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New Faces at the VIS

VIS Maintains Athletes’ Standards VIS Netball Takes Another Turn Sports Shorts Beijing Countdown Continues
FRONT COVER: Courtesy of Getty Images VIS associate scholarship holder Jana Rawlinson won the 400m hurdles World Championship in Osaka in August.




For our Olympic and Paralympic athletes we are now into the crucial period of qualification, preparation and laying the foundations for success as we are less then a year away from their moment of destiny. Recent world championships reinforce to us all that the opportunities for success are marginal, attention to detail in preparations are critical and going into an event knowing you have done everything possible provides a huge psychological boost to performance. We have ramped up our support to ensure there is no stone left unturned in pursuit of getting it right on the day. Congratulations to VIS netballers Sharelle McMahon, Bianca Chatfield and Julie Prendergast who were selected in the 12 player squad to represent Australia at the 2007 World Championships in Auckland from 10-17 November. The Australian team too has had a long four year wait for the opportunity to reclaim the world title and we congratulate them on their fantastic achievement in defeating New Zealand in a tense final. I wish to acknowledge the contributions of three VIS Board Members whose terms have come to an end; Doug Fox (17 years), Joyce Brown (six years) and Kerri Tepper (six years). These individuals have exercised wise decision making and led the organisation with great integrity always placing the needs of athletes and sports at the heart of their deliberations. We have been fortunate to have benefited from their experience and contribution and on behalf of the athletes, Board and staff they retire with our grateful thanks. We then turn the page on our history with the appointment of four new directors; Ian Fullagar (Partner, Landers & Rogers/ex ASC Board Member), Julie Sarll (ex Vicsport CEO/ current Gymnastics Victoria Board Member), Tim Lane (sports commentator) and Assoc Prof John Saunders (Australian Catholic University). They bring a diversity of skills and experience with a combined passion for sport which will benefit the VIS. We welcome them and look forward to their contribution and working with them over the ensuing years.
Anne Marie Harrison | CEO

It’s hard to believe that there are less than 10 months to go in the countdown to the opening ceremony of the XXIX Olympiad to be held in Beijing. In August – exactly one year out from the Games – I announced the Victorian Government’s $1 million contribution to the VIS for Project Beijing. Made possible through the Government’s savings from the 2006 Commonwealth Games, the funding will assist a range of additional programs and activities by the VIS to support Victorian athletes in targeted sports in the lead up to the Games. Project Beijing will help the VIS and Victoria build on our existing record of success in multi-sport international competitions and enhance the skills of Victoria’s current generation of athletes to make a significant contribution to Australia’s results in Beijing. VIS athletes have already made their mark in international competitions and world championships held recently in Asia and Europe. Cadel Evans’ second place in the Tour de France in July is the best performance by any Australian cyclist in the tour’s history. This historic result indicates Cadel’s excellent chances of success when he represents Australia in road cycling in Beijing. Victoria is also home to a new world-record holder, following Michael Gallagher’s two gold medals at the Para Cycling World Championships and Leigh Howard and Glenn O’Shea were also gold medallists at the UCI Junior World Championships in Mexico in August. The Victorian Government was also a major sponsor of the Jayco Herald-Sun tour in October, featuring several VIS athletes, including a previous winner, Baden Cooke. There will be future opportunities to experience world class cycling closer to home when Geelong hosts the UCI Women’s World Cup Road Cycling next year and the recently announced UCI World Road Cycling Championships in 2010. In a pre-Olympics year, the pace of activity will continue to increase as we get closer to the opening ceremony. Given the outstanding record of VIS athletes so far, I look forward to continuing to receive reports on your ongoing successes in the final months leading up to Beijing. Good luck and good training to every one of you as you continue to follow your sporting dreams.
James Merlino MP | Minister for Sport, Recreation and Youth Affairs

The last three months have been a very busy period for Connex with the introduction of 200 extra weekly services and an accompanying advertising campaign. August saw the arrival of Dr Martin Merton, our (fictitious) expert on train etiquette. The response to his study of Melburnians’ travel behaviour aroused a great deal of interest and the release of Dr Martin’s etiquette book has been a great success. Also in August the State Government announced its decision to extend our contract by 12 months to November 2009, and to run a major worldwide tender for the operation of Melbourne’s train and tram networks beyond that time as part its plan to improve public transport services across Victoria. We have every intention of tendering for the metropolitan train network and no doubt we can continue to prove ourselves the best company for the continued delivery of services for Melburnians during this period of unprecedented patronage growth. The metropolitan train system is now working harder than ever before delivering more than 12,000 services a week to the millions of customers who rely on us to provide a safe, reliable and clean travel experience. We added 10 kilometres to the network and two additional stations with the opening of the State Government’s Craigieburn extension from Broadmeadows via Roxburgh Park on 30 September. The surrounding community now has more travel options than ever before. Connex has also had more than its fair share of incidents recently from major disruptions due to increased levels of vandalism, including rock throwing and graffiti, and people engaging in dangerous behaviour riding on the back of trains. In an effort to discourage these incidents and to inform our customers about some of the reasons for delays and cancellations, we’re working with the Transit Police to take a more proactive approach with the media to highlight some of these incidents. As we head into the last couple of months of the year, there’s no sign of things slowing down with the Spring Racing Carnival closely followed by the mad rush of Christmas and finally New Year’s Eve. And on that note, I wish you all a safe and happy time for the remainder of 2007 .
Bruce Hughes | CEO, Connex Melbourne Pty Ltd


During the winter months the VIS has bolstered its team with the addition of new board members and staff. The VIS Board of Directors welcomed four new members to replace outgoing Directors Kerri Tepper, Joyce Brown and Doug Fox. The new board members include lawyer Ian Fullagar, sports consultant Julie Sarll, sports commentator Tim Lane and sports academic, Assoc Professor John Saunders. In August, the VIS welcomed Marty Aitken as the new Performance Manager. Aitken returns to Australia after 18 years in Europe, where he was Director of Performance at the Scottish Institute of Sport, Chief Rowing Coach for women and lightweights in Great Britain and Head Coach of the Swiss Rowing Team. Another to arrive from overseas is Dr Steve Bannon, who took over as Sport Science Coordinator in October after working as the National Coordinator for Sport Psychology at the English Institute of Sport. Lee Nicholson arrived in June from the Queensland Academy of Sport as the new Swimming Program Manager, Rosalind Allen joined the Athlete Career and Education team in July and Ben Willey accepted a full time position as a Physical Preparation Coach in August. There was also a shuffling of positions within the VIS, with Stephen Batty promoted to Business Services Coordinator and Janeen Ayling being promoted from Information Officer to Facilities Operations Coordinator. Hayley Marks replaced Batty as Business Services Administrative Assistant.

(since June 2007) Marty Aitken Performance Manager Dr Steve Bannon Sport Science Coordinator Lee Nicholson Swimming Program Manager Rosalind Allen ACE Adviser Ben Willey Physical Preparation Coach Stephen Batty Business Services Coordinator Janeen Ayling Facility Operations Coordinator Hayley Marks Business Services Administrator


Ian Fullagar Ian is a lawyer and a partner with law firm Lander & Rogers and is also a director of the Australian Sporting Goods Association Inc. He has a considerable background in ‘Sport and the Law’ and provides legal services to many National and State sporting bodies.

Julie Sarll Julie is Managing Director of her own consultancy firm, Julie Sarll & Associates, specialising in Health Promotion, Sport Education and Physical Education. She is the former CEO of VicSport and the former Executive Director of Strategic Sports and Recreation.

Tim Lane Tim is a professional broadcaster and writer who currently works with Network Ten, ABC Radio and The Age. He is also a member of the AFL Umpires Association Advisory Board.

Associate Professor John Saunders John specialises in sport management, research and teaching at Australian Catholic University. He has worked previously at Nanyang Technological University Singapore and the University of Queensland.

The wisest of VIS personnel will tell you there are certain people in the business that deserve your most friendly exchanges. For example, the person responsible for wiring your hard earned into the bank account! For 13 years, that man was Lindsay Gibson. Dubbed ‘Professor Flight’ by fellow staff, Lindsay was the one who made the arrangements to safely transport VIS staff and athletes to their domestic or international destinations. But he was much more to the VIS than an airport terminal middle man, as Business Services Manager Jim Dean recalls. “If you ever needed advice about travel, superannuation, leasing vehicles or sixties music, Lindsay was your man, Dean said. ” “Being a little older than many members of the administration team he was always willing to provide advice on a variety of matters, as he had three children older than some of his colleagues!” Lindsay arrived at the VIS after being an administrator for 25 years with the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works. With such a solid administrative background he quickly took control of his assigned responsibilities, becoming quite an expert in organising interstate and overseas travel. He also managed the VIS payroll and motor vehicle fleet, and was the network administrator for the Institute’s Computerised Novell Network. Whether it was sharing a hot brew with the VIS Coffee Club, offering an opinion on his beloved Western Bulldogs or recalling another successful afternoon on the golf fairways, Gibson was a friend to all around the office. “Lindsay is a highly respected colleague who lives the VIS core values. He is honest, reliable, diligent and resourceful, Dean said. ” “We wish Lindsay every enjoyment in retirement. Ironically it’s his turn to do the travelling. ” Fittingly, Gibson’s role has been filled by his understudy of almost five years, Steve Batty, who took over in September.
VIS Business Services Coordinator Lindsay Gibson (left) retired in August after 13 years with the Institute.

“I would like to thank the Institute for the services and opportunities they provide to athletes with the will to succeed. ” So says one of the satisfied athletes in response to the recently conducted athlete survey. In all, 100 athletes took the time to fill in the 2007 questionnaire, which covered all aspects of VIS operations. The aim was to gather information to help the VIS to improve both its services and service delivery to athletes as they prepare for competition, and also to compare the results with those from the previous survey conducted in 2003 to identify any areas of change. Overall, the results were most positive, indicating that not only did the VIS maintain its excellent levels of service from the last review but also improved in several key areas. “Athlete feedback is the most valuable tool we have in assessing our role in supporting performance and tweaking and improving to meet their needs, VIS CEO Anne Marie ” Harrison said. “It is important for athletes to know this information is considered seriously and goes through a process of review and analysis by the VIS Management Team and the Performance Sub Committee of the Board. ” “Where we are in a position to take clear action we will do so and I hope this is evident by our responses to the matters raised. Where there are matters that are raised by just 1 or 2 athletes it is more difficult to respond, however if a specific solution can be found we will work on doing just that!” The VIS move to its new home in Olympic Park in 2004 appears to have been the major catalyst for improvements in athlete satisfaction levels. Having all the departments under the one roof (performance, performance services, business services and marketing) and fantastic facilities for the athletes to use (gymnasium, pool and recovery area, sprung floor) has led to greater utilisation of services and greater interaction between athletes and VIS staff. In fact, from 2003 to 2007 of the , 16 service areas surveyed 11 recorded increases in usage. Of the services surveyed, the most well used was the VIS gymnasium followed by ACE workshops and physiotherapy. In ranking the daily training environment and recovery facilities 76 percent of athletes considered the VIS facilities world class, however only 40 percent were equally satisfied with access to training times and physical preparation staff. “The standard of facilities/services/ physicians etc, are outstanding. The difficulty with some of these areas was the accessibility, said one athlete. ” In terms of how well each sports program and the Institute provided for the individual needs of athletes, 88 percent of athletes rated the provision as either very good or quite good and 90 percent of athletes considered that the VIS provides the best environment to achieve their goals. Importantly, every athlete surveyed expressed an overall appreciation of the relationship they have with the Institute. Perhaps this is also related to the finding that athletes find VIS staff members approachable and helpful. Ninety seven percent of athletes believed the VIS had their best interests in mind. Perhaps the most vital statistic of all in the survey is that 95 percent of athletes recorded an improvement in their performances since becoming a scholarship holder, by way of increased fitness, becoming more knowledgeable and professional, having better skills and being more mentally prepared. Victorian Government funding for the Project Beijing initiative has enabled additional resources to be provided across all of the key support services, directly addressing a number of the areas identified in the survey. Sports medicine, physiotherapy, nutrition and massage sessions have been increased and/ or extended, and additional staffing in Sport Science and Physical Preparation will provide more ‘one on one’ servicing opportunities. Thanks to Janeen Ayling for providing administrative support and skiing athlete Cameron Rahles-Rahbula for data analysis and report preparation, under the guidance of Performance Services Manager, Paul Kiteley.

50 40 30 20 10 0 Improved a great deal 41 Improved quite a lot 41 Improved a little 13 No real change 3 Got worse 1 Not stated 1

There have been plenty of reasons to celebrate Webster finished with 10 goals for the championships. the performances of VIS athletes at World Championship level in the second half of 2007 . Meanwhile in August, track cyclists Howard and O’Shea finished with three medals each Cyclists Glenn O’Shea, Leigh Howard and at the 2007 UCI Junior Road and Track World Michael Gallagher have each collected World Championships in Mexico. O’Shea won two Titles abroad, as well as sailor Rohan Veal gold medals and a silver, while Howard won and water polo athlete Rowena Webster. gold, silver and bronze medals. The pair Veal won his second moth class sailing World teamed together as members of the men’s Championship after a flawless display of racing team pursuit and madison, and also won an in the World and European Championships in individual medal each. Italy in July. Matching the feat of his other In the same month VIS elite athlete with a World Championship in 2005, Veal finished disability Gallagher won two gold medals the series with a 100 per cent record. and broke two world records at the UCI In the pool, Webster was a member of the Para-Cycling World Championships in Australian water polo team which won a gold Bordeaux, France. medal at the FINA Junior Women’s Water Polo World Championships in Portugal in July. Playing in all six of Australia’s matches,

VIS water polo athlete Rowena Webster was a member of the Australian team which won a gold medal at the Junior World Championships in July.


Photo: Courtesy of Richard Wearne VIS rower Drew Ginn (right) won a gold medal in the men’s pair at the World Championships in August.

The VIS crowned its newest rowing World Champions in August this year. Rowers Drew Ginn and Alice McNamara won gold medals at the World Championships in Munich, Germany, in a successful competition for VIS rowers. In total, five VIS rowers won medals at World Championship level this year, including bronze medals to Emily Martin and Phoebe Stanley as members of the women’s lightweight four non-Olympic class, and a silver medal to Lisa Szatsznadjer in the women’s quad, won at the U23 World Championships in Scotland in July. This year’s triumph was the fourth world title in the men’s coxless pair for Ginn, partnered this time by Duncan Free. The no.1 ranked pair in the world battled with New Zealand and England in the final, pulling away in the second half of the race to confirm their favouritism for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. “It was a very hard, tough race, one of the hardest of the championships” Ginn said. ,

“We wanted to get to first place straight from the start and wanted to make sure that we didn’t give an inch of advantage to the others. “New Zealand pushed us hard but in the end we controlled our rhythm and pulled away from them. We’re very happy. ” McNamara won her gold medal in her first appearance at a senior World Championships after representing Australia at U23 level in 2005 and 2006. She combined with Bronwen Watson, Miranda Bennett and Tara Kelly, defeating 2006 World Champions China in the heats and the final to claim the gold medal. A month earlier, Szatsznadjer was the sole Victorian representing Australia at the U23 World Championships. She led the Australian women’s quad to a silver medal in a blanket finish, missing out on a gold medal by just 0.79 seconds.

Senior World Championships, Germany
Drew Ginn Gold medal (men’s coxless pair) Alice McNamara Gold medal (women’s lightweight four) Emily Martin, Phoebe Stanley Bronze medal (women’s four, non-Olympic class) Kim Crow 4th place (women’s pair) Robyn Selby Smith, Kim Crow, Sarah Outhwaite, Sarah Heard, Elizabeth Patrick 4th place (women’s eight) Catriona Sens 1st, B Final (women’s lightweight quad scull) David Crawshay 2nd place, B Final (men’s double scull)

U23 World Championships, Scotland
Lisa Szatsznadjer Silver medal (women’s quad)

Between them, Rawlinson and Freeman have contributed four of the six gold medals ever won by Australians at World Championships. Freeman achieved her double in the 400m in 1997 and 1999, while Rawlinson’s victory this year followed her gold medal in 2003. But Rawlinson described the most recent triumph as the best moment of her career, a win which came just eight months after giving birth to her first child. “I just wanted it more than you could possibly imagine. I’ve had a rocky few years and this just makes it all the more sweet, she said. ” “To go out there with the confidence and support of my family, this is honestly the highlight of my life. ” When Rawlinson returned to competitive racing earlier this year, her goal was to
VIS associate scholarship holder Jana Rawlinson won the 400m hurdles World Championship in Osaka in August. Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

When VIS associate scholarship holder Jana Rawlinson crossed the line first in the 400m hurdles in Osaka in August, she became the second Australian dual gold medallist at World Championships, joining former VIS runner Catherine Freeman.

prepare for Beijing, yet even she was taken by surprise with how quickly she returned to world-standard form. In an impressive collection of races in Europe preparing for the World Championships, Rawlinson won nine out of 10 races, inching toward her personal best time with every run. When she hit the track in Osaka, expectations grew about the possibility of Rawlinson winning a medal. She won her heat and semi final without too much trouble, before narrowly defeating world record holder Yuliya Pechenkina in a thrilling final, running her second fastest time ever. The VIS sent 12 athletes to the World Championships, with another noteworthy performance from Sean Wroe, who recorded a personal best time of 45.25 in the semi finals of the 400m.

The Commonwealth Bank Trophy (CBT) competition may have seen its last game this year, but it will be business as usual for VIS coach Julie Hoornweg in 2008. Hoornweg was selected as the head coach of the new Victorian team, the Melbourne Vixens, in the newly formed ANZ Championship. Since leading the Melbourne Phoenix to the CBT grand final this year, the veteran coach has been busy finalising her plans for a new 12-player senior squad and a development squad of 12. As in previous years, each of the 24 athletes will be scholarship holders at the VIS. When she was appointed in July, Hoornweg was delighted to be offered the opportunity to coach some of the best talent in Australia. “I suppose it’s a recognition that they feel that I’m the best coach in the state to do the job, she said. ” “It’s just another chance to work with these elite athletes, and I believe I’ve got the skills to help this team come together pretty quickly. “They are a super group of athletes. I’m lucky because I’m getting the best of both teams (Phoenix and Kestrels). “It’s a real challenge, and I like a challenge. ” While the Vixens will attempt to forge their own identity in the ANZ Championship, Hoornweg is keen to instil a passion and commitment from her players which was a long-standing foundation to the success of the Phoenix and Kestrels in the CBT competition.
VIS coach Julie Hoornweg will coach the Melbourne Vixens in the ANZ Championship next year.

“It’s basically about being the best. It’s about winning at that level, she said. ” “I am passionate about Victoria. I remember when I was a kid coming through, to wear a navy skirt with a Big V on it was something really special. “The first time I ever got one I didn’t take it off for a week. ” Two sets of trials were held in Melbourne in September, from which the two new squads were selected. While the details of the Vixens squad members will not be finalised until later this year, Hoornweg has promised a blend of youth and experience. “We have selected a team that has some experience in it, but we’ve gone for the future as well, she said. ”

“Four or five years down the track we need to have those young players in place because some of our older athletes would have moved on. “We want them there now learning from those athletes and becoming part of our future. “Every successful team is about having your superstars and your experience, but it’s also about having the excitement of youth. ” When the new season kicks off in April 2008, Hoornweg hopes to continue an already impressive record as a coach, which includes stints at international level with England and Fiji, at CBT level with the Phoenix and at state level.

Victoria’s newest sporting team, netball’s Vixens, paraded its bright green and crimson colours when the brand was launched in October. The colours form the trademark of the new team, featuring VIS scholarship holders, which will compete in the ANZ Championship when it kicks off early next year. The Vixens will be coached by former Phoenix coach Julie Hoornweg, who will oversee the new team when it starts training in earnest before the end of the year, ready for the start of the Championship in April 2008. The future VIS program will continue to be based around the elite players, offering scholarships to the Vixens team members, as well as supporting a development squad of 12 players, the next generation of ANZ Championship athletes. The competition itself will comprise 10 teams – five each from Australia and New Zealand. Teams from Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia will join the Vixens team in the Championship. Although the final squad members had not been announced when the Vixens brand was launched in late October, the new club had already secured the services of world class goal shooter Sharelle McMahon and rising stars Renae Hallinan and Madison Browne. “The VIS is delighted to continue its support of Victoria’s elite netballers in an exciting period leading into the new ANZ Championship, VIS CEO Anne Marie ” Harrison said. “We look forward to seeing our Vixens do Victoria proud in 2008 and beyond. ” The Vixens’ first match of the 2008 season is scheduled for 6 April against Wellington.

VIS netballers Renae Hallinan, Sharelle McMahon and Madison Browne were some of the first athletes to confirm their place in the Melbourne Vixens team for the 2008 ANZ Championship.


When the final whistle blew in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy (CBT) competition in August, it signalled the end of the VIS Melbourne Phoenix and VIS Melbourne Kestrels teams – two of the most iconic netball brands in the country. Netball was a founding VIS sport program in 1990 and has grown to be one of the Institute’s most successful. With a new international competition on the horizon, the program is now preparing for its latest challenge. When the netball program was first set up it was largely a development program – the athletes were considered future stars of the game and were not involved in regular national competition. After a year of challenge matches against Victorian State League teams, other State Institutes and travelling international teams, the VIS entered its first stand alone team in the State League Championship in 1991, under head coach Margaret Caldow. The high standard competition presented opportunities for several VIS netballers to play for Victoria and Australia, and the success continued when Jane Searle took over as head coach in 1995. The most significant change to the netball program, to that point, occurred in 2003. With the CBT in its seventh year, the VIS moved from a development to an elite program, and the Kestrels and Phoenix players became VIS scholarship holders. That year, the Phoenix won the CBT premiership by three goals over the Sydney Swifts under coach Lisa Alexander. Julie Hoornweg, who arrived at the Institute to coach the Phoenix in 2005, leading them to the premiership, described the CBT competition as one of the best in the world. “It allowed the athletes to play week in, week out, against the best in the country, she said. ” And judging by the number of VIS athletes who have been selected in the Australian squad and State U19 and U17 teams, as well as Victoria’s recent success at national junior championships, playing in the CBT has been instrumental in the development of talented Victorian players. Since 1997 five VIS scholarship holders have , won MVP awards for the Phoenix and Kestrels, including Phoenix players Sharelle McMahon (seven times) and Eloise SouthbyHalbish (four), and Kestrels athletes Nicole Richardson (three), Caitlin Thwaites (two) and Rebecca Bulley (one). Now, the VIS program is about to enter its next era. In 2008, a new competition, the ANZ Championship, will start up, comprising five teams from Australia and five from New Zealand. One of the Australian teams will be the Vixens, coached by Julie Hoornweg, and will include many of the players from the Phoenix and Kestrels. Hoornweg says: “It’s sad to see the CBT go, but the exciting part is that there’s a whole new competition with a whole new look. ” “It allows the players to be semi-professional and I hope it can expand in the future to involve more teams and more people. We’re looking forward to this challenge!”
VIS netballer Rebecca Bulley was the co-captain for the Melbourne Kestrels in the final season in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy this season, while Natasha Chokljat (top) represented Melbourne Phoenix.

Former VIS and Melbourne Kestrels head coach Jane Searle was recognised for her outstanding playing and coaching career at Netball Victoria’s State Titles and Awards Night in October. Searle was awarded Legend of the Game status, an honour set up to recognise elite netballers in Victoria, both for their contribution on the court and for being great ambassadors for the game. She joined former VIS netballers Nicole Richardson and Eloise Southby-Halbish as Netball Victoria Legends. Searle’s playing career spanned 13 years from 1979–1992 when she played for the Victorian Open team (’79-’82, ’85-’86, ’91-’92). She captained the State team in 1985 and 1986, was selected to represent Australia on four occasions, and in 1992 was a member of the Australian All Star team. Searle was one of the first netball athletes to be offered a scholarship at the Institute, and by 1995 she had settled in to the position of head coach, looking after the VIS development team. Searle’s coaching career matched the success of her playing career. She coached at the VIS from 1995 until 2007 taking over as the , Kestrels CBT coach in 2004, and leading her team to the finals in each of her four seasons in charge. Searle also enjoyed a stint as the assistant coach to the Australian national team and coached South Africa in a three nation series against Australian and New Zealand in 2001.

Searle completed her tenure at the VIS when the CBT competition and its teams came to an end in September and she is now pursuing other opportunities. Congratulations on your many achievements in netball Jane, and best wishes for your future challenges!

VIS coach Jane Searle (left) was awarded Legend of the Game status at the Netball Victoria Awards Ceremony in October.


VIS aerial skiing athlete Jacqui Cooper was inducted into the World Acrobatic Society’s Hall of Fame in September. Cooper was recognised for her outstanding performances at World Cup level, especially in the past 12 months, as well as being the first female to successfully perform a triple twisting triple somersault.
VIS swimmer Leisel Jones won three titles at the National Short Course Championships in August.

VIS swimmers combined to win 20 national titles at the National Short Course Championships at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in August. Grant Hackett and Matt Welsh won five titles each, while Shayne Reese and associate scholarship holder Matt Targett each won four. Leisel Jones (three) and Danni Miatke (two) also claimed multiple national titles. At the Telstra Grand Prix in Canberra in July, VIS swimmers collected a combined total of 29 medals - 13 gold, 12 silver and four bronze. Also in July, VIS athletes won a total of 26 individual state titles at the Victorian Short Course Championships at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. Eleven athletes won at least one state title, while multiple title winners included Kelly Stubbins (five), Matt Welsh (four) and Grant Hackett (three).



VIS shooters Dina Aspandiyarova, Russell Mark and Lauryn Mark won gold medals at the Oceania Championships in Sydney in October. VIS athletes combined to win 12 individual medals at the event, including silver medals to Lalita Yauhleuskaya, Susan McCready, Stacy Roiall and Ben Burge. McCready and Burge also collected bronze medals, along with Natalia Rahman, Adam Vella and Jason Maroney.


VIS hockey athletes have remained a strong presence in the national men’s and women’s teams.


VIS associate scholarship holder Cadel Evans finished in second place in general classification of the Tour de France in July. Evans’ podium finish was the best result by an Australian in the history of the race, eclipsing his fourth placing in the 2006 event. Evans also finished the season as the winner of the UCI ProTour. VIS associate scholarship holder Matt Wilson was crowned the general classification winner of the 2007 Jayco Herald Sun Tour in October. Riding for the team, Wilson completed the seven stage tour in a time of 17:52.47 , edging out Switzerland’s Steve Morabito by just three seconds. Three fellow VIS athletes finished in the top 10 in general classification, including associate scholarship holders Trent Lowe (third), Baden Cooke (sixth) and U23 classification winner Simon Clarke (seventh). A VIS team comprising Leigh Howard, Glenn O’Shea, Nick Walker and Lachlan Stewart won the Teams Criterium, while Jenny MacPherson won the Women’s Criterium. In August, MacPherson was crowned overall winner of the Australian Cycling Grand Prix in Ballarat.


VIS sailing athlete Sarah Blanck was selected in the Australian sailing team in October for the 2008 Olympic Games. Ranked number nine in the world in the laser radial class, Black was the final member selected in the team of 17 . In July, VIS sailor Glenn Ashby and partner Darren Bundock (NSW) finished in fourth position in the tornado class at the 2007 Sailing World Championships in Portugal. The win clinched a spot for Australia in the tornado catamaran class for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

In July Andrew Smith, Russell Ford and Luke Doerner represented Australia in a European Tour, defeating Belgium and Spain. Soon after, Ford, Chris Ciriello and Glenn Simpson were members of the AIS team in a series clean sweep of Ireland. In September Smith, Ford and Travis Brooks were members of the winning Kookaburras team in the Oceania Cup. Meanwhile, there were eight VIS athletes in the Victorian U21 team in July, which won the National Championship in New South Wales. VIS women’s hockey athletes Renee Trost, Rachael Lynch and Rachel Imison also continued their careers at international level, playing with the Hockeyroos in a 5-0 series win against Japan in July. In the same month, eight athletes competed at the National Championships in Queensland, where the Victorian team finished fifth.



VIS women’s cricket scholarship holders Sarah Edwards and Clea Smith were members of a successful Australian team which clinched the Rose Bowl Series against New Zealand in July. Australia won the series 3-2.




VIS lawn bowls athlete Claire Duke won the triples and fours titles, and was runner up in the singles, at the Queensland Open in July. Seeded no. 1 in the fours, Duke combined with Karen Murphy, Julie Keegan and Melanie Macaulay to win the final 21-5. Duke also won the triples final comfortably with team members Keegan and Sharyn Renshaw. In the singles competition, second seeded Duke lost a tense final in a tiebreak against fourth seed Kelsey Cottrell. Duke also combined with Sharyn Renshaw to win the pairs event at the New South Wales Open at Taren Point Bowls Club in September.

VIS golfer Matthew Griffin teamed with Scott Arnold from New South Wales to win the Jockey Club Rosario event by 10 shots in Argentina in October. Griffin also finished second in the individual event. In October, Daniel Beckmann scored an individual victory when he won the Men’s Federal Amateur golf tournament in October, a national ranking event played at the Federal Golf Club in the ACT. Meanwhile, VIS golfer Bryden McPherson won the 2007 Boys Championship of Victoria at Yarra Yarra Golf Club in September, and Grace Lennon won the Girls Junior State Championship. Lennon was also runner up in the Victorian Amateur Matchplay Championship at Victoria Golf Club in July.

VIS lawn bowls athlete Claire Duke won the triples and fours titles at the Queensland Open in July.


VIS football athletes Petar Franjic, Kamal Ibrahim and Teddy Yabio represented Australia in the U17 Joeys at the Asian Football Confederation Championships in October, defeating Malaysia 2-0 to advance to the 2008 Championships – the final chance to secure a spot at the 2009 U17 World Cup. In August Franjic, Ibrahim and Yabio joined fellow VIS athletes Fabio Di Lizia, Anthony Bran and Bailey Wright in the Joeys team for the Toyota International Youth Tournament in Japan, where Australia won two out four matches. The VIS squad completed its first full season in the Foxtel Cup U21 competition in September, finishing in fifth place on the ladder with 14 wins, four draws and eight losses. Following the season, VIS captain Fabio Di Lizia won the Football Federation Victoria Weinstein Medal for the best junior player in Victoria for 2007 . Meanwhile, VIS women’s football athlete Melissa Barbieri was a member of the Australian Matildas team which reached the quarter finals at the Women’s World Cup in China in September.


VIS diver Bree Cole won a silver and two bronze medals in three competitions of the FINA Diving World Series in September. Competing against the best divers in the world, Cole won a medal in each event in synchronised disciplines. She won a 10m platform bronze medal with Melissa Wu in Sheffield, a silver medal in the 3m springboard with Sharleen Stratton in Mexico and a bronze with Stratton in the 10m platform in China.


VIS gymnasts Ashleigh Brennan, Shona Morgan and Georgia Bonora (reserve) were members of the Australian team which finished in 11th place in the qualifying rounds of the Women’s Artistic World Championships in Stuttgart, qualifying the team for the 2008 Olympic Games. In July, Brennan and Morgan were members of the Australian team which finished first in the all around competition against Japan at the National Championships in Queensland. Individually, Brennan finished fourth in the all around competition and third on the floor, while Morgan finished fifth in the All Around competition and second on the vault. At the Japan Indoor Gymnastics Championships in September, VIS gymnast Emma Dennis finished in third place in the All Around competition. VIS squash athlete Kimberley Bessell became the most successful junior in Australian squash history, by winning her sixth national junior title in October. Bessell won the U19 title at the National Championships in Queensland. Fellow VIS athletes Rex Hedrick and Sarah Cardwell finished third in their age groups. VIS squash scholarship holder Cameron White won the Australian Doubles Championships with Aaron Frankcombe (NSW) at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in July. White and Frankcombe defeated New South Wales pair Ryan Cuskelly and Scott Arnold in five games, 9-6, 9-4, 6-9, 2-9, 9-6. A month later White won the Victorian Open Men’s Squash Championship for the fifth time in his career.



VIS track and field athlete Sarah Jamieson won a bronze medal in the 1500m at the World Athletics Final in Germany in September. Jamieson finished the race in 4.05.43, improving on her fourth place in last year’s event. Associate scholarship holder Jana Rawlinson won a silver medal in the 400m hurdles, while Craig Mottram competed in the 3000m and 5000m events at the meet, finishing in fourth and ninth place respectively. Later in the month, VIS marathon runner Lee Troop finished in sixth place in the Berlin Marathon, posting his best time since 2003 and crossing the line well under the qualifying time for the 2008 Olympic Games. Also in September, Troop and fellow VIS athlete Anna Thompson won the men’s and women’s Victorian Half Marathon Championships respectively.

In the challenging world of elite sport, coaches are forever looking at ways to gain an edge over their rivals. While much of the attention is focussed on physical performance, athletes and coaches are increasingly using cutting edge computer technology to stay ahead of the competition. Several sports programs at the VIS have adopted the Archos AV700, a portable, battery powered digital video recorder which gives athletes a first hand look at their performances – almost instantaneously. The Archos machine can record video footage from a video camera or TV, convert it to compressed MPEG-4 video files on a built-in 100 gigabyte hard drive (enough for approximately 100 hours of video), and then the files can be played back on the built-in screen or on an external TV. The benefits for athletes are found in the machine’s speed. The Archos can be connected to a computer via USB and files transferred to or from the device at high speed (approximately one minute per hour of video). And with the use of software like Webbsoft Snapper and Microsoft Sharepoint, it allows the coaches to quickly capture and perform on-the-fly compression of video footage of whole games. It also performs complex performance analysis, identifying key elements of the game and strategies, as well as publishing the analysis and key video elements to a secured internet site for distribution to the players. At swimming, athletics or shooting events, for example, athletes can view their performances directly after performing, giving them instant feedback in preparation for the next round of competition. For sports with a longer participation time, like football, netball and squash, coaches use the Archos to transfer video for match analysis at home or while travelling.

VIS track and field coordinator Derek Boothroyd using the Archos AV700



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VIS football athletes Rivdan Saglam and Kliment Taseski

Powerade Isotonic, the official sports drink of the VIS, is a formulation of Powerade sports drinks which are designed to balance with your body’s fluids to give you fast hydration and energy when you need it most. Powerade Isotonic contains a concentration of electrolytes (sodium and potassium) and carbohydrates (sucrose and maltodextrin), formulated to be in balance with your body’s natural fluids, allowing for fast absorption, hydration and energy. VIS football scholarship holders Kliment Taseski and Rivdan Saglam benefited from the partnership with Powerade when they were given the chance to attend the international friendly between Australia and Argentina at the MCG. Powerade also ran its annual school clinic at Olympic Park earlier this year, when students from five primary schools received coaching tips from VIS athletes Tim Matthews and Kathryn Mitchell.


With time ticking away until the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, VIS athletes are already hard in training for upcoming selection trials and international competitions. For many VIS athletes, the Olympics (8-24 August 2008) and Paralympics (6-17 September 2008) will be the culmination of four years of tireless preparation. And much of the hard work will come down to their performances in the next few months as the Australian team inches closer to being finalised. For some, like marathon runner Lee Troop, taekwondo player Burak Hasan and sailors Glenn Ashby and Sarah Blanck, a spot on the team has already been reserved. The rest of the VIS athletes competing for a spot on the Olympic team are spread across 23 sports - 12 for the Paralympic team. VIS Olympic Sports Badminton Baseball Boxing Canoe (slalom, sprint) Cycling (road, track, mountain bike) Diving The qualification process for each sport varies – some teams are selected based on a combination of results over time, while others will come down to a single competition early next year. In Athens in 2004, 71 VIS athletes competed at the Olympics, winning 14 medals – five gold, five silver and four bronze. 31 athletes competed at the Paralympics, winning 29 medals – eight gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze. With the help of the Victorian Government, which pledged $1 million in funding for the 2008 Olympics as part of Project Beijing, VIS athletes are in a position to have their most successful games ever.

VIS marathon runner Lee Troop has qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing

Equestrian Fencing Gymnastics (men’s and women’s) Hockey (men’s and women’s) Judo

Rowing Sailing Shooting Softball Swimming Synchronised Swimming

Table Tennis Taekwondo Track and Field Triathlon Water Polo (men’s and women’s) Weightlifting

VIS Paralympic Sports Archery Cycling Equestrian Rowing Sailing Shooting Swimming

Table Tennis Track and Field Wheelchair Basketball Wheelchair Rugby Wheelchair Tennis

Re-Creation supports the VIS by offering free memberships to all VIS track and field athletes. There are currently seven Re-Creation Health Clubs, with two new clubs in Glen Iris and South Melbourne opening soon. Most of our clubs offer Vibration Training machines which are great for sprint/jump event athletes. Fully equipped gyms and a wide range of classes are available for all athletes to use with compliments of Re-Creation, which has a soft spot for track and field specialists. Visit the Re-Creation web site at for club locations and contact details.

VIS athletes Sean Wroe and Kathryn Mitchell with one of Re-Creation’s owners, Jo Russell

You may have noticed the new Connex logo which appears on the cover and below Bruce Hughes’s letter in the VIS Pinnacle. We have introduced the new logo to provide consistency in how we appear. Our new logo appears in our latest ad campaigns (including the recent campaign to introduce our new 200 weekly services) and in other customer communications such as station posters and our website.

We’ve also introduced a new tagline – ‘moving forward’. This is to let our customers know that we are making progress and looking ahead to the future. We are very proud to continue to support organisations such as the VIS. We’re also ‘moving forward’ with our website. We’ve introduced a new and improved site with a clearer homepage and simple navigation, providing our customers with easy access to timetables and network information. Constant live updates are a

great new feature, which work to keep you informed of the latest developments across the network. Check out the new site at

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images


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PUBLIC AFFAIRS & SPONSORSHIP MANAGER Lisa Hasker EDITOR Adrian Ceddia DESIGN Lemonade - PRINTING DPA - PHOTOGRAPHY Getty Images, Richard Wearne, McKinnon Media



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