Dandenong sporting stars recognised

Brandon Barnes has taken out the crown of Male Athlete of the Year.

By Nick Creely

The Greater Dandenong council recognised some of the city’s sporting elite at the annual awards night on Wednesday 10 October, with winners coming from all across Dandenong.

Now in its fourth year, the awards are aimed at recognising the contribution of people within the Dandenong sporting community, including those who provide opportunities for others to participate in sport.

Dandenong Thunder’s superstar striker Brandon Barnes was crowned the Male Athlete of the Year, in a season that will again push his name up in lights for a lucrative A-League contact.

Barnes – who also re-signed with the Thunder for next season – scored 22 goals this season in the top flight of Victorian soccer (the most in the competition), to completely dominate, and is building an enormous reputation that is only going to continue building.

Among the other awards on the night, Dandenong Casey Titans’ Jessica McCulloch took home the Female Athlete of the Year, which is a huge achievement for the Special Olympics program, while youngster Jennifer Audy from St Anthony’s Primary School in Noble Park was awarded the Junior Athlete of the Year for her superb year in athletics.

Greater Dandenong mayor Cr Youhorn Chea congratulated the winners in all 11 categories.

He said the awards, held at Dandenong Basketball Stadium, recognised everyone from local athletes to volunteers, clubs and coaches.

“Sport is a great equalizer in our community. No matter your age, gender or cultural background sport is something everyone can participate in,” he said.

“I congratulate everyone recognised at last night’s awards. You are all positive role models, making a positive difference in our community.”

Full list of the award winners:

Athletes of the Year

Male Athlete of the Year: Brandon Barnes – Dandenong Thunder Soccer

Winner Female Athlete of the Year: Jessica McCulloch – Dandenong Casey Titans

Winner Junior Athlete of the Year: Jennifer Audy – St Anthony’s Primary School, Noble Park

Masters of the Year

Winner: Marcela Necas – Carrum Rowing Club

Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Peter Keyaerts – Lyndale Cricket Club

Team of the Year

Winner: Noble Park Junior Football Club U12 Team – Noble Park Junior Football Club

Club of the Year

Winner: Silverton Cricket Club

Coach of the Year

Winner: Michael Carlsson – Noble Park Football Club

Positive Engagement Award

Winner: Michael Palma – Parkmore Junior Football Club

Sports Achievement Award

Winner: Balloon Football-Southern League – Scope

Outstanding Contribution to Sport

Winner: Jack Ferro – Keysborough Soccer Club

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