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27 November 2020

Netballer Kate Moloney and Collingwood’s Taylor Adams named Sportsperson of the Year winners in Deakin’s 2020 Sport Awards!

The 2020 Deakin Sport Awards celebrate the achievements of Deakin’s elite-athlete students and we’ve been announcing our 2020 winners online throughout the week.

We now come to the grand finale – join us in congratulating the 2020 winners of our Sportsperson of the Year Awards!

Keep reading below to find out who you all voted our 2020 Emerging Leader Award winner too.

Kate Moloney is Deakin’s Sportsperson of the Year – Female

Congratulations to netballer Kate Moloney, recipient of our Sportsperson of the Year – Female Award!

Moloney, who is studying a Master of Business (Sport Management) at Deakin, has had a momentous year. As co-captain of the Melbourne Vixens squad, Moloney helped secure the 2020 Super Netball Grand Final last month after what has been a trying year for the sport. In recognition of the difficulties Victorians have faced while spending much of 2020 in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vixens had been using the hashtag #DoingItForVIC throughout the final series to show their support.

‘It’s been really exciting to be able to step out there and not only represent the Vixens but to represent Victoria, and we hope to be able to do them really proud,’ said Moloney prior to the team’s big win against West Coast Fever at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena on 18 October.

Moloney’s Premiership victory was further bolstered by being awarded the 2020 Sharelle McMahon Medal, the club’s most prestigious individual honour awarded to the Vixen’s most valuable player each year. After coming second in both 2018 and 2019, Moloney finally took home the well-deserved award with a clear win of 50 votes. 

She was also named Nissan Player of the Match four times this year, and was a key contributor in the Vixens taking out the 2020 Net Points Team of the Year honours

Moloney’s passion and talent on the court is a joy to behold and will once again be on display as she represents us nationally as part of the 2020/21 Australian Diamonds squad – we can’t wait to see what she’ll achieve next!

Hear from elite-athlete student Kate Moloney in the video below following her win as Deakin’s 2020 Sportsperson of the Year – Female.

Taylor Adams is Deakin’s Sportsperson of the Year – Male 

Congratulations to our Sportsperson of the Year – Male Award winner, AFL footballer Taylor Adams!

Despite the COVID disruptions to the 2020 fixture, Adams – a Deakin MBA student and Collingwood mid-fielder – has had a truly outstanding year. After joining the 2020 All-Australian team in September, Adams was recently voted best and fairest for the year by his club and bestowed his first E.W. Copeland Trophy, earning an impressive 100 votes to cement his lead ahead of captain Scott Pendlebury. 

Joining the Pies in 2014, Adams quickly stood out as a formidable presence on the field. He was granted vice-captaincy in 2017 before being named runner-up in the Norm Smith Medal tally following Collingwood’s nail-biting five-point loss to the West Coast Eagles in the 2018 Grand Final. Despite the outcome, Adams displayed an admirable sense of perspective following what was understandably a devastating loss for the team.

‘There is more to life than footy, but for the next couple of days or however long it is going to be tough to feel good,’ said Adams following the game. ‘I’m proud of the footy club and what we’ve built. It’s much more than what one performance shows. It runs deeper than that.

‘We’ll bounce back.’

Always a gracious team player, Adams has absolutely held true to his word as evidenced by his resilience during a remarkably difficult year – we are couldn’t be prouder of his 2020 achievements and look forward to what the future holds! 

Hear from elite-athlete student Taylor Adams in the video below following his win as Deakin’s 2020 Sportsperson of the Year – Male. 

And your votes are in! Our 2020 Emerging Sport Leader is…

Each year Deakin recognises one student athlete for their commendable leadership skills (both within and outside of a competitive setting) with the Emerging Sport Leader Award. This year, the two nominees were online gamer Guleid Abdullahi and basketballer Heather Barpalias. 

And the winner you voted for was: Heather Barpalias! 

Heather BarpaliasHeather has been one of the driving forces behind the Deakin University Basketball Club (DUBC) since its founding in 2019. Switching from weekly social competitions in 2019 to an online-only format for 2020 has presented major challenges for the club in relation to events, but Heather has continued to focus on DUBC member engagement. She has achieved this through regular posts on the DUBC social media pages, delivery of an online trick-shot competition and an order of club hoodies at a subsidised rate for members. Most recently, Heather worked with club executives to deliver a successful AGM and trivia night. Heather has kept a positive attitude throughout the year, adapted quickly to the challenges of the COVID-19 climate and has made significant efforts in delivering a memorable experience to the DUBC members in the online space.

Congratulations to all our 2020 Deakin Sport Awards winners on your achievements this year!

Are you an elite athlete studying at Deakin?

Elite athletes can face many demands in finding a balance between their studies and sporting commitments, and we understand the need to support student athletes to enable them to succeed in both areas.

You may also be experiencing changed and complex circumstances due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that may potentially impact your studies. If you’ve got any questions about how the Elite Athlete Program (EAP) could help you, please visit the EAP website or contact the Elite Sports Coordinator, Jack Duke, at [email protected].

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