The Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards (VDSR Awards) are a celebration of the achievements of sportspeople with disability, the coaches, organisations, officials and volunteers who support them, and the inclusive sport and recreation sector across Victoria.
Hosted by Disability Sport & Recreation, the VDSR Awards are an opportunity to discover notable champions and rising stars. It celebrates what’s truly great about accessible and inclusive sport.
The night of nights for the disability sporting sector in Victoria will be held on Tuesday 23 November on the stunning 21st floor at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Southbank’s Riverside Quay.
Award nominations are made by state sporting associations, regional sport assemblies, local government, teammates, club members, coaches and local communities. Each award is in recognition of outstanding contribution to inclusive sport and recreation.
“After another extremely challenging year for many in our community, the focus for this year’s awards is a celebration of the community sporting sector and the fun, inclusive and innovative activities that individuals and clubs undertook during lockdown to remain connected with their clubs and community,” said Richard Amon CEO of Disability Sport & Recreation. “We were very proud to receive 31 nominations for the Initiative of the Year award alone, demonstrating the incredible work behind the scenes to keep people active and connected during these difficult times,” said Amon. “As we emerge from lockdowns, let’s come together and celebrate what has been achieved amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, lets look to a brighter future with more Victorians with disability finding greater positive outcomes and connection through involvement in sport and recreation,” said Amon.
The VDSR Awards have previously celebrated elite level Paralympians including Dylan Alcott, who recently became the only male to complete the Golden Slam in quad wheelchair tennis singles, winning all four majors and the Paralympics in 2021 and Ellie Cole, who became Australia’s most decorated female Paralympian with six gold, five silver and six bronze medals from four Paralympic Games after winning her seventeenth Paralympic medal in Tokyo.
They have also recognised the dedication and commitment to the sector by many individuals. This includes Lifetime Achievement award winners Maurice Gleeson, who has worked tirelessly for the blind and low vision community for over 40 years and Greg Crump, whose contribution to wheelchair tennis, both here and abroad stretches over 30 years.
Nominations for the 2021 VDSR Awards are for achievements, initiatives, programs, activities and developments that took place between January 2020 and June 2021.
Finalists in the 2021 Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards are:
Everyday Independence Lifetime Achievement Award
Kaye Speed OAM - Blind Sport and Recreation Victoria
My Sport Live Sportsperson of the Year
Martyn Dunn - wheelchair tennis
Ben Fawcett - wheelchair rugby
Marg Angel Junior Sportsperson of the Year
Sally Schwartz - tennis
Louise Pendred - athletics
James Pendred - athletics
Kirra Wright - athletics
Masters Sportsperson of the Year
Jason Lees - wheelchair rugby
Jason Whiter - bodybuilding
Administrator of the Year
Tim Marchington - SOLVE Disability Solutions
Brenton Dinsdale - Gippsport
Steve Odgers - AFL Victoria
Carbine Club Coach of the Year
Vicky Lee - Slammin Tennis
Ian Bridge - Para-Badminton
Kerry Woods - Special Olympics Gymnastics
PwC Volunteer of the Year
Samir Mahir - Blind Sport and Recreation Victoria
Bill Dooley - SOLVE Disability Solutions
Nancy Cummane - Cricket Victoria
VicHealth Initiative of the Year - Sport
Blind & Low Vision State Championships - Tennis Victoria
Creating a Positive Experience for Athletes with Autism in Gymnastics workshop - Gymnastics Victoria
Virtual International Day of People with Disability celebration - Belgravia Leisure
VicHealth Initiative of the Year - Active Recreation
Law Enforcement Torch Run Victoria - Special Olympics Australia
Fitskills - Latrobe University
All Abilities Physical Activity Challenge - GippSport
Polytan Inclusive Sport, Recreation or Open Space Infrastructure
SOLVE Disability Solutions – building development
More information is available on the Disability Sport & Recreation website: www.dsr.org.au/vdsr-awards
When: Tuesday 23 November 2021
Where: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Riverside Quay, Southbank
Tickets: The awards ceremony will be a ticketed event and full details, including ticket prices, will be released closer to the date on www.dsr.org.au/vdsr-awards
Disability Sport & Recreation thanks the Awards wonderful sponsors and supporters for their generous contribution to make this event possible.
This event is proudly supported by major sponsors Polytan and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and event supporters Mobility Plus, Everyday Independence, The Carbine Club, the Victorian Government, My Sport Live, VicHealth, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Box Hill Institute, WorkSafe Victoria, Mable and Craig Wetjen Photography.