Pair finalists for Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards | The Standard

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Terang’s Cindy McDougall has always encouraged her kids to give back. So it’s no surprise she and daughter Caytlyn Sharp are finalists for the Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards. For the first time, Cindy has been nominated for the official of the year and Caytlyn, the volunteer of the year. Winners will be announced at the virtual ceremony on December 3. Cindy has officiated for the past five years and is a qualified Athletics Victoria official in many disciplines. READ MORE: But she’s long had a passion for helping athletes with a disability. “It probably started about eight years ago at Camperdown Little Aths and Caytlyn was competing and had just got her diagnosis,” she said. “There weren’t a lot of para athletes back then, it wasn’t as well known as it is now. “So we actually made it a bit of a passion for the club to go out and try and get inclusion happening for them.” When she was on the Western Country Region (WCR) committee she pushed for the introduction of a para inclusion officer. “It was really so we could make it focal, visible and get it out there to parents that there were options for their kids,” she said. As Cindy said “it snowballed” from there with the first ever para multi-class region event held in Warrnambool about two years ago. She said a year later Little Athletics Victoria implemented that initiative on a wide-scale. Cindy, who officiates for Athletics South West among her many roles, also plans to officiate at Camperdown Little Athletics this summer. Meanwhile, Caytlyn, normally being recognised for her athletic achievements, has been acknowledged for her commitment to helping others. She’s chuffed to be a finalist. “I’ve haven’t really won any (awards) for volunteering or been nominated so was quite surprised when I was nominated, I was like ‘oh ok’,” she said with smile. “Normally I’m just there for the sportsperson or something like that so I was like ‘that’s cool to go into something different’.” The 18-year-old, an athlete with autism and an intellectual disability, has been helping other youngsters at Terang Athletic Club (TAC) for years. She’s happy to share lessons she’s learnt from her coach Jeremy Dixon. It brings her joy to see young athletes progress. “It makes me happy, to see they’re enjoying it just as much as I am,” she said. Caytlyn volunteers mostly at TAC and helps with officiating at Little Athletics in Camperdown and Warrnambool. She also assists her coach, guiding other athletes through warm-ups. The teenager also volunteers at many events including the WRC track and field championships and cross country, the Terang Gift and Terang Lions Club Noorat-Terang Fun Run. Caytlyn was awarded the Victorian disability sports and recreation junior sportsperson of the year award in 2018. The 2020 ceremony will be a free event with details released closer to the date. Have you signed up to The Standard’s daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that’s happening in the south-west.

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