In a remarkable display of talent and dedication, two exceptional athletes have received well-deserved recognition for their outstanding contributions to the sport of bocce and the broader community.
The honours, bestowed upon them this month, serve as a testament to their unwavering commitment and skill.
Recognising that the significance of acknowledgment is magnified when it comes from beyond the immediate sports circle, these two remarkable bocce athletes have garnered appreciation, not only from their peers within the sport but also from the broader community.
This recognition highlights the profound impact they have made on and off the field. It has shone a spotlight on bocce sport from outside the existing bocce community and to the broader community of the public, giving greater exposure to bocce.
Congratulations to Diane Penney, who received the 2023 Gippstar Sports Award on August 10 for her contribution and achievements in the sport of Bocce/Raffa.
Diane expressed her gratitude, stating: “I am truly humbled to receive this recognition from both within the bocce community and the broader community. It inspires me to continue striving for excellence and giving back to the sport and the people who support us”.
Franco Fava was inducted into the Latrobe City hall of fame on August 24. As player, referee and coach, Franco has trained many successful junior, men and women athletes at the club, at national and international level.
His greatest passion is the expansion of the Bocce Raffa code of the sport. He single-handedly was instrumental in establishing Morwell Bocce as the premier club for Raffa in Australia. Franco has also won silver medals in Raffa singles and doubles at the inaugural Asia Oceania Bocce Raffa Championships, India 2018.
In Malaysia, in 2022, Franco won gold and silver. He has excelled in the sport of bocce, contributed much to community and is worthy of his induction as hall of fame inductee of Latrobe City.
Frank Funari, who was guest speaker at the award evening, said in his speech: “As Steve Jobs once said, ‘your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life’, and Franco has certainly not wasted his life. He lives every day to the max and is a worthy inductee into the Latrobe City hall of fame”.
Franco said: “Being honoured in this manner fills me with a deep sense of pride. Bocce has not only provided me with a platform to excel but also a way to positively impact the lives of those around me”.
The Morwell Bocce Club, known for fostering a spirit of sportsmanship and community engagement, couldn’t be prouder of its talented members.
“These awards reflect the heart and soul our athletes pour into Bocce. To see their efforts being celebrated by the community at large is a moment of immense joy for all of us,” said the club’s president Sam Carbone.
These recent honours not only shine a spotlight on the exceptional abilities of these bocce athletes but also underscore the powerful role sports can play in uniting communities and inspiring individuals to reach their fullest potential.