Recognising the contribution of our Volunteers

13 December; Mannhar Kaur

The evening of 7 December saw a vast network of stakeholders come together to honour and commemorate the salient efforts of the volunteers from our sporting clubs, advisory groups, and programs at the annual Sport and Volunteer Celebration event. Each year, volunteers are recognised by Melbourne University Sport through a series of awards based on their Service, Performance, and Excellence. This year, twelve awards were given to individuals and clubs who provided exceptional service, showed outstanding leadership, or contributed towards raising the profile of clubs.

“I know that many of you as club leaders and volunteers spend much of your time supporting, recognising, and rewarding the work of others and that often your contribution goes unnoticed, so tonight I would like to acknowledge your efforts and say thank you,” Director of Melbourne University Sport, Tim Lee expressed on occasion.

To present the awards on the night, Advisory Board Chair Ian Marshman (previous member of Lacrosse Club) and Rosemary Bissett, Melbourne University Renegades Vice President, member of Clubs Advisory Group and Advisory Board, were invited up to the stage.

Taking away the night’s first award, Club of the Year, was the Lacrosse Club for its successful year with victories in both men’s and women’s senior categories, initiatives in diverse community programs, and a stellar performance that culminated in its 2023 Uni Nationals championship. Beyond its on-field achievements, 2023 also marked a significant milestone as the club celebrated its 140th anniversary.

The Club Individual Performance of the Year was won by Tom Lennard (Rugby Club) for being the leading scorer in Dewar Shield, the highest division of Rugby played in Victoria, while the Melbourne University Lightning Club - 19&U team won the Club Team Performance of the Year for a dominant season in the Victorian Netball League where they won the premiership.

Sarah Mylrea-Norton, coach of the Lightning 19&U team, was also recognised as the Club Coach of the Year.

There were two recipients of the Award for Excellence in Inclusion, with Lachlan Francis (Touch Club) and the Soccer Club both acknowledged for their significant contributions to changing policies and influencing positive cultural change through programs like the ‘All Abilities’ Touch Football Program and All Gender Games Series, respectively.

Four individuals received Service Awards for their selfless service towards their sporting club: Ellen Liu (Fencing), Henry Tan (Karate), Allegra Randazzo (Squash), and Cameron Richardson (Squash).

Distinguished Service Awards were presented to Jason Kotchoff (Basketball) and Michael Owen (Soccer) for service to their respective clubs for ten or more years.

Volunteers like these are the backbone of the University’s sporting community and are essential in upholding its distinguished performance and social responsibility profile. We extend our gratitude to all volunteers who helped keep sport alive this year.

You can relive the night with photos from the event here.