QLD Welcomes Barry Cheales, Dexter Lorback, and Franc Vig to the GA Hall of Fame

To be entered into the Gymnastics Australia Hall of Fame and be formally recognised as a “legend” by the gymnastics community is not an achievement that is awarded lightly. A legendary athlete must have demonstrated outstanding international sporting achievements and be included on the Athlete Roll of Honour; and a legendary coach must have an athlete achieve a high level of international success at any World Championship (Senior) and/or Olympics or have provided a minimum ten years’ outstanding service towards developing and improving Australia’s international ranking in gymnastics.

With such an extensive nomination criterion, Gymnastics Queensland recognises what a momentous occasion it is to have welcomed three legendary Queenslanders into the GA Hall of Fame on Friday 14th of May at the 2021 Australian Gymnastics Championships: Barry Cheales, Dexter Lorback, and Franc Vig.

Congratulating Barry Cheales

Barry was a national competitor from 1962 — 1979. He competed in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and was Team Captain and competitor at the World Gymnastics Championships Inaugural Australian Gymnastics Team to Yugoslavia in 1970. In addition to his extensive career as a coach, including his appointment as the Inaugural National Coach to the 1972 Olympics, Barry was appointed as Coaching Director of the Australian Gymnastics Federation in 1973 where he: Wrote and published AGF’s first publication of the Men’s National Levels Scheme — the National Levels Manual and Coaching guide
Introduced a National Coaches Certification System
Set training standards for national squad members
Was involved in the successful lobbying of Government during the 70’s which led to the development of an Australian Institute of Sport in the         early 80’s
And so much more!
Barry’s outstanding service to the sport led to an improvement in gymnastics coaching at all levels within Australia, improving Australia’s international ranking in gymnastics. Congratulations Barry!

Congratulating Dexter Lorback

Dexter was a state level competitor from 1937 — 1950, and was a competitor for Victoria in the first National Champions in Melbourne. As a coach, Dexter started in his late teens with his uncle Alf Lorback in a number of schools, churches, and a University in the late 30’s and 40’s. His coaching career spanned over 40 years in both Victoria and Queensland, at a time when the sport was still in its infancy. The competitions that Dexter organised at YMCAs in Melbourne and Sydney gave opportunity for accelerating the development of the sport nationally. Just some of Dexter’s career highlights include: Coaching Olympian Ian Clark, 1962—1972
Founding the Tallebudgera Men’s Gymnastics Club QLD
Coach to Margaret Jack to Commonwealth Games (Australia’s first team competition in the Commonwealth games in Canada)
Mentoring many State and National level coaches and athletes
Dexter’s initiative and direct involvement at a national level in coaching gymnasts, particularly over the first two decades of the AGF, is still seen in areas of the sport today. Congratulations Dexter — may your memory live on in the GA Hall of Fame.

Congratulating Ferenc (Franc) Vig

Franc was a member of the Hungarian Gym Squad and the National Champion Team from 1940¬–1942. After arriving in Australia in 1949, Franc won the QLD Gymnastics Championships in 1950-51 as a member of the Queensland Team. As a coach, Frank was a Technical Advisor of AGF and Queensland teams, and coach to many gymnasts who have won Australian all-around titles, including those he trained to represent Australia in the 1956 Melbourne, 1960 Rome, and 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Franc’s influence as a coach has shaped the development and progression of the sport at a national and state level and he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 1996 in recognition of this. Some of his career highlights include: Establishing Men’s and Women’s gymnastics and trampolining in Queensland
Establishing the Frank Vig Sportsmanship Trophy in 1974, which is still awarded every year
Establishing the Dr. Krasznai Perpetual Trophy, which is now part of the Hungarian National Junior Championship
Franc’s influence and administrative contributions to the sport following the establishment of the National Federation in 1949, continue to make an impact today. Congratulations Franc — and what a legacy you’ve left behind for future gymnasts and coaches!