This is the 105th year in which the Blues have been awarded to students who have achieved to a high level in their chosen sport. The Golds Awards, which are in their 11th year, recognise clubs, societies and individuals that have excelled at cultural endeavours at Otago. This year’s awards were hosted by the Mayor of Central Otago and Chairman of Sport Otago, Tony Lepper.
The University of Otago Rowing Club took out Sports Club of the year, an award that recognises excellence in the administration of a club, club activity, and promotion of OUSA. Fresher Andrew Whyte won Sportsman of the Year after ending the season as New Zealand's top 400m runner. Andrew had a very successful season, representing New Zealand at many overseas meets, including the World Junior Championships.
Dual International Suzie Bates was selected as both Sportswoman of the year and Maori Sportsperson of the year. Suzie is a key member of both the Tall Ferns basketball team and White Ferns cricket team, and is the captain of the latter, currently leading her team at the World T20 in Sri Lanka. Sam French (Hockey), Sarah Laurenson (Squash), and Brendan O’Niell (Kayak Racing) were also acknowledged for their Outstanding Contribution to Sport at Otago.
Gold Awards for excellence in cultural pursuits were awarded to Grace (Eun Byeol) Park (Music, Voice Performance), Kawiti Jack Waeford (Music, Voice Performance), Louis Brown (Public Relations), and Alexander Michael Wilson (Music, Voice Performance).
The Indian Students' Association took out the highly coveted Society of the Year award, while Kana Imuta (Music, Taiko Drumming), Julien Van Mellaerts (Singing, Piano, French Horn), Miriam Noonan (Theatre, Acting), and Muhammad Zariq Farhan bin Mohd Hanif (Dance, Singing) were recognised for their outstanding contribution to Art and Culture.
Official OUSA Press release:
Otago’s Finest Recognised
Tonight the annual Otago Blues and Golds awards were presented to the top athletes and cultural stars from Otago University this evening by the Otago University Students’ Association. “The awards recognise the best of the best, the people that give it their all while they’re here at Otago for both sporting and cultural pursuits,” said James Grubb, OUSA Clubs Development Officer, “Both OUSA and the University of Otago are proud to have such talented individuals, teams, clubs and societies making the most of and giving back to Otago.” This year marks the 105th year of the Blues awards giving top honours to students involved in sports. The awards younger cousin, the Golds Awards, are in their 11th year. The awards recognise clubs, societies and individuals that have given time and effort to cultural endeavours in Otago. “It really is a special occasion as we’ve given away three Golds this year to three very talented performers,” said Grubb, “And our sportsman and woman of the year are both New Zealand representatives, with Suzie Bates doing so in both basketball and cricket.” The Blues and Gold Awards also recognise clubs and societies and the impact they make on the culture of Otago. The hotly contested clubs awards this year went to clubs that have strived for excellence in everything from administration to volunteer and sporting achievements. “We have over 100 clubs and societies covering both sports and cultural interests. For students clubs are a great way of getting involved and they really add to the social aspect of Otago,.” said Grubb, “This year the Otago University Rowing Club took out top honours in the Blues, and the Indian Students’ Society took out the best club or society in the Golds.” The OUSA and the Otago University congratulate all awards recipients and would like to thank the time and effort each person and club has put into representing and helping the Otago community. The awards are hosted by Mayor of Central Otago and Chairman of Sport Otago, Tony Lepper, and will be held from 5.30pm at the OUSA Aquatic Centre, 65 Magnet Street, Dunedin. Awards were chosen as follows:
Alexander Michael Wilson (Music, Voice Performance)Alexander is a Lexus Song Quest finalist, which is New Zealand’s premier vocal competition and has been running for more than 50 years. He has been placed in many competitions since 2009 and is an RSA Choral Scholar. Alexander is the convenor of the University of Otago Capping Sextet and has been a member sin 2009. He also won the Judge’s Choice Award in the finals of the Otago Daily Times Aria.
Louis Brown (Public Relations)Along with the strategic communications agency he initiated – Social Innovation – Louis led the Student Volunteer Army that assisted so many people following the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. This work won the 2012 Public Relations Institute of New Zealand Supreme Award. Prior to that he was instrumental in instigating a number of events and campaigns including: The ‘A Day at the Beach’ campaign on the West Coast, that won the 2009 Trustpower Community Award. Louis persuaded the Vodafone Foundation NZ to launch Social Innovation in order to mobilise thousands of New Zealanders, and along with the charity Sustainable Coastlines, and this spawned the national multi-year campaign ‘Love Your Coast’ in 2010.In 2007 he organized the digital delivery of the San Fracisco-based 2007 Digital Earth summit to five locations around the world.
Grace (Eun Byeol) Park (Music, Voice Performance)
Kawiti Jack Waeford (Music, Voice Performance)
Andrew Whyte (Athletics)
Andrew is the current National champion for the men’s 400m. He competed and won the event at the New Zealand National Championships and as a result was selected to represent New Zealand the World Junior Athletics Championships in Barcelona, where he finished 13th. He is currently in his first year of study at the University of Otago.
Reta Trotman (Cycling)After finishing 4th in the Elite Road Nationals in January this year, Reta was selected to represent New Zealand in the Tour of New Zealand. She was the first New Zealand woman to finish the race. She also finished 1st in the Queen of the Mountain Women’s tour of Canberra.
Eben Joubert (Rugby)
Upon arrival to New Zealand from South Africa Eben Joubert has represented and captained the Otago Senior Men’s Rugby team. The natural leader is known for his uncompromising style of play and commitment to the teams he plays for.
Monique Francois (Surf Life Saving)Monique has represented Otago in a lot of Surf Life Saving events this year, not just as a participant, but also as coach of the U16 Otago Surf League team which competed at the National Championships. Among her achievements, she won the Gold medal in the National Surf Life Saving Championships in the short course canoe event and placed for the Bronze medal in the long course. She also participated in the Otago Open Iron Woman event and finished top overall in the Otago Sports Open Woman event, amongst others.
Suzie Bates (Basketball)
Rebekah Greene (Athletics)
Paris Pidduck (Canoe Polo)
Monique Francois (Football)
Andrew Ridden (Football)
James Bennett (Field Hockey)
Ollie Hopkinson (Field Hockey)
Francesca Rowley (Field Hockey)
Richard Storey (Field Hockey)
Jaime Wiles (Field Hockey)
Louise Daley (Underwater Hockey)
Melissa Lee Morris (Ice Figure Skating)
Storm Purvis (Netball)
Lauren Elizabeth Clark (Rowing)
Laura Georgina Louise Tester (Rowing)
Heather Scott (Rowing)
Andrew Annear (Rowing)
Scott Roy Barnsdale (Rowing)
Florence Van Dyke (Triathlon)
Hugh Blake (Rugby)
Carina Doyle (Surf Life Saving)
Carina Doyle (Swimming)
Sophie Robb (Surf Life Saving)
Kate Godfrey (Swimming)
Tess Molloy (Triathlon)
Sportsman of the YearAndrew Whyte (Athletics)
In his first year at the University of Otago, Andrew’s list of achievements in the notoriously difficult 400m is very impressive and includes national and international events. In the 2011/12 season Andrew ranked first in the New Zealand Men’s 400m and was part of the team that came 2nd in the Open Men’s 4x400m relay at the Brisbane Track Classic. In March, he won the Men’s U20 400m and 200m at the National Championships and later, broke the Otago record for the 400m with a time of 46.42seconds and in June, he was a finalist for the Otago Junior Sportsperson of the year. He competed and came 11th at the World Junior Championships, came second at the European Junior Gala, and was part of the team that placed 3rd in the Open Men’s 4x400m at the Cardiff International Meet in July of this year. Adding to these achievements tonight with a University Blue and the University of Otago Sportsman of the Year, it would be safe to assume that Andrew has a very bright future.
Sportswoman of the Year and Maori Sportsperson of the YearSuzie Bates (Basketball, Cricket)
A naturally gifted athlete, Suzie is a dual International representing New Zealand and Otago in both basketball and, as captain, cricket. As an example of her all-round talent, Suzie currently holds the highest score and highest batting average (21.63, at a strike rate of 101.25 per 100 deliveries faced) and as a bowler has registered best bowling figures of 4 wickets for 7 runs for the White Ferns in Twenty20 cricket. As a guard in basketball, she is noted for the maturity of her play, demonstrating she has the mental talents to match the physical. She has certainly done the region of Otago, the University, and her Iwi Ngai Tahu very proud.
Sports Club of the YearUniversity of Otago Rowing Club
The Sports Club of the Year Award recognises excellence in the administration of a club, club activity, and promotion of OUSA in a positive light (in context of the aims of the club) from OUSA affiliated Sports Clubs/Societies.
Society of the YearIndian Students’ Association
Outstanding Contribution to Sports AwardSam French (Hockey)
Sarah Laurenson (Squash)
Brendan O’Niell (Kayak Racing)
University Of Otago Graduates’ Association Contribution To The Arts And Culture AwardKana Imuta for music (Taiko Drumming)
Julien Van Mellaerts for music (Singing, Piano, French horn)
Miriam Noonan for theatre (Acting)
Muhammad Zariq Farhan bin Mohd Hanif for performance (Dance, Singing
OUSA Silver Service AwardEric Lim Thiam Aik (Otago Malaysian Students’ Association)
Shotaro Hattori (Otago University Japanese Association)
Siti Alai Shazrinah Shazali (Brunei Students’ Association)
Danielle Duffield (Otago Student Animal Legal Defence Fund)
Trupti Gandhi (Sri Lankan Students’ Association)
Nehan Munasinghe (Sri Lankan Students’ Association)
Malinda Sirisekara (Sri Lankan Students’ Association)
Theshini Siriwardene (Sri Lankan Students’ Association)
Loh, Chuan Tuck (Otago Malaysian Students’ Association)