Volunteers and club members were recognised by Melbourne University Sport at the annual Sport and Volunteer Celebration event held in their honour last evening at the Woodward Centre in Parkville.
13 awards were presented to individuals and clubs who have made a significant contribution to Sport at the University in areas such as Service, Performance, Inclusion, Social Justice, and Innovation.
“Sport at the University relies on the contributions of all our talented and passionate volunteers. There is something like 1000 active volunteers, who volunteer over 150,000 hours annually, which are critical for providing sporting opportunities and keeping our clubs running.” Commented event host Tim Lee, Director of Melbourne University Sport.
Lee also spoke of how volunteers and club members are crucial contributors to the consistently high performance of the 43 clubs that compete through the University.
“Our volunteers offer advice and support on advisory groups, serve on club committees, coach, and manage the teams. They are the ones taking care of the hundreds of tasks that go into running activities, right down to cutting the oranges and sweeping the sheds”
Awards were presented by special VIP guests Chris Bunting, Diversity and Inclusion Project Officer for the Office of the Provost, and Tony Steele, a stalwart of University Sport over decades.
The Award for Excellence in Inclusion was granted to both Terri O’Reilly and the Women’s Football Clubs for their significant contribution to changing policies, developing programs, or influencing positive cultural change to ensure that everyone can thrive through sport, regardless of one’s personal attributes such as gender, sexual orientation, race, age, ability
The Lacrosse Club took home the Award for Excellence in Innovation, with Club Treasurer Nick Anthony accepting the award on MULAX’s behalf.
Three individuals were presented with Service Awards for their contributions to University Sport; Co-Founders of the Dragon Boat Club Stefanie Natascha Voelker, Zijing Cu, and Anthony Williams from Volleyball were all recognised for their selfless dedication and contributions towards sport at the University of Melbourne.
In conjunction with these Service Awards, Distinguished Service Awards were also presented to John Prince (Cycling) and Lindy Murphy (Netball) for their continued dedication and accomplishments to Sport at the university.
Joel Rimes (Basketball) and Liam Van Gemst (Volleyball) were recognised with the Club Individual Performance of the Year Awards for their own achievements as Club members, helping enhance and further the performance and broader presence of their sporting clubs.
The Men’s Premier Division 1 Volleyball Team took home the Club Performance of the Year for their impressively dominant 2022 season that concluded with a gold medal finish in September. Shawn King of the Melbourne University Basketball Club was handed the Club Coach of the Year Award after his first season in the role, which saw him lead the Men’s Big V Team to a 23-1 record.
The Mountaineering Club was recognised as the Club of the Year for 2022, with Club President Maggie Dick accepting the award on behalf of the Club.
The University is reliant on the selfless contributions of volunteers in order to maintain a reputation of high performance and social responsibility. While not all those who volunteer their time and energy were recognised at the celebration, their continued presence is a cornerstone to the University’s sporting community.