It was a who’s who of deaf and hard of hearing sports stars at the 2015 awards night held by Deaf Sports Australia (DSA) on Saturday 7 February in Melbourne. Deaflympians and volunteers from the 2005 Melbourne Deaflympic Games who were celebrating the 10 year reunion were joined by current deaf and hard of hearing sportspeople to congratulate six 2015 DSA award winners.
Familiar faces including DSA Life Member and former Chairperson of the 2005 Deaflympic Games Bid Committee Anne Bremner reminisced about the Games. Caroline Conlon current Event Manager of the 2016 Australian Deaf Games also provided her memories of 2005 and Trish Tracey former CEO of the Deaflympic Games provided insight into the running of the Games.
Current DSA President Phil Harper welcomed guests with Dean Barton-Smith AM, the former chairperson of the 2005 Deaflympic Games Organising Committee, four-time Deaflympian, Commonwealth Games and Olympic champion presenting the 2015 Sport Awards. In addition 2005 Deaflympic gold medal-winning javelin thrower Amy Lea-Mills attended the night.
DSA's annual awards night celebrates the achievements of athletes and those who are enabling the deaf and hard of hearing to excel in sport.
This year’s award winners included:
In addition ‘Rising young star’ awards were awarded to Declan Campion and Jamie Howell in athletics and Alex Kirchner in Swimming.
“Every year it is an honour to award not only the athletes who are excelling in their chosen sport, but also those who are supporting and enabling the deaf and hard of hearing to achieve in sport,” said Garry West-Bail, General Manager, Deaf Sports Australia.
“It was wonderful to see those athletes who competed in the Melbourne Games 10 years ago, many of whom who have gone on to continue to support the deaf and hard of hearing community in some way.
“We have over 70 athletes preparing for the upcoming Asia Pacific Deaf Games in Taiwan where we aim to finish in the top three medalling countries. In addition many athletes are preparing for the Australian Deaf Games in Adelaide in January 2016 with both events showcasing the tremendous sporting ability of our deaf and hard of hearing athletes. We look forward to seeing our athletes dominate with records broken and extraordinary talents unveiled.”
The Asia Pacific Deaf Games will run from 3 to 11 October 2015. The Australian Deaf Games (www.austdeafgames.org.au) will be held in Adelaide from 9 to 16 January 2016. More than 1,000 deaf and hard of hearing people from all over Australia and neighbouring Pacific nations are expected to participate.
Top L-R: Dean Barton-Smith & Gavin Balharrie (accepted award on behalf of Jack Besley); Dean Barton-Smith & Amy-Lea Mills (accepted award on behalf of Melinda Vernon); Dean Barton-Smith & Garry West-Bail (accepted award on behalf of Stefan Armbruster SBS); Dean Barton-Smith & Jamie Howell.
Bottom L-R: Dean Barton-Smith & Alex Kirchner; Dean Barton-Smith and Brad Schofield; Dean Barton-Smith & Declan Campion; Dean Barton-Smith & Emma Cairnduff; Dean Barton-Smith & Blair Beamish (Murrumbeena Junior Football Club).
Master of Ceremonies host Matthew Norman
|Phil Harper, President of Deaf Sports Australia with Matthew Norman|
Trish Tracey, former CEO of 2005 Deaflympic Games Ltd describing her experience. Interpreted by Cheryl Sandilands while Matthew Norman watches on
Guests give a round of applause during the Sports Awards