Blues and Golds: Behind the Awards

Blues and Golds: Behind the Awards

Every year OUSA gives out awards to the people who represent the top of the top at Otago University. Or at least the ones who are keen enough to put their names up for an award. Critic hunted some of the winners down to get to know some of Otago’s best. 


Sportswoman of the Year: Nicole Ruske

Nicole is incredibly humble for someone who is a sports superstar. She wasn’t even offended when this Critic reporter awkwardly didn’t realise until halfway through the interview that she straight-up REPRESENTS NEW ZEALAND in basketball. Soz. When asked if she had felt confident about a win, she said she didn’t even remember applying for the award. “So many people there do awesome, crazy stuff. I was just there to have a good time.” Now that she has the award, she’s not exactly feeling the pressure to be a role model, but says it might make her work harder. Nicole studies psychology with the aspiration to enter teacher's college next year.


Sportsman of the Year: Malachi Buschl

Hockey is in Malachi’s blood. On top of representing New Zealand in the sport, there are whispers that he will make it onto the New Zealand team for the 2020 Olympics. It’s also worth noting that he’s only a fresher, too. When asked what his non-sports-related highlight of the year was, he said it was “meeting new people” and having fun at Arana College. Malachi wasn’t even at the award ceremony, he was busy playing in an international competition (fair enough). He is currently a biochem student, and said he’s able to manage the balance between studies and being a nationally-renowned hockey player.


Sports Club of the Year: Otago University Snow Sports Club

I was totally expecting the President of the OUSSC, Jacob Jones, to rock up to the interview in a puffer jacket or in one of those OUSSC hoodies. I was absolutely shook to, instead, be greeted by a fucking male model. If there is any reason to join the Snow Sports Club, it’s for him. Damn. He said he was “really stoked” to win club of the year, which is an incredible feat considering it’s a seasonal sport. When asked about what the fuck the club does when there is no snow, he says they just “chill” (ha-ha) in Dunedin and throw parties. They also run “Ski Porn” nights, which he assured me were just movie nights, but I am not convinced. His highlights for the club were their Snow Week event, which is a full week of daily competitions with a party every night. Another highlight was the Tour de Goon (like Tour de France, but with goons), which is “a flat crawl on bikes,” even if OUSA and the Proctor “really didn’t like it”.


Society of the Year: Otago Debating Society

In a way, DebSoc had no business winning Society of the Year, since they are classified as a ‘sport’ and should be gunning for Blues, not Golds. Regardless, I asked President Connor Seddon what club they had to tear down to get to the top, to which Connor shockingly replied “OMSA,” (Otago Malaysian Students’ Association) since they are “really good” and have actually won it a bunch of times in the past. Winning felt “absolutely fantastic”, and Connor was also pretty stoked about the subsidised bar at the awards ceremony. Some of his highlights included all the national and international events and wins, but I had to ask the important question: how on earth does DebSoc convince new people to join? Connor replied, “if you want to be paid $1000 by the Vice-Chancellor to go to Malaysia to drink and argue with people for a week, then this is the club for you”. Fair.


Culture Club of the Year: Otago Malaysian Students’ Association 

OMSA, led by Joel Doong, has been the most visible club on campus this year. If you don’t recognise them for always having an OMSA stall in the union building, then you’ll probably know them for their food and performances at various events on campus. Unsurprisingly, Joel was not too surprised that they had won, saying that although they didn’t know what other clubs had achieved, he knew for certain that OMSA had “accomplished a lot”. This year they introduced the South East Asia Fiesta (a collaboration with other clubs over Art Week) to show their culture through art, and also ran and took part in other cultural events. Joel owes the success of his club to his club committee, which he “loves to bits,” and was honestly so lovely about them that I had to ask them if there was a dirty secret OMSA had that the public didn’t know, to which he said that one time he and his team ordered so many drinks from Cha Time that they had to close the shop, and he is convinced that they have made so many orders over the past two weeks that they are “probably banned”.

This article first appeared in Issue 25, 2018.
Posted 12:27am Friday 28th September 2018 by Sinead Gill.