The Victorian School Sports Awards are the highest sporting accolades for Victoria's government schools.
A ceremony was held on Friday 26 March at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to recognise outstanding sporting achievements in 2020, during a particularly challenging year for school sports.
Awards were presented to 14 students across 10 sports categories, as well as six additional recipients in the 'Outstanding' categories.
Two physical education teachers also received awards, in recognition of their work to help students stay healthy and active last year.
Australian world champion distance and marathon runner Steve Moneghetti AM facilitated the awards ceremony. Other presenters included paralympian Jaryd Clifford, Australian Football League Women's player Libby Birch and the Department of Education and Training's Deputy Secretary Dr David Howes.
Outstanding Sporting Achievement awards were given to a primary school student and a secondary school student.
Lucas Lum from Glendal Primary School began playing table tennis when he was six years old and quickly climbed the ranks of best players in Victoria and Australia.
He is currently ranked the number one table tennis player among under 13 boys in Victoria, and number four in the national rankings.
Last year he was named champion in the Melbourne Open Under 15 Boys Final and won gold at a national level by taking out the Under 11 Boys Singles.
Tara Bajan from McKinnon Secondary College is an award-winning contemporary dancer and dance teacher who has run dance workshops in China, Japan, Canada and Mexico.
Named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Australian Females Under 25 by
Girlfriend magazine, Tara has been encouraging young women to pursue their dancing dreams for the better part of her teenage years.
She is passionate about encouraging young women to express themselves through dance and has been a committed and inspirational member of the teaching faculty in the Dance World Cup in Portugal for the past three years.
Lindsay Gaze Outstanding Sports Leadership Award
Millicent Castor from Blackburn High School won this year's Lindsay Gaze Outstanding Sports Leadership Award.
Her motivation and leadership made an enormous contribution to her school and wider community and she is highly regarded for her devotion and skills in developing and mentoring others. As school captain in 2020, Millicent participated in the peer coaching program where she encouraged fellow students to discover and enjoy sport.
Millicent also kept spirits high during remote learning when she introduced online yoga sessions and a push-up competition.
She has umpired at gold medal match level at the School Sport Australia U16 championships and was awarded Hockey Victoria's Mike Taylor Medal for excellence in umpiring.
Sport in Victoria
The Victorian School Sports Awards are just one of the many ways the Department of Education and Training celebrates and encourages sporting excellence in Victoria.
School Sport Victoria (SSV) delivers an extensive program to primary and secondary students across Victoria.
In 2019, SSV provided about 650,000 participation opportunities in school sport. It aims to engage even more students and create more opportunities.
To help schools maximise opportunities for all students to play sport, SSV works collaboratively with partners across community, state and elite sporting organisations to support the delivery of school sport opportunities.
This enables students to play sport, champion the value of school sport and connect school and community sport pathways for students.