Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Greco named state’s top senior sportstar

Kyabram bocce player Maria Greco has been named 2012 Victorian Senior Sportsperson of the Year.

November 28, 2012 9:18am

Maria Greco has been named 2012 Victorian Senior Sportsperson of the Year.

Kyabram bocce player Maria Greco has been named 2012 Victorian Senior Sportsperson of the Year.

She received the award from Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty at the Victorian Government’s Community Sport and Recreation Awards presentation evening last week.

The event was held in the Olympic Room at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and all the award nominees attending were given a tour of the MCG.

Mrs Greco only found out she had been nominated for the award after receiving a phone call two weeks ago telling her she was a finalist.

‘‘I had no idea I’d been nominated, it was a complete surprise. At first I told them they had the wrong person,’’ she said.

‘‘To hear my name read out on the night as the winner was an even bigger surprise.’’

The nomination was put forward by Kyabram Bocce Club’s executive committee.

Mrs Greco has been playing bocce for about 20 years but did not start playing competitions until 15 years ago, as she used to work Saturday afternoons and was not available at match times.

She said playing bocce did not interest her at first and at the time it was still very much a male-dominated sport.

But her husband Joe Greco, president of the North East Bocce Association, persuaded her to give it a try.

‘‘Once I started playing I really enjoyed it,’’ Mrs Greco said.

She has since won four national titles, four Victorian titles and four North East Bocce Association regional titles.

‘‘You never think someone from a little country town would be recognised like this,’’ she said.

‘‘I feel very honoured and it’s great for the sport and for our little club in Kyabram.’’

In 2011, Mrs Greco and her sister-in-law Anna Ciavarella were crowned Kyabram Sportstars of the Year after winning the Australian Open Bocce Women’s Doubles championship.

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