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Highest Number Of Blues Awarded For 57 Years

Media Release – Friday 30 March 2007

For Immediate Release

Highest Number Of Blues Awarded For 57 Years

University Sport New Zealand (USNZ) has announced the highest number of prestigious NZ Universities Blues awarded since 1950.

65 Blue awards have been made to some of NZ’s top sports stars for their sporting and academic performances in 2006 (74 Blues were awarded in 1950).

Included in the 2006 recipients are Commonwealth swimming gold medallist Moss Burmester, rugby league Kiwi Jerome Ropati, women’s Rugby World Cup winners Anna Richards and Beth Mallard, Eisenhower Cup golfer James Gill, Tall Fern Lisa Wallbutton, All Black John Afoa and several Silver Ferns and Black Sticks.

The 2005 supreme NZU Sportsperson of the Year, George Bridgewater, heads five Waikato University rowers who all competed in last year’s World Championships in the UK alongside a first ever Blue for motorsport - Sara Randall, rally co-driver to NZ champion Richard Mason.

Waikato and Massey are celebrating joint top University status with fourteen Blues each narrowly ahead of Auckland with thirteen.

Five Blues recipients have been shortlisted to receive the 2006 NZU Sportsperson of the Year including Richards, Burmester, Silver Fern Laura Langman, surf lifesaving world champion Nikki Cox and underwater hockey’s Piers Gordon.

Joline Henry, Silver Fern and winner of the NZU Maori Sportsperson of the Year Award for 2004 and 2005 is again a finalist for the 2006 title alongside Black Stick Krystal Forgasson.

The supreme winners will be announced at the 2007 NZU Blues Awards Ceremony which will be held in the Great Hall of the Dominion Museum at Massey University’s Wellington campus on Friday 29 June.

Otago University’s star single sculler Nathan Cohen will also be honoured for his performance at the 2006 World University Rowing Championships in Lithuania where he won New Zealand’s first ever gold medal in a World University Championship (in any sport). Golfer Phillis Meti of AUT receives a distinguished performance award for her 298 metre drive which won the World Long Drive Champs in Nevada last October.

For more information on the 2006 Blues click on www.universitysport.org.nz/events/blues
For past Blues recipients view www.universitysport.org.nz/events/blues/roll-of-honour

ENDS


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