COACHES from Kyabram and District dominated the AFL Victoria Community Football Awards on Friday night.
Stanhope-Girgarre-Rushworth Giants Junior Football Club coach Andrew Hipwell took home the David Parkin Junior Coach of the Year award.
While Kyabram Football Netball Club star Paul Newman scooped the Gerard Fitzgerald Senior Coach of the Year title, adding a cherry on top of a celebrated season.
The award comes as no surprise, with the club legend achieving back-to-back undefeated premierships (42 wins, zero losses) at the helm of the Bombers seniors.
The two flawless seasons are a testament to the positive culture Newman has built in the team and his quick, accurate decision-making.
The award comes a month after Newman was named the Goulburn Murray Coaches Association Senior Coach of the Year.
Hipwell has also made waves in the district, revolutionising junior footy for his young charges who principally come from towns without standalone junior teams.
Hipwell has helped provide new goalposts and an away-game bus for his 95 Giants, and has increased Auskick participation from non-existent to 35 members.
‘‘I really enjoy coaching the kids and I want to reignite a passion for the game in the younger generation,’’ Hipwell said.
‘‘Junior footy is struggling a bit because there’s such a huge range of sports for kids, plus there aren’t as many opportunities for kids to play footy as when I was young.
‘‘If we can keep boosting promotion, get footy into more schools and increase player visits, hopefully we can see this change.’’