Sport and Physical Activity Impact Award

The Sport and Physical Activity Impact Award is designed to recognise the significant contribution made by an individual or group to sport and/or physical activity programs in a Queensland school. 

Winner: Clare Zappala, St Mary's Catholic College, Woree

St Mary's Catholic College (SMCC) Run Squad (2018-2021): Clare started the initiative to provide students with an opportunity to participate and enjoy physical activity, improve their running performance, and meet new people in the school community. She coaches students in running each week as well as organising activities for the squad to build culture and strengthen relationships (i.e., breakfasts). Clare hosts presentation events to recognise students' efforts and abilities, and also provides charity opportunities through physical activity (i.e., Run Squad participating in a “Dollar for Kilometre” fundraiser, to raise awareness and vital funds for the Indigenous Marathon Project" with St Mary’s Family Connect donating $1 per 1km)
North Queensland Cross Country Championship (NQCCC): Clare invented the NQCCC to try keep kids fit and motivated following the five-week COVID lockdown in 2020. Her initiative is an opportunity for students in the Diocese to be involved with physical activity and has a strong focus on uniting schools in the community.
- Cross country format, close to 400 participants from 14 schools
- Knock out round format (per 1km), close to 200 participants from 10 schools 
Peninsula School Sport 2021: Cross Country Delegate, Convenor and Manager/Coach (10-19 years)
Coached SMCC students for 7 Cairns Running Festival (Cairns Marathon): 15 students in total
- Half marathon: 1 student, 10km Distance: 3 students and 5km Distance: 11 students

Students at SMCC are encouraged to participate in Run Squad, an opportunity to enjoy physical activity in a welcoming and supportive environment. The number of participants in Run Squad each week range between 10-65 students. As evident in the student testimonials below, Run Squad has enhanced many students' social and emotional wellbeing.