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Karate star Tia wins highest sporting accolade

Karate star Tia wins highest sporting accolade

The University of Auckland has named karate champion Tia Tuiburelevu as its Sportswoman of the Year 2016.

She joins the likes of pole vaulter Eliza McCartney and Black Stick George Muir as the recipient of a prestigious University of Auckland Blues Award.

Tia received the accolade at the 2016 Blues Awards Ceremony on September 22, which is held annually to recognise students who achieve in Sports, the Arts and Service and Leadership.

21-year-old Tia, from Torbay on Auckland’s North Shore, was selected for the New Zealand karate team for the XVII Oceania Karate Championships and won two silver medals at the World Go-ju Ryu Karate Championships in the female senior kumite and team kumite classes.

She is potentially looking at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a future goal and is also pursuing two degrees, a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Honours).

Tia thanked the University for supporting her in the pursuit of her chosen sport.

“It is such an honour, such an unexpected honour considering the people I’m around, such as Eliza McCartney, other Olympians, I’m so humbled,” she says.

Kickboxing and Taekwondo champion Riley Phillips-Harris was named Sportsman of the Year. The Māori Sportsperson of the year was New Zealand record breaking hurdler Joshua Hawkins (Ngāti Tamatera).

The Blues Awards are part of a tradition from England, where the blue colours of Oxford and Cambridge Universities came to symbolise sporting excellence. While a Blues Award has traditionally been a sporting accolade, the University of Auckland also recognises Arts and Service and Leadership.

In total, 152 awards will be bestowed at the event, hosted by Mike McRoberts from TV3. Students will be recognised for a wide range of pursuits from Kapa Haka and poetry, to the card game bridge and the sport of polocrosse.

Editor’s notes:

About the Blues Awards

A University Blue is the highest accolade to be earned at a Tertiary level, traditionally awarded for excellence in a sporting code. The award originated from the rivalry of the Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge universities in England, where the navy blue Oxford and light blue Cambridge flags displayed by the crews became a symbol of the competition between the two prestigious universities. The University of Auckland has extended the Blues Awards beyond sports to include exceptional achievement in the Arts and in Service and Leadership categories.

Read more at: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/for/current-students/cs-life-at-auckland/blues-awards/2016-blues-winners.html


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