Anna Richards Awarded Universities Supreme Title
World Cup Winner Richards awarded Universities Supreme Title
Universities in Auckland were tonight celebrating a double success with 2 of their students winning the top awards at tonight's NZ Universities Blues Awards Ceremony at the Great Hall, Massey University Wellington.
Women’s Rugby World Cup champion Anna Richards (Massey Auckland) held off a strong challenge from Commonwealth Games swimming gold medallist Moss Burmester to be awarded the coveted NZ Universities Sportsperson of the Year. Other finalists were Silver Fern Laura Langman, surf life saving world champion Nikki Cox (both Waikato University) and underwater hockey international Piers Gordon (Victoria).
Black Stick hockey player Krystal Forgesson, an AUT student, was delighted to receive the NZU Maori Sportsperson of the Year Award seeing off fellow finalist Silver Fern Joline Henry (Waikato); Henry had won the award in 2004 and 2005.
Richards was honoured for her outstanding performance in last year’s Women’s RWC in Edmonton, Canada especially her player of the final performance against England which saw the Black Ferns victorious in one of the greatest ever women’s rugby tests.
Richards’ and Forgesson’s awards capped a night which saw 66 of New Zealand's best sportsmen and women receive prestigious NZ Universities Blues for their sporting and academic performance in 2006, the highest number of Blues awarded since 1950. Included in the 2006 recipients are rugby league Kiwi Jerome Ropati, another Black Fern Beth Mallard, Eisenhower Cup golfer James Gill, Tall Fern Lisa Wallbutton, All Black John Afoa and several Silver Ferns and Black Sticks.
One of Rowing’s new stars, Otago University’s Nathan Cohen was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award for his gold medal winning performance in the single sculls at the 2006 World University Rowing Championships in Lithuania. Golfer Phillis Meti of AUT received a distinguished performance award for her 298 metre drive which won the World Long Drive Champs in Nevada last October.
The audience at the Ceremony were entertained by Rt Hon Justice Tom Gault, the first New Zealander to Captain the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (NZU Blue 1957) and Jamie Fitzgerald who recently became the first Kiwi to walk unsupported to the South Pole.
The NZ Universities Blue is awarded by University Sport New Zealand and is based on the traditional Blue of Oxford and Cambridge. It is awarded to university students who have achieved excellence both on and off the field of play. Presented since 1919, over 2,500 Blues have been awarded to some of NZ's most famous sporting names such as Richie McCaw (2001), Sarah Ulmer (1994 & 95), David Kirk (1983 & 84), Anna Lawrence (1991, 93 & 95) and Anthony Mosse (1983).
For a full list
of 2006 Blues recipients click on
For past Blues recipients view www.universitysport.org.nz/events/blues/roll-of-honour