An international table tennis star, a karate champion and a young netball umpire are some of the winners of this year's Victorian School Sports Awards.
The Sports Awards are the highest sporting accolades presented in Victoria's government school system.
It includes awards to 43 young athletes across 16 categories, as well as 6 additional recipients in the 'Outstanding' categories.
Australian world champion distance and marathon runner Steve Monghetti AM facilitated this year's School Sports Award ceremony. Other presenters included Brooke Stratton, Jared Tallent OAM, Catherine Skinner OAM, and Alec Potts - all Olympian medal winners in their respective sports.
Outstanding Sporting Achievement Awards
Two Outstanding Sporting Achievement Awards are given to one primary school student and one secondary school student.
Tonatiuh Salcedo Baird from Balwyn High School has practised karate for eight years. 'It started as a hobby,' Tonatiuh says.
Tonatiuh competes in Kumite karate sparring and also teaches younger students. 'In doing that, you're learning things yourself,' Tonatiuh says. 'It's good fun.'
He is the reigning Australian Open Junior National and Victorian Champion, and won Gold in Australasian Schools and University Champions at National Championships.
Nicholas Lum from Glendal Primary School began playing table tennis when he was seven years old, from watching his Dad play.
He made history when came third in the world in the International Table Tennis Federation World Hopes Challenge in Luxembourg, the first ever in the Under 12 group. Last year, he won four gold medals in the Australia Junior Level Junior Championships.
Lindsay Gaze Outstanding Sports Leadership Award
Glen Waverley Secondary College student Kristin Bowen won this year's Lindsay Gaze Oustanding Sports Leadership Award for her leadership in both school and community netball.
Kristin says the awards are important for recognising the efforts of young athletes and inspiring others to follow their passion.
'School sport is important because it teaches you so many different things that the classroom cannot,' Kristin says.
'It teaches you communication, leadership, time management, and working together.'
See: School Sport Victoria Awards Winners
Sport in the Education State
The School Sports Awards are just one of the many ways that we celebrate and encourage sporting excellence in Victoria.
The $148.3 million Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund supports student participation in outdoor activities. The the $16 million School Pride and Sports Fund, provides for new sporting facilities that will inspire pride across our school sporting community.
A Sports Excellence Scholarship Fund has also been established, and in 2017 School Sports Victoria allocated 40 sports scholarships to young people to assist them in pursuing their sporting dreams.
Getting more kids physically active at school is part of the Education State's
Happy, healthy and resilient kids target.
If you are interested in getting involved in Victorian School Sports and would like to know how, see:
School Sport Victoria.
School Sport Victoria administers a Sports Excellence Scholarship Fund in conjunction with its Team VIC Interstate program. If you would like to learn more about the fund, or donate, see:
Sports Excellence Scholarship Fund