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AUT’s top sport stars announced

AUT’s top sport stars announced

AUT University’s top athletes were recognised at its 2005 Blue Sports Awards last night, with Sportsman of the Year going to national men’s hockey player Ben Collier and Sportswoman of the Year awarded to Tall Ferns basketball player Lisa Wallbutton.

AUT’s Sport and Recreation Co-ordinator Bruce Meyer says these two awards take into account academic performance, athletic performance and contribution to AUT spot and community.

“These two athletes represent New Zealand in their sports on top of achieving excellent grades and contributing to AUT – they are simply outstanding,” says Bruce.

Wallbutton, 19, of West Auckland is studying for a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation, while Collier, 21, from the North Shore is studying conjoint degrees in Bachelor of Business and Applied Sciences.

“Balancing sport and study hasn't been too much of a challenge, I just accept that I'm always going to miss a few lectures each semester and manage my time accordingly,” says Collier.

Top New Zealand surf lifesaver Michael Buck, 21, picked up Athlete of the Year for outstanding sporting achievement. The North Shore resident is studying physiotherapy.

“It’s difficult but rewarding balancing my studies and training. Studying physio takes my mind off my sport and gives me another outlet in which to concentrate my time and efforts,” says Buck.

Buck, Wallbutton and Collier were among 43 athletes and 3 administration staff to receive a 2005 AUT Blue Award. All recipients have represented their region or country at the highest level while studying towards a university qualification at AUT.

AUT’s Blue Awards Panel introduced a new award this year – “Recognition for contribution to AUT sport” – which went to netball’s Roxane Hanvey and snowboarder Lee Rowland for their achievement and support of AUT’s sport and recreation community.

There was a large number entries for this year’s Blue Sports Awards, which is in keeping with AUT’s strong showing in sports events this year, says AUT’s Sport and Recreation Co-ordinator Bruce Meyer.

AUT hosted and won the University Games for the first time this year and won the Tertiary Challenge for the third consecutive year.

AUT Athlete of the Year Finalists:
Michael Buck Surf lifesaving (winner)
Ben Collier Hockey
Jaimee Provan Hockey
Maria Tutaia Netball
Derren Witcombe Rugby Union
Debbie Tanner Triathlon

AUT Sportsman of the Year Finalists:
Ben Collier Hockey (winner)
Cain Fleming Hockey
Michael Buck Surf lifesaving
John Senio Rugby Union

AUT Sportswoman of the Year Finalists:
Lisa Wallbutton Basketball (winner)
Philippa Charlesworth Basketball
Teresa Te Tamaki Rugby Union
Rebecca Tegg Soccer


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