SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council recognised the achievements of South Gippsland participants in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games at a civic reception after last Wednesday’s council meeting.
Shire councillors and officers, along with family and friends of the athletes and members of the wider community, gathered in a meeting room at GippsTAFE (where the August council meeting was held) to congratulate athletes Eleanor Patterson and Kaila Hutchinson-McKnight and coaches David Green and Lisa Alexander, who all have close ties with South Gippsland.
With the mayor, Cr Jim Fawcett, currently overseas, the deputy mayor, Cr Jeanette Harding, headed proceedings. She congratulated the athletes and coaches, praised the efforts of their families in helping them achieve their goals and presented Eleanor and Kaila with bouquets and framed certificates. Eleanor was also presented with the banner which had greeted her return to Leongatha, after the Leongatha resident and Mary MacKillop College year 12 student secured a gold medal in the high jump at the Commonwealth Games.
David Green, who was born and bred in Foster, is Eleanor’s coach. He was unable to attend the reception, but his great effort in assisting Eleanor to her medal-winning performance was acknowledged.
Kaila Hutchinson (nee McKnight) competed in the final of the 1500 metres at the Glasgow Games, but did not secure a medal in the extremely competitive field. She also competed in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and in the 2012 London Olympics, and Cr Harding congratulated the long-time South Gippsland resident on her superb athleticism.
Lisa Alexander, a former shire resident who still has ties to the region, coached the Australian Diamonds netball team to a gold medal, and this tremendous feat was acknowledged in her absence.