Exclusive: Vicsport CEO On Postponed Victorian Sport Awards
The Victorian Government and Vicsport have made the tough decision to postpone the 2020 Victorian Sport Awards due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, but said “they’re determined” to make it happen this year.
Hosted in partnership between the State Government of Victoria and Vicsport, the award night celebrates the efforts of individuals, organisations, clubs, and Local Government Authorities throughout the sport and recreation industry during the year.
Previously scheduled for August 25th, a new date will be announced to hold the event in person at Marvel stadium.
Speaking with The Ministry of Sport, Vicsport CEO, Lisa Hasker, explained why there is such a strong intention for making this a face-to-face event.
“A lot of people would’ve been rewarded, such as finalists, winners, and a lot of volunteers,” Hasker said.
“We really want to be able to celebrate that face to face.
Hasker said they are “determined” to make this event face to face, giving it one more shot with the rescheduled date before looking at an online event or just the main players in the room and no audience.
“We are making sure we have done everything we possibly can to do it face to face,” she said.
“We might be gazumped by Covid, but we will see how we go,” Hasker said.
The Legends of Victorian Sport Panel, featuring Cathy Freeman, Steve Moneghetti, David Parkin, and Nicole Livingstone were booked to attend the event, and be interviewed on stage by Tiffany Cherry to discuss their sporting achievements.
When asked about how COVID-19 is impacting grassroots sport, Hasker said it’s being felt right across the board as volunteer and member numbers dwindle.
“First to the volunteers, there is obviously a lot of work in committing yourself to run a community club,” she said.
“There’s a lot of things you need to cover and Covid is providing one more challenge for them.
“As a result, we have lost a few volunteers who have gone off and done other things or don’t have the confidence to come back and work in clubs.
“So sports are generally reporting that their numbers are down in terms of volunteers, which is said to be the same with memberships.”
Hasker explained that sports are reporting strong numbers for competition level, however predicts club numbers will be down as a result of 2020.
“That confidence of paying a whole membership for the season is not there vs jumping into a one-week competition,” Hasker said. “We are still waiting to see the numbers, but the constant disruptions are hampering our ability to deliver sport,” she said.
Hasker said Vicsport is working closely with the Victorian Government in order to attract and retain members and volunteers.
“People can be active and that’s awesome, but community sport provides a lot more,” she said.
“That they connect to the relationships formed, and in terms of their both physical and mental health it is crucial,
“We understand that and so we need to get as many people back to that environment as we can.”
Hasker added that it is “crucially important” to maintain relationships with local sponsors during this time.
“As you know local businesses are the ones that support the local clubs, but the clubs also support the local business, and we need to continue to do that,” she said.
“We will continue to work with clubs on how they can keep providing value, which they have been really good at in terms of connecting with members and looking after sponsors,” the CEO said.
Adhering to COVID-19 restrictions, Hasker informed that clubs and local sponsors are continuing to connect via digital communication.