Victorian netball excellence is once again being celebrated, with netball achieving six finalists in five categories for the 2019 Victorian Sport Awards.
Headlined by Australian Diamonds’ personnel, Head Coach, Lisa Alexander, and Vice-captain of both the Diamonds and the Melbourne Vixens, Liz Watson, was named as finalists in their respective categories.
Alexander, who is nominated for the Coach of the Year award, is a previous winner of this award in 2004 when she was the Head Coach of the Melbourne Phoenix. In 2019 at the helm of the Diamonds, Alexander lead the team to a Quad Series win in England in January, followed by a heartbreaking one-goal loss to the Silver Ferns in the Netball World Cup Final in Liverpool in July. Alexanders’ charges rallied when they met the Silver Ferns again for the Constellation Cup however, retaining the trophy in a series where Alexander celebrated her 100th test in the Diamonds’ top job.
Watson is nominated for the prestigious Kitty McEwan Award for Female Athlete of the Year. As the Vice-captain of the Diamonds, Watson was a member of the team that represented Australia at the Quad Series, World Cup and Constellation Cup in 2019. As Co-vice-captain of the Melbourne Vixens, Watson was also instrumental in guiding her team to their equal-best finish in the Suncorp Super Netball league since its inception; where the Vixens finished in third place.
The Victorian Fury is nominated for Team of the Year, after continuing their dominance over the Australian Netball League (ANL) in 2019. The Fury won the ANL Premiership again in 2019; their eighth title since the competition’s inception in 2008. No other team has won the ANL title more than once in this time.
Boroondara Netball Association’s Meg Hopper was nominated for the Community Official of the Year Award, whilst Pauline Zealley and Ron and Beryl Banbury are both finalists in the Volunteer of the Year category.
The winners will be announced at the 2019 Victorian Sport Awards, held at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday 26 February, 2020.
Southern Cross Trophies Coach of the Year
Lisa Alexander (Australian Diamonds / Netball Australia)
Gray Nicolls Sports Community Official of the Year
Meg Hopper (Boroondara Netball Association)
Volunteer of the Year
Pauline Zealley (North East Blaze / Banyule & District Netball Association / Rosanna Netball Club)
Volunteer of the Year
Ron & Beryl Banbury (Catani Football Netball Club)
Team of the Year
Governor’s Award Victorian Female Athlete of the Year – Kitty McEwan Award
Liz Watson (Melbourne Vixens / Australian Diamonds)