Annual Awards Affair Airs Astounding Achievements

Annual Awards Affair Airs Astounding Achievements

So, what have you done with your Uni life so far?

The annual Blues and Golds awards night was held last Wednesday, with a veritable swag of student achievements (outside of the standard uni grind) being celebrated. 

Awards were handed out for community service (Silver Service Awards), sporting achievements (Blue Awards) and arts achievements (Gold Awards). In addition to these, there were also the higher-profile gongs; Sportsperson of the Year was awarded to aerobic gymnast Brooke Davies. Brooke has competed in the Gymnastics New Zealand aerobics international stream since 2013, representing Aotearoa at the 2022 Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships. According to Brooke, her motivation for sticking it out was simple: “The challenge of the sport keeps me going, there’s always something to learn and something to do.”

Māori Sportsperson of the Year was awarded to Hugo Swinson of the Ultimate Frisbee club, for being one of the ultimate ultimate players in Aotearoa – bagging a gold and a silver award in national competitions, as well as securing a spot representing our motu globally. Another frisbee-related sports team, the Uni’s Disc Golf Club (OUDGC) won sports club of the year, proving once and for all that disc golf is a real and legitimate sport. Well, in OUSA’s eyes, anyway. 

Society of the year went to UniQ for their advocacy and work to create a better campus for the LGBTQ+ community, while cultural society of the year was won by the Otago University Vietnamese Student Association. It is worth noting that while the sports awards have been kicking around since 1908, these cultural achievements were only added in 2002. Well, better late than never. 

Ranisha Chand, a woman who you may not have heard of but might be running this nation one day, received the Outstanding Member of the Dunedin Community award for her efforts in raising awareness of issues affecting migrant communities, women, and young people in society. Katie Hensman, meanwhile, received took out the Outstanding Member of the University Community award for her work as a Uniflats Kiwihost subwarden, as well as being Vice-President of OUSSC, and on top of all that managing to snag a $30k grant to re-do the bathrooms at the Alhambra-Union Rugby Clubrooms to make them accessible for wāhine. Certainly puts your “busy” three-paper semester into perspective, huh?

According to OUSA President Melissa Lama, the Blues & Golds were set up to “celebrate [students’] achievements and give our support for their hard work to achieve at a high level”. However, what Critic Te Ārohi really took away from the awards night was that while we were complaining about being hungover at work, people have been out there doing a heck of a lot more with their lives.

This article first appeared in Issue 25, 2022.
Posted 2:24pm Sunday 2nd October 2022 by Keegan Wells .