Sandbelt Region’s Community Coach takes out prestigious honour

by Team BV

VicSport’s Victorian Sport Awards (VSAs) is the night of nights for the Victorian sporting community, an event that recognises and celebrates the achievements of our home-grown sporting heroes and legends.

Each year, the Victorian Sport Awards honours those who have made an exceptional contribution to sport in Victoria as an individual or team athletes, coaches, administrators, and volunteers from both metropolitan and regional areas in Victoria.

Cheltenham Bowls Club’s Gary Lasky took the gong for the 2021 Gallagher Community Coach of the Year Award last night at Melbourne Park’s Centrepiece venue, nudging out contenders from tennis, netball and calisthenics.

About the Award
This Gallagher Community Coach of the Year Award is open to Victorian sporting coaches who have made a significant contribution to their club and/or association/district. This award recognises the exceptional contribution made by a Victorian community sporting coach during 2021, either on or off the sporting field, with a focus on improving community sport through encouraging participation, fairness, integrity and making sport more welcoming, safe and inclusive.

To be eligible to be considered in this category, the nominee must:
  • Be an accredited Coach under the recognised National or State Sporting body
  • Coach Victorian athletes(s) or a team competing at club and/or association/district level
  • Nominations are open to both paid and unpaid coaches

Selection Criteria:
  1. Coach at a club and/or association/district level
  2. Demonstrated achievement to make their team/club welcoming, safe and inclusive
  3. A role model for their athletes – setting a positive example
  4. Demonstrated commitment to continuous training and learning
While 2021 was hampered by COVID-19 interruptions, Gary’s output was hardly hindered as he trained over 50 new coaches through the club coach program, taught bowls to more than 100 grade 5 students through Bowls Australia’s Rookie Rollers primary school program and assisted many of the 46 clubs within the Sandbelt Bowls Region with match preparation and technical training.

To overcome lockdown isolation, Gary developed Zoom seminars and PowerPoint presentations for over 100 clubs that featured coaches sharing practical knowledge and insights. Gary treats everyone equally, establishing welcoming committees to assist new members and a code of conduct to alleviate poor behaviour.

*Provided from VicSport

On top of Gary’s twenty-plus years as an avid bowler, he is also an accredited National Umpire and International Technical Official.