On Thursday, May 14, 2020, UniSport Australia announced the winners of their 2019 UniSport Australia Awards. The Awards have been conducted since 2001 with the aim of recognising and rewarding student-athletes and individuals for their outstanding sporting performances and/or contributions to university sport. The 2019 Awards recognised sporting excellence across eleven different categories.
We are excited to announce that our UniSA UniSport Nationals Women’s Volleyball Coach and UniSA Alumni, Peter Rowe was awarded the joint winner of the UniSport Australia 2019 Official of the Year Award. Peter has been our UniSA Women’s Volleyball Coach for the past two years and his coaching efforts resulted in our UniSA Women’s Volleyball team winning silver medals at both the 2019 Nationals Div 1 and Nationals Div 2 competitions as well as the 2019 UniSA Sport Team of the Year Award.
Peter initially decided to become involved with the Women’s Volleyball team as his daughter Georgie Rowe had participated in 2015, being part of the UniSA Gold Medal-winning Australian University Games team and also being recognised with a Green and Gold Award. In 2016 the Georgie Rowe Outstanding Achievement Award was established in Georgie’s memory to recognise both the achievements and attributes she displayed when representing the University of South Australia, UniSA Sport, South Australia and Australia. This award is recognized as UniSA Sport’s highest honour. Peter’s decision to give back to the sport and UniSA speaks volumes of his character and love of the sport.
Last year Peter went above and beyond his role as coach to ensure the team was best prepared for each tournament, generating a positive and supportive team culture. Peter greatly assisted the UniSA Sport staff to build a sense of pride amongst students in representing their university at a national level. Peter gained much respect from the student-athletes themselves and enhanced the overall student experience with the team members developing skills and making valuable connections and friendships that will last far beyond their university years.
The women’s volleyball team members were all delighted to hear the announcement of Peter’s award. Women’s Volleyball Team Manager and UniSA Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science and Bachelor of Psychological Science student, Maria Podnar was very excited to hear the news: “No-one is more deserving of this award than the extremely kind-hearted and generous Peter Rowe. A true inspiration to all, whose coaching talents aren’t even the height of his rapport but his strength, dedication and positivity foremost. The happiest part of the Women’s Volleyball Team’s day is seeing Peter’s smiling face at 7 am with a bag of muesli bars and juice boxes ready to start training. Peter and I have travelled to 3 Uni Nationals in 2 years building greater momentum each year, resulting in two grand finals in 2019 due to the hard work and inspirational speeches delivered by Pete. Peter Rowe is the greatest coach I’ve had the honour to travel with whom has a heart of gold and some serious tenacity in the kitchen, looking after the fellow ‘Goats’ as if we were his own. A well-deserved award, I can’t wait to see what’s to come”.
The Manager of UniSA Sport, Adrian George shared similar sentiments: “I had the pleasure of meeting Peter & Fiona Rowe in 2016 when UniSA Sport established the Georgie Rowe Outstanding Achievement Award. Each year it is my great honour to spend time with the Rowe’s, working with them in selecting an always deserving annual winner. In the past 2 years, it has been fantastic to see Peter drive the return of a Women’s Volleyball Team representing UniSA at the UniSport Nationals, he has done so with such enthusiasm, determination and care for the team. Peter has embraced the Team UniSA culture and that is reflected in the way his team conduct themselves both on and off the court, the players all displaying enthusiasm, determination and care for the team. I could not be more proud of what Peter has achieved with Team UniSA and look forward to one day being able to refer to him as a Gold Medal winning coach.”
The full list of the award winners can be viewed on the UniSport Australia website.