new and returning student-athletes.