The University sporting community came together to celebrate the year that was and the many achievements that had been made by our athletes and clubs at the annual AU Sport Awards Night the Blues.
The night started with athletes and club members replacing their sweaty sports uniforms for stylish suits and cocktail dresses. It was hard to recognise some as everyone looked fabulous.
AU Sport President, David Penn started the night by highlighting the “stronger sex” amongst us – our females who have broken down many barriers this year. From the University of Adelaide Rugby 7 girls – The Roma’s, the AU Cricket Club being successful in winning a significant grant from Cricket Australia to focus on the development of girls playing the sport, increased females who represented the University at Uni Games, the increased number of females taking on significant leadership roles within our Clubs and the success of the girls at AU Football Club – Premierships, AFLW draft selections and SANFL Coach of the Year. The women of AU Sport are providing positive role models for students, staff and the wider community.
The Interim Vice Chancellor, Professor Mike Brooks who was attending his first Blues Awards, went on to say how impressed he was with the role that sport plays at the University of Adelaide in developing people and the culture. He also mentioned how he would like to see a major indoor sports facility on campus and is something we should continue to press for, but he recognised that space is at premium.
In a touching moment, those who were presented with a Blue – the highest individual sporting achievement at AU Sport: Nicholas Winter (Cricket), Matthew Langridge (Football), Kate Holland-Smith (Hockey), Richard Lewis (Judo), Iszwan Harris Razali (Judo), Mohammed Al Azri (Soccer), Alex Schreier (Touch), Rachel Massey (Tae Kwon Do) and Daniel Pitman (Wing Chun) - were toasted by Chris McMichael, Deputy Vice President of AU Sport and the audience, as they were welcomed into an exclusive family. The achievements of those who received a Half Blue, Club Letters – Competition, Club Letters – Service and Scholarships were also celebrated on stage.
The AU Football Club had a very successful night. Club members, Eddie Dadds won the AU Sport Volunteer of the Year (Student) and Krissie Steen, AUFC Head Women’s Coach was selected from a tough field of other head coaches as AU Sport Elite Coach of the Year. The Club was also able to arm-wrestle the Patron’s Cup away from the AU Boat Club after a very successful on field year with three premierships, many association awards and four girls selected in the AFLW draft.
Long-time AU Sport volunteer and AU Wing Chun Club Member, Heath (Chip) Natt, finally took home the AU Sport Volunteer of the Year (Non Student) after being nominated for the last three years. And Ruby Beard, from the AU Gymnastics Club, won AU Sport Development Coach of the Year for all her efforts and success with the AU Cheerleaders.
Club of the Year awards were won by AU Basketball Club (over 50 members) and AU Swimming Club (under 50 members). Both clubs will receive a $1000 grant each from AU Sport.
The Swimming Club was presented with the Club of the Year Award (under 50 members), the corresponding Jessop Shield and a $1000 grant from AU Sport towards a club development project.
A first time finalist, the club has been very active in building the club both in and out of the pool. Attendance at various sport forums to enhance the capacity of the club; policy development; social media promotion and weekly training sessions have put the club on a firm footing for the future.
AU Swimming Club President Rebecca Batelaan, was totally shocked, but said the win will give the Committee motivation for moving forward and continuing to build the small club to a great one. She affirmed that this Award would give them finally the possibility to implement their new Learn To Swim program.
For those who received an award, congratulations.
For those who were supporting an award winner, take pride in their achievement.
For those who were involved in nominating your members, thank you for contributing to the culture of AU Sport and the University of Adelaide - there is nothing else like it.
Back the Blacks.