2018 Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards 

Gymnastics Victoria had the honour of attending the 2018 Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards at Southbank on August 1. 

The Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards recognise those who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to sport with a high level of sportsmanship and outstanding results as well as highlighting those who show excellence in their fields with a genuine desire to help others. 

We are proud to announce that the Casey Gymnastics Special Olympics Athletes won the Carbine Club Team of the Year Award. 

The three male gymnasts - Chris, Curtis and Miles - have competed at both state and national level competitions hosted by Special Olympics. The gymnasts have brought home first, second and third placings between them. 

The team has achieved great results over the last 12 months, with all three members being invited onto the Victorian State Team that competed at the Special Olympics National Games in April. They are extremely committed to their sport, with a work ethic that saw them increase their training hours in the lead up to competitions. They encourage not only each other, but the other teams that they compete against. 

Casey Gymnastics Specialist, Monica Ellis, accepted the award on behalf of the team. 

“Gymnastics is considered to be such an elite sport, so for us trying to get down to those grass roots and offer everyone an opportunity to participate is really important to us. It’s really helped our club build an inclusive culture and give opportunities for people of any age and any ability,” said Monica.

When asked how the team prepared for competitions, Monica explained that “the boys were very busy and they took their preparation very seriously. It was great to have their parents involved, making sure they were in the gym. I think they learnt a whole new world of gymnastics and a whole new world of dedication. We’re very proud of them!” 

The team from Casey were up against the Melton Lions All Abilities Cricket Team and the Victorian Cerebral Palsy Football Team. 

Emma Hosking was a finalist for the Coach of the Year award. Emma coaches gymnastics at the Boroondara Sports Complex YMCA. She is passionate about providing opportunities for emerging coaches with a disability. She encourages open and transparent conversations about inclusion with her peers and has had a profound impact on coaching staff, volunteers, participants and wider community. In January this year, Emma single-handedly launched Balwyn Gymnastics Clubs Special Olympics Program, providing a pathway in competitive gymnastics for people with an intellectual disability. 

Gymnastics Victoria were also a finalist in partnership with Special Olympics Australia for the VicHealth Initiative of the Year for the Special Olympics Gymnastics pathway. Other nominees in this category were Southern Masters Cycling Club for their All-Abilities Cycling initiative and Scope Australia for their program ‘Get Active’. The Southern Masters Cycling Club were awarded Initiative of the Year. 

Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists, and special congratulations to Casey Gymnastics for being named the Club Team of the Year!