The past years have not been easy for the sporting community, as they battled the challenges of COVID lockdowns and separation from their teammates and friends.
“After the past two years to see sport on campus, teams training and competing has been absolutely joyful,” shared Sally Tanner, Manager of RMIT Sport and Fitness.
As the crowd buzzed with excitement, the first winners of the night were announced: Male Athlete of the Year awarded to Joel Baden and Female Athlete of the Year awarded to Stacey Hymer.
“I had a very fun time competing overseas and training hard. It's been a bit of a crazy rollercoaster to be honest, but I competed well overseas, and I hope to continue and jump higher,” said Joel.
Stacey was equally proud, having overcome many challenges to compete at the Olympics in 2021.
“I had lots of injuries and lots of success as well, so it’s been a good year and hard year,” she said.
This year the Redbacks Gala introduced the first Inclusive Club of Year. Associate Director of Equity and Inclusion Lara Rafferty spoke to the audience about the importance of sport in fostering welcoming communities and championing RMIT values.
We all know how good sport can be. It helps us to stay active, build social connection and community, improve skills, be part of a team and to win sometimes (or a lot!). But more than that it allows us to improve our sense of wellbeing and just have fun.
To much cheering the Inclusive Club of Year was awarded to RMIT Lacrosse and welcomed Laura Braakhuis to the stage to accept the award. Laura is not only the club leader of RMIT Lacross but was also an individual award winner for Club Leadership in 2022.
“When I started university in 2019 the Lacross club at RMIT didn’t exist, so we had the ability to start the club with the right attitude from the start,” said Laura.
“We’re always looking to grow the game and get more people involved, and you can tell people feel more connected to the uni and that it’s a place for them where they really belong."
"Seeing the club grow and having that connectedness for all the students has been incredibly rewarding.”
After a stellar year of sporting and games across campuses and Australia, it’s no wonder the students were celebrating and basking in the community spirit.
Keen to be a part of RMIT Sports? Check out all the ways you can get involved.