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Victoria celebrates highest level of sporting success


Victoria celebrates highest level of sporting success

Last night Victoria University of Wellington and Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) celebrated the Victoria University Blues Awards, the highest recognition the university can give to people who have, by their sporting achievements or contribution to sport, brought credit to the university.

59 Blues Awards were presented by Victoria University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Grant Guilford, and VUWSA’s President, Jonathan Gee, held at the university’s Kelburn campus in Wellington.

Kyle Pontifex was named the 2016 Sportsperson of the Year.

Kyle is completing a Master’s of Business Administration at Victoria. In the past year Kyle has represented New Zealand in the Black Sticks – New Zealand’s Hockey team – as part of the Oceania Cup, Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, and various home tests. Kyle was also a crucial member of the Capital National Hockey League Men’s team in the winning 2015 season; and is a current member in the Capital National Hockey League Men’s 2016 team.

Joanah Ngan-Woo was awarded the 2016 Pasifika Sportsperson of the Year.

Joanah is a recent Samoa representative in the Manu Sina women’s Sevens team and New Zealand representative at the World University Sevens Tournament. Currently completing a Bachelor of Arts at Victoria, Joanah plays for the Oriental Rongotai Rugby Club and is a member of the Wellington Women’s Pride Rugby team.

Wanaka Noanoa was awarded the 2016 Māori Sportsperson of the Year.

Currently studying a Bachelor of Law and Commerce at Victoria, in the past year Wanaka has been a representative of the Wellington Under 19 Softball team and the New Zealand Under 19 Junior White Sox Softball team. She also coaches netball, and her tribal affiliation is Ngāti Porou.

Brooke Walker was named the 2016 Sports Administrator of the Year.

Brooke, Victoria’s Rowing Club Captain, is completing a Bachelor of Economics and Finance at Victoria. She has been instrumental in the rebrand of the club, and is one of the three lead coaches for the Wellington College Rowing Club programme and the lead coach of the Wellington College Rowing Club’s junior squad. Brooke has completed two Rowing New Zealand coaching modules, and is the sole University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand Student-Athlete Commission, Victoria University representative.

Professor Guilford commended all the recipients of Blues Awards for their dedication and success.

‘Last night’s recipients have joined an exclusive club of Victoria Blues Award winners, which includes All Blacks Graham Mourie, Victor Vito and Conrad Smith; All White Simon Elliott; World Mountain Running Champ Kate McIlroy; Hockey Black Stick Suzie Muirhead; and of course our Olympians—Ian Ferguson, Natasha Hind, Matthew Coad, Richard Joyce, and our newest Olympians—Emma Robinson, who swam in the Summer Games at Rio, and sprinter Liam Malone.’

Gee says VUWSA is very proud to work in partnership with Victoria to recognise our top athletes.

‘These awards give us the opportunity to acknowledge students who have achieved outstanding sporting success through hard-work and dedication, while successfully balancing their academic responsibilities of assignments, tutorials, labs and lectures.

‘Their ability to balance degree-level study with outstanding performance in sports is an incredible achievement.’

Blues Awards’ winners were chosen by representatives from Victoria University, VUWSA and Sport New Zealand. The Blues Panel selected winners based on how well they met strict Blues Awards criteria across each category.

The guest speaker for the evening was U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, Mark Gilbert – a former major-league baseball player, turned businessperson, turned diplomat.

2016 Blues Awards were presented to:

Adam Burrows for Futsal
Aleksa Djorovic for Handball (Administration)
Alex Brodie for Futsal
Brook Walker for Rowing (Administration)
Cameron Webber for Futsal
Clark Samuel for Underwater Hockey
Daniel Davis for Ultimate
Elizabeth Goulden for Rugby
Eva Weatherall for Ultimate
Finn Stenner-Corbishley for Futsal
Grace Seeley for Hockey and Cross Triathlon
Hamish Thornton for Ultimate
Harriet McFetridge for Hockey
Jack Gilpin for Rowing
Jacob Matson for Athletics
James Preston for Athletics
Jess Fair for Small-bore Rifle Shooting
Jess Kerr for Cricket
Joanah Ngan-Woo for Rugby
Kiriwera Nepia-Su’a for Indoor Netball
Kyle Pontifex for Hockey
Li Yeoh for Ultimate
Maddie Palmer for Rowing (Administration)
Maddy Nash for debating
Maddy Nash for Debating (Administration)
Madeleine Aiken for Underwater hockey
Madeleine Hazleton for Handball
Madeleine Stephen for Handball
Matthew Davies for Lacrosse
Max Brown for Sprint Kayaking
Max Ruffell for Hockey
Monique Dalley for Handball
Nathan Oakley for Rowing
Navin Patel for Cricket
Nick Bielby for Ultimate
Ollie Logan for Hockey
Oscar Battell-Wallace for Debating (Administration)
Qais Fawzi for Futsal
Richard Boag for Rugby (Administration)
Richard Kay for Underwater Hockey
Rosemary Cockle for Cricket
Ross Little for Small-bore Rifle Shooting
Royden Smith for Futsal
Ruby Meagher for Debating (Administration)
Ryan Hunt for Mountain biking
Satch Pryor for Rugby League
Sauimoana Solia for Rugby
Shingo Ina for Futsal
Sian Moffitt for Rock Climbing
Sophia Johnston for Volleyball
Tai Barham for Futsal
Tamara Jenkin for Debating (Administration)
Thomas Curtis for Ultimate
Thomas Withnall for Futsal
Tristan Gregory-Hunt for Rowing
Tyler Titov-Smith for Ultimate
Vincent McQueen for Ultimate
Wai Ling Chan for Fencing
Wanaka Noanoa for Softball


Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) is a student-run, student-led organisation, independent from Victoria University. From representing students’ interests at all levels of university, through to providing services, events and support, we help make sure Victoria University students’ experience is the best it can be. We exist for a better Victoria University and a better Wellington City.

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