The Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) has won the inaugural Win Well award at the AIS Sport Performance Awards (ASPAs) overnight at the Star in Sydney.
The VIS was recognised for its balanced, holistic approach, supporting athletes and staff to win in all areas of life.
The Win Well award recognised the VIS for embodying the vision of Australia’s 2032+ High Performance Sport Strategy: Inspiring Australians through our united pursuit to win well.
The VIS was acknowledged for prioritising and focusing on the physical, mental, emotional, and cultural wellbeing of athletes, and staff while maintaining the ambition for success.
VIS CEO, Anne Marie Harrison received the award on behalf of the institute together with former VIS scholarship holder Rachael Lynch (Hockey).
Harrison started her acceptance speech by acknowledging the founders of the VIS, the first Executive Director Dr. Frank Pyke and Deidre Anderson, who set up what was then known as the Athlete Career and Education program.
“We have built on that and have had some amazing staff, board and athletes who have contributed to that,” she said
“I’m very proud to have Rachael Lynch with me tonight as a fine example of our motto ‘Success in Sport and Life’.”
Harrison reflected on where high performance sport is currently at, and is excited for what the future holds.
“With the announcement of the 2032 Strategy, I think that is really a milestone for all of us working in sport. It’s a fantastic opportunity not only for the current generation but also for the future generation of athletes,” she said.
“To have a home games, every athlete that was part of Sydney and in fact Melbourne in 1956 would acknowledge that it is a very special an unique opportunity. That is the wonderful thing we all get to work towards. We also have Victoria 2026, of course I have to give a plug to the local games as well.”
VIS Para cycling star Emily Petricola (pictured below) took home the Female Para Athlete of year award after a sensational year on the track, where she claimed three gold medals at the Para-cycling Track World Championships. She also took silver in the Women’s Time Trial C4 at the Para-cycling Road World Championships.
Petricola said she felt extremely grateful for her team around her that managed to keep her functional and on the bike in what had been a very challenging year for her personally.
“I’ve got such a great support team around me at the VIS,” she said.
“I feel so lucky to have the coach that I have in Shane Kelly and Harry Brennan leading the charge in terms of managing me now.”
Petricola spoke about what sport had meant to her and expressed her gratitude to the people who had helped her along the way.
“It has been the biggest silver lining because it reintroduced to a part of me that I lost through the illness. Those people who are in my team and who keep me functional, they have saved my life,” she said.