2XU Coach Awards Winners

14 Victorian Institute of Sport athletes were today named winners of the 2XU Coach Awards. The awards were announced as part of the 2020 Victorian Institute of Sport Awards.

The 2XU Coach Awards were presented to an athlete in each VIS sport program who is the most deserving within this calendar year. This year was also the first time that athletes from the Individual Scholarship Program and the Future Talent Program received a Coach Awards.

Aerial Skiing 

Winner: Laura Peel | Rachel Hunt (VIS Aerial Skiing Program Manager) & David Morris (Aerial Skiing Coach) 

What Rachel said: “Laura leads by example with her hard work, she shows an ongoing commitment to her own personal excellence regardless of the obstacles, she goes above and beyond to ensure she can perform at her highest level. Although Laura is seen as a quiet athlete she is not afraid to try different things and ask for what she needs and clearly articulates what she wants to achieve. Laura sets a brilliant example to the younger athletes to be your best, she has been a quiet but strong leader amongst the VIS and Australian Aerial Skiing team. She is always welcoming and encouraging of the developing athletes within the VIS program” 

What David said: “Laura has further led the sport for women by demonstrating that there are no limitations when hard work is involved. She lifted the standard to a higher level by consistently performing above and beyond expectations which in turn brought other nations along with her. This resulted in a career first overall world ranking for the season and has once again, like former Australian Aerial skiers, shone light on prospects for the sport” 

What Laura said: “I had an amazing season last year but I definitely didn’t do it alone. So a huge thank you to my Coaches, to the amazing support crew at Olympic Winter Institute of Australia and the Victorian Institute of Sport and Snow Australia. To my amazing teammates, I have been overseas for the last six months and missing you all more than ever. Hoping we will be reunited soon and that we can kick off another successful competition season” 


Winner: Jemima Montag | Ben King (VIS Performance Co-ordinator)

What Ben said: “Jemima is committed to the pursuit of success in sport and life, and has demonstrated this through her engagement in all facets of the VIS pathway throughout her scholarship commencement in 2017, and indeed over the past 12 months. Jemima has taken every opportunity to engage in personal and professional development opportunities, and has demonstrated a strong commitment to training throughout an interrupted 2020. Jemima’s approach is definitely something we can all learn from and it was an exciting time for Jemima, her family and coach (and all of us at the VIS) when she was officially selected to debut on the Australian Olympic Team!"

What Jemima said: “I would like to thank my coach Brent Vallance, Corey my S&C coach for being creative, Adam Basil & Jess Rothwell for their ongoing care and the whole VIS athletics squad for being kind. And of course 2XU who sponsored this award” 


Winner: Ruby Roseman-Gannon | Vanessa Bof (VIS Track Endurance Coach) 

What Vanessa said: "Ruby Roseman-Gannon’s rise through the Australian cycling ranks took a steep upwards turn during the summer of 2019-2020. A junior cyclist of exceptional talent, Ruby had been steadily progressing through the senior ranks until her recent breakout season. Ruby had set herself the extremely lofty goals of being on the podium in every benchmark race from December 2019-Februrary 2020, this included the National Madison Championships, Bay Crits, National Criterium Championships, Cadel’s Road Race and the Bendigo International Madison. Under the masterful eye of coach Glenn O’Shea, Ruby incredibly managed to hold her exceptional form over this period and podium in all but one of her goal events, Ruby’s consistent results against some of the best cyclists in the world made her the talk of the cycling summer and resulted in her gaining selection for the Cycling Australia Podium Potential Academy based in Adelaide” 

What Ruby said: “I would like to thank VIS, 2XU and the coaching staff for this award and especially Nick Owen (VIS Sport Scientist, ed.) who has helped me for a very long time now. Especially his help over the summer to get some breakthrough results on the road. I would also like to thank Glenn O’Shea, Vanessa Bof and Shane Kelly. Ben Willey my S&C coach who has helped me get some PBs in the gym, Steve Hawkins has really helped me via telehealth during this period and Sara Heasly who has helped me with education support”


Winner: Laura Hingston | Belinda Kennedy (VIS Diving Program Manager) 

What Belinda said: "Laura has been involved in a quite a number of community engagements over the 2019/2020 period. She has been involved in the AIS Lifeline Community Custodian 2019 and participated in events including the Out of the Shadows walk for suicide prevention in Tasmania (September 2019). Laura has recently been on the panel for the Elite Athlete Education Network to speak on her athlete experience and dual career. She was also a part of this panel in 2019. She did some virtual training sessions with the Diving Victoria members and DV squads. She has been extremely supportive with the younger divers during this time as they are still yet to return to the pool. Before COVID Laura had made the World Cup team and had a very successful start to the season” 

What Laura said: “I just want to say a big thanks to everyone who is on this journey with me. My coach Andy Banks, support team at VIS, Diving Australia, Diving Victoria, 2XU, my family friends and teammates. I’m super grateful to have all of you guys in my corner because it wouldn’t be possible without you. From the bottom of my heart a big thank you!” 


Winner: Blake Collyer | Dean Kinney (VIS Golf Head Coach)

What Dean said: “Blake Collyer is a role model to the group in every area and I personally am impressed by his holistic approach to development over the last 12 months. While always displaying the attributes that embody the values and purpose of our program. Namely, he is attentive and engaged in every meeting or session we have. He’s always first to speak up and is not afraid to speak his mind or challenge the status quo with a thoughtful question. In my opinion, he has undergone the biggest change/ development over the last 12 months than perhaps anyone- his body, his thinking and viewpoint on things, his optimism, willingness to give anything a go, and ultimately has performed better on the course as a result” 

What Blake said: “It’s an honour to have won the 2020 Coach Awards for the golf program. It’s been a very difficult year for us all. I couldn’t have done it this year without my coaches and the VIS service providers. I want to thank my family and sponsors for their support this year and 2XU and the VIS. I’m looking forward to get back to competing next year.”

Hockey Men’s 

Winner: Jayshaan Randhawa | Jay Stacy (VIS Head Coach)

What Jay said: “Following an impressive performance during the 2019 Hockey1 season, Jayshaan maintained his position in the 2020 National Development Squad and was further rewarded with selection in the Australia A team for a 4 match series versus Belgium A in January 2020. What started out as a promising year ahead, was quickly diminished with the announcement of a global pandemic. Like all athletes, disappointed at first, Jayshaan quickly organised his equipment, training resources and fulltime employment to be able to train at home and adapt to this unprecedented challenge head on. Whilst overcoming and adapting to major change as an athlete, he also purchased his first house with partner Chloe. A fantastic achievement for an aspiring amateur athlete. Prior to Victoria going into full lockdown we decided the best way for him to prepare for the National Senior Super Camp in November was for Jayshaan to relocate his DTE to Perth for 7 weeks. This was no easy task considering his fulltime position as Business Development Manager at Nu-Mega Ingredients and 14 day compulsory quarantine on entry to WA. During the most challenging year of our generation, Jayshaan is a pure example of the VIS motto ‘Success in Life and Sport’”

What Jayshaan said: “Thank you for the recognition for this award, it meant a lot in this challenging year. It has definitely been challenging and tricky for me and the rest of the hockey guys. Especially when we went into the second lockdown and the rest of Australia was still able to continue their season. With Jay (Stacy, ed.) and Matt’s (Vassie, ed.) support we were able to get our gear, get our permit and still head to training. With the support of the VIS a couple of us was also able to travel to Perth to attend the Super Camp, which has just concluded” 

Hockey Women’s

Winner: Krissy Bates | Tim Strapp (VIS Head Coach)

What Tim said: “Krissy was de-selected from the National Squad at the end of 2019. As a result she headed overseas to play in Spain to further develop her hockey and to gain a different hockey/life experience. COVID-19 cut this short and Krissy was required to fly home and miss the rest of her season in Spain. She has been on her own journey of growth across 2020, and been willing to make use of a range of resources available to her. Having to return from Europe was a tough card to have been dealt and after initially struggling with being back in Melbourne she has bounced forward to start a new job and build her self-identity. Her attitude and leadership throughout the year has been outstanding. Engaged in Performance Lifestyle group sessions and often was the 1st to start a discussion or offer an idea. Provided ideas to generate activities and greater connection in the group. Krissy reached out to support fellow VIS Hockey athlete Carly James on her relocation to Perth and has been a great support to her in Perth as Carly lives away from home for the first time. Further to this she has worked on the areas she needed to in order to put herself forward for re-selection into the National Senior Squad. She is well placed to compete for a spot in the 2021 Olympic squad at the upcoming Senior National Camp in Perth” 

What Krissy said: “I would like to thank Tim Strapp our Head Coach for helping us through a really difficult year. I would also like to thank Leesa Gallard our Performance Lifestyle Manager for her constant support and assistance throughout this year. And I would also like to thank Bailey Lewis our Strength & Conditioning Coach for making sure we were in good shape for the end of this year” 


Winner: Gabby Coffey | Cathy Fellows (VIS Netball Development Coach) 

What Cathy said: “After again being categorised at the 2019 National Netball Underage Championships, Gabby was picked in the Victorian Fury ANL squad and was renamed in the 2020 team. She was also named in the Vixens Academy for 2019/2020. Gabby is studying a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism, Media and Communications) and lock down number one saw her University go online and her college residence closed down. Gabby headed home to Alice Springs for what she thought would be a “short time”. However this turned out a lot longer!! She has continued to balance both Uni studies and her dedication to the VIS training program online whilst back in NT and has also taken the opportunity to work and help out in a local primary school. In early September Gabby was named in the Australian 21/U squad for the camp later this year. This squad is preparing for the World Youth Cup to be held in Fiji in December 2021. Restrictions around Victorian borders has meant that coming back to Melbourne to train would jeopardize her opportunity to attend so Gabby has packed her bags to move to SA for six weeks to train and prepare and put herself in the best position to perform at the camp. Gabby has recently been named as a Finalist in the Northern Territory Young Achievers Sport Award” 

What Gabby said: “First of all I would really like to thank everyone at the VIS. I would like to thank Cathy (Fellows, ed.), Kylie (Andrew, ed.) and Andy (Farrow, ed.) for their support and also 2XU for their ongoing support in this crazy year” 


Winner: Rohan Lavery | Noel Donaldson (VIS/VPP Rowing Head Coach)

What Noel said: “The key cornerstone to our Pathway Program is to develop athletes who will be invited to the National Training Centres. Although there are not specific categories at the NTCs for all our athletes (e.g., Para, MLwt) I still feel Rohan’s recent selection to the Men’s NTC outweighs others in this regard. He is an impressive young man who is continually growing high performance characteristics. Having just turned 20 years old, he has achieved a lot in a short time. He has easily achieved his age group benchmarks and will have been a member of the Australian U23 team having been just pipped for an Olympic Team role. He was also selected into the Victorian Kings Cup crew”

What Rohan said: “I would like to thank the VIS and all of their support, my coaches; Noel (Donaldson, ed.), Farhan (Juhari, ed.) and Matt (Vassie, ed.). Also my friends and family who has supported me throughout this year. This year has been tough due to the COVID restrictions and I haven’t been able to train consistently due to the lockdowns. Hopefully the progress I’ve made through this year will help towards the Tokyo Olympics, the World Championships and beyond”


Winner: Casey Imeneo | Carrie Smith (VIS Sailing Program Manager)

What Carrie said: “Casey competed in the Laser Radial Worlds here in Melbourne in February 2020 where she achieved some of her targets in what is considered one of the hardest big fleets to race against in the world. Her training on water and off water has gone to a new level, she has achieved racing results that have been noticed Casey used COVID to prove that she is committed and ready to work hard no matter what is going on around the world which was noticed by the National coach in the laser, she left Melbourne in the second lockdown and made a big sacrifice to join the national squad for just under four months of training in both QLD and NSW. Her passion and resilience has become infectious and has now been included in the National squad as a training partner leading into Tokyo. Her development as an athlete over the last 12 months is evident in her use of services and engagement to help her keep improving. Her attendance and engagement in the online group educations sessions was impressive as she was interstate at a National Training Camp for majority but still continued to make the effort to listen, ask questions and check in on all of her peers stuck in lockdown in Melbourne. Her ongoing support and care for our squad during a year of cancellations, not being on the water for 7 months was refreshing and helped pick up the team moral on multiple occasions. She has also had the capacity to maintain a dual career, working/studying (Vet Nursing – to be completed this year) while training/ competing. She has also attended multiple Professional Development opportunities and completed PL workshops to better improve her personal brand”

What Casey said: “I’m really honoured to accept this award in such a challenging year for everyone. I would like to say a massive thank you to the VIS, my coaches and my family who has helped me throughout this year. Especially in the quick decision to relocate interstate. Definitely helps knowing I have such a great team around me and I look forward to get back on the water racing again over summer season” 


Winner: Elena Galiabovitch | Nicky Frey (Shooting Program Manager)  

What Nicky said: “Elena is living the VIS’ motto of “Success in Sport and Life”. She has managed to juggle night shifts as a doctor with training and staying in touch with the performance support team. She is highly self-aware and when she has her mind set on something she will do it. 2020 was always going to be a challenging year for Elena. A second Olympics and a chance to be competitive amongst the world’s best was one thing, delaying her medical ambitions to enter a surgical program another. Already committing to six months away from her medical career, the postponement of Tokyo threw up another huge hurdle of blowing out that professional hiatus to 18 months. With a couple of weeks to process what this meant, Elena embarked on ways to continue training for Tokyo while taking on work that would not only provide income, but keep her learning and progressing in her professional capacity. 2020 therefore had become a year to continue training and technical development, physical and mental skills training while taking on night duty locums including COVID isolation wards, working in the telehealth area in urology clinics and embarking on a Masters of Surgery. Elena has successfully gained a place on a surgical program next year after performing well through the interview process. She has deferred entry till post Tokyo” 

What Elena said: “I would like to thank my family, my parents and all of the support staff at the Victorian Institute of Sport. Everyone around me has been really supporting and encouraging and has helped me get to where I want to be especially during this challenging time. There is a real feeling of community at the VIS, which I’m really grateful for. Also thank you to 2XU for sponsoring this award” 


Winner: Matt Temple | Elaine Tor (VIS Swimming Biomechanics Lead) 

What Elaine said: “Matt is an athlete that commits to all the one-percenters and his efforts paid off when he won gold this year at the FINA Championships in Beijing in early 2020. He never misses training and is able to juggle work next to his swimming commitments. The times he swum in season this year rank him in the Top 8 in the world and for the Tokyo Olympics he will be focusing on the 100 Fly and 200 Fly” 

What Matt said: “Thank you for this award, I’m very honoured to receive it. Firstly thank you to 2XU for being a major sponsor of the VIS and of this award. I would like to thank my family and friends for constantly supporting me throughout this past year and through these tough times. My coach Wayne Lawes for taking on the role as head coach with such short notice. All the people down at the VIS for major help to myself and the rest of my teammates” 

Future Talent Program

Winner: Laura Paeglis (Archery) | Nerissa Turner (VIS Senior Performance Coordinator)  

What Nerissa said: “Laura has made a lot of progress in 2020 in regards to her physical implications to her changing technique. At the start of COVID-19, she was working with the National coach, where they made some technique changes. She has been continuing to work on her technique at home and making improvements. Laura is still in contention for a place in the Olympic Team for Tokyo. Her progress has also enabled her to move up to podium potential. Since the commencement of COVID, Laura has made some positive changes and has now taken over control of her own program. Laura manages her own time well working closely with Steve Hawkins and Farhan (Fab) Juhari. She has been fantastic at communicating with Fab and Steve on the technique changes she is working on and aspects of her IPP. This has provided lots of information on how to functionally customize her program from an S&C point of view. Laura has been managing well with her split year 12 while achieving significant sporting achievements this year. She placed first at the 2020 Olympic Games second Selection Trials in Brisbane, while breaking the Australian Record (659)”

What Laura said: “I would like to thank the VIS for being so encouraging and supportive. And the Carbine Club for sponsoring such an amazing program, it has helped me so much. I would also like to thank Archery Australia and Archery Victoria for all of their help. This year has been unexpected and I have had to change a lot of my plans but with the help of the National Coach I have been able to change my technique for the better. Also with the help of my S&C Coach Farhan Juhari and my physio Steve Hawkins I have been able to massively improve my strength and flexibility, which has been amazing”

Individual Scholarship Program

Winner: Rowie Webster (Water Polo) | Bill Tait (VIS Performance Manager - Podium) 

What Bill said: “Rowie uses services that are available as a means of maintaining but also improving performance. Builds relationships with staff within the VIS that enables progressive outcomes. Rowie utilises VIS services to gain maximum value and she connects well with Strength & Conditioning staff. S&C Coach Jono Wallace Smith describes her exemplary work ethic, attention to detail and organisation. She is supportive of VIS communications programs and Rowie has undertaken to maintain a 'no stone unturned' approach to training. She was amongst those significantly disadvantaged by COVID 19. Denied pool access and when back in the pool unable to train in a group environment - Rowie sort out ways to maintain a program. Makes a contribution to the wider community through community engagement participation. Has a long history of participation in VIS, AIS, WV and WA programs. She is a member of the AIS Athlete Advisory Committee. This year I have witnessed the manner in which she has been able to lead from afar. She has also provided support for Aussie Stingers teammate Maddie Steere” 

What Rowie said: “I’m honoured to win the 2XU Coach Awards for the Individual Scholarship Program. There are obviously a couple of people I would like to thank. Jono Wallace Smith has been with me from the get-go and has got me through rehab from injury to injury, and also got me through COVID. Bill (Tait, ed.), Leesa (Gallard, ed.), Anne Marie (Harrison, ed.) and my physio Ebonie (Rio, ed.) as well. Also to the other athletes at the VIS, it is such a good community to be a part of and there was no other place I would rather be in a COVID lockdown. Obviously this year hasn’t gone to plan but we get another year to be a little bit better than we were in previous years. I’m really honoured to be training here during lockdown and working towards the goal of a medal in Tokyo in 2020 now 21. Thanks again and congratulations to all the other athletes and it’s really an incredible honour to be part of such an incredible group of humans” 

The 2020 Victorian Institute of Awards digital celebration is running over three days from 23 November-25 November, and was launched tonight with the 2XU Coach Awards video.

You can visit our VIS Awards Hub here for more information.

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