Adelaide University Sport is so lucky to have the amount of volunteers and contributors that we have across our clubs and events, and there was plenty of excitement at the 111th annual Blues Awards with the final award winners being revealed on the night. All of our finalists deserved recognition and it was great to hear all that clubs and individuals had achieved before the winners were announced. Each finalist's achievements were rightly met with a round of applause due to the obvious impact they'd had on their clubs or Adelaide University Sport. The award winners revealed on the night were for volunteers, coaches and clubs of the year.
The night began with welcoming addresses from Adelaide University Sport General Manager Michelle Wilson, Adelaide University Sport President David Penn and Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Brooks, in which the amazing year was reflected on, the history of the Blues Awards was touched on and the importance of sport at the University of Adelaide was emphasised.
A delicious first course was followed by recognition of scholarship, Service to University Sport, Half Blues and Blues recipients, as well as the Blues toast to welcome our new Blues recipients to a prestigious group of excellent individuals. Our 2019 Blues recipients were William Smith (Rowing) and Nathan Dignam (Ultimate Frisbee).
Fittingly, after the first group of award ceremonies there was a Pathway to Performance panel discussion hosted by Adelaide University Football Club member Eddie Dadds, which included man of the moment and Blues recipient William Smith (Rowing), Sophie Edwards (Cycling), Olivia Sprod (Orienteering), Nick Winter (Cricket) and Griffin Knight (Cyclo-cross). The panel discussed life as an elite athlete, their goals for 2020 and their gratitude towards Adelaide University Sport and the University of Adelaide for supporting them in their endeavours. It was fascinating to hear the insights of some of the University of Adelaide's highest athletic achievers.
After the main course, Club Letters for competition and service were presented to a diverse range of individuals from a variety of clubs. It was heartening to so many club contributors recognised in front of the Adelaide University Sport's community.
Following dessert, three new scholarships for 2020-2022 were announced thanks to support from People's Choice Credit Union. These scholarships are to promote inclusion and diversity with one being aimed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Athletes, another for athletes with a disability and the final one for women in sport. The IV Certificates of Merit were then awarded to some of the University of Adelaide's most successful intervarsity athletes.
Finally, it was time to announce the volunteers, coaches and clubs of the year. The Student Volunteer of the Year went to the Adelaide University Cricket Club's Payas Bidwai, and the Non-Student Volunteer of the Year went to the Adelaide University Rugby Union Football Club's Peter Stephen. The Development Coach of the Year went to the Adelaide University Kendo Club's Jimme Vo and the Elite Coach of the Year went to the Adelaide University Rugby Union Football Club's Guy Woonton. The winner of the Patrons Cup, an award based on on-field success went to the Adelaide University Football Club. The Jessop Shield, which goes to a club with less than 50 members for off-field success was awarded to the Adelaide University Cycling Club, and the Bennett Shield awarded to a club with over 50 members for off-field success went to the Adelaide University Cricket Club.
It was a special event and Adelaide University Sport would like to thank all who attended for making it a night to remember.