Judo champion and Athlone resident Michael Keane is the nineteenth inductee of the Baw Baw Shire Sporting Walk of Fame.
A formal induction ceremony and plaque unveiling was held on Sunday morning at the Walk of Fame in Civic Park Warragul. Deputy Mayor Cr Peter Kostos officiated the plaque unveiling in front a crowd of Michael’s family and friends with support from Mayor Cr Danny Goss, Cr Keith Cook and Cr Tricia Jones.
A 14-time Australian champion in the sport of Judo, Michael has a long list of titles next to his name at both a state and national level and has made a significant contribution to the sport.
In 2000, Michael attained 6th Dan grading, a ranking that has only been achieved by 32 individuals across Australia. He has also trained internationally in Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.
Michael is also a member of the Victorian Judo Grading Committee and was inducted to the Australian Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
With over 50 years of experience, Michael is an accomplished coach, passing on his skills and knowledge to future athletes, including serving as Victoria’s State Coach in 1992. He currently coaches at the Dojo factory in Drouin.
The Baw Baw Shire Sporting Walk of Fame was established along a pathway in Civic Park as part of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay celebrations in Warragul.
Michael joins 18 other inductees including some familiar local names such as Lionel Rose for boxing, Kathy Watt for cycling and AFL players Gary Ablett, Peter Knights and Alan Noonan to name a few.
To qualify for the Sporting Walk of Fame, a person must have achieved great success on the elite sporting stage. A person must be of good character and a role model for residents and have resided or have a strong connection to the Shire.