The Bendigo Academy of Sport’s Annual Presentation Gala Evening celebrated the successes of the athletes and coaches for the 2022-2023 year. The special guest and guest speaker for the evening was Al Viney who is a current Victorian Institute of Sport athlete in her chosen sport of Para Rowing. Al’s story of determination, perseverance, and dedication captivated the large audience of athletes, families and dignitaries.


The 2022/2023 Bendigo Academy of Sport Athlete of the Year awarded to Sophie Hughes [Canoeing – kayaking]

Sophie was awarded the Gary Tierney Memorial Scholarship Award at a Gala Ceremony on Friday 19th May at the All Seasons presented by John McGrath, a long-time family friend of Gary Tierney and Gary’s wife Louise.

Sophie achieved the following:

  • Paddle Australia 2023 National Marathon Championships in Geelong
    • 3 Gold and 2 Bronze medals
    • Sophie was awarded the Coulthart Award as the Overall Best Under 16 Junior Female in Australia
  • Paddle Australia 2023 National Sprint Championships in Perth
    • Silver medal
  • 2023 State Victoria Championships @ Nagambie Lakes Regatta Centre 6 gold medals and 3 bronze medals
  • Victorian School Championships
    • 3 Gold Medal and 1 Silver Medal
  • December 2022- Sportsman’s Association of Australia (Bendigo Branch) -Nomination First quarterly and overall Junior Sports Star winner 2022
  • February 2023 – Bendigo Sports Star Monthly scholarship winner for January 2023







2022/2023 Academy Coach of the Year Kris Mueck

Kris has been a coach and mentor with the Bendigo Academy of Sport since 2018. He was also a past athlete of the Academy Golf program. Kris has been a great asset to the Academy sharing his knowledge with our golf athletes over this time. He has enabled our golfers to improve their game and also encourage and guide some of them to playing pennant golf for clubs in Melbourne which provides further opportunities to develop and become even better players. This has provided a pathway for our golfers to strive for.

Kris has successfully helped multiple athlete become low single figure golfers in a short period of time and help them win at state level in their age groups and progress to Golf Australia Tier 4 Squads. Kris is very accommodating with his time and makes himself available to the athletes outside of official BAS training sessions and he will be quite often on a local golf course with one or more of the athletes playing a round of golf and offering advice.

Kris is a great role model as a golfer and a person. A common comment form our athletes is that Kris makes me feel comfortable asking for advice and promotes a team spirit amongst the group and making good friendships with the other golfers.

Kris is obviously a very accomplished golfer himself and has won many events over the years. He has played on the Australian tour and Asian tours and currently competes on the Pro-Am tour throughout Australia. One of Kris’ more notable achievements is that he shot a 59 off the stick at an Axedale Golf Club Pro-Am event a few years ago.

Our Golf squad are very fortunate to have a mentor and coach with so much experience and dedication to make the athletes the best that they can be.


“Frank Roberts’s outstanding service award – Neangar Park Golf Club

The Neangar Park Golf Club have been a strong supporter of the Bendigo Academy of Sport Golf program for many years. Each time the golf squad train they are made to feel very welcome – all our requests are met with “that will be fine”.

Our golf squad can use the course proper, the new driving range and the new pitch and putt. All these facilities allow the squad coach – Kris Mueck and Travis Harrison, the Golf Australia High Performance coach, to structure the program with a wide variety of activities and scenarios.

The golf squad have benefitted greatly from the new facilities and look forward to training at Neangar Park Golf Club in the future.


2022/2023 Bendigo Academy of Sport Award winners:


  • Athlete of the Year – Sophie Hughes
  • Encouragement Award – Claudia Hamilton

Clay Target Shooting

  • Athlete of the Year – Troy Anderson
  • Encouragement Award – Jordan Giudice


  • Athlete of the Year – Flynn Anderson
  • Encouragement Award – Casey Chandler

Individual Athletes

  • Athlete of the Year – Grace Dobie

Netball Bendigo

  • Athlete of the Year – Addison Funcke
  • Encouragement Award – Emma Keating

Netball North East

  • Athlete of the Year – Rhani Hendy
  • Encouragement Award – Amani Issell

Para Sports

  • Athlete of the Year – Jordan Rudd
  • Encouragement Award – Michael Smith


  • Athlete of the Year – Isabella Crossman
  • Encouragement Award – Willow Kelly


  • Athlete of the Year – Ben Lim
  • Encouragement Award – Bwe Ku Htoo Paw