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Olympians shine at Blues Awards

Thursday, October 13, 2016
Olympians shine at Blues Awards

More than 100 people attended the annual Blues Awards at Massey University’s Auckland campus last night, to honour top student athletes.

The annual awards now in their 26th year, included a star-studded line up of some of New Zealand’s top sportsmen and women, including a number of Olympic medallists.

Rio silver medallist Luuka Jones, who is studying a Bachelor of Business, was awarded the Distance Sportswoman of the Year. Jones won silver in the Women's K1 at the Rio Olympic Games - her third Olympics. She has also represented New Zealand at World Cup events and is the current New Zealand Champion for Open and Senior Women K1.

After accepting her award, the 27-year-old said it was a privilege to win a Blues Award. “It’s really fantastic to be able to study and do sport full time. It’s quite a special thing to be so well supported, to be able to sit exams overseas is really great. I have friends whose university’s aren’t as supportive, or they just simply can’t study because they don’t have extramural programmes like we do, so it’s a bit of a game changer.”

Jones is already eyeing up the Tokyo Olympics. “I am keen to keep paddling to Tokyo. There is a lot more I want to achieve in sport, so I am just trying to get back in to training again, which is a bit hard!”

With just four papers left in her business degree, Jones wants to take on further study too. “I want to start studying psychology. I think it’s really useful to have both degrees. Business has been really useful in my sport, because sport is like a business, and psychology just really interests me.

“I have realised how important the mental side of sport is, so to pursue that as a career, and put everything I have learnt into my future and be able to help other people, that really excites me,” Jones said.

Paralympic alpine skier and psychology student Corey Peters was awarded the Distance Sportsman of the Year, for the second year in a row. The Bachelor of Arts student was last year named Adaptive Athlete of the Year and Overall Skier of the Year at the annual Snow Sports NZ Awards. Peters is currently training in Wanaka and was unable to attend the event.

Black Sticks hockey player Samantha Charlton was awarded the Auckland Sportswoman of the Year Award. The 24-year-old graduated earlier this year with a Graduate Diploma in Science. She competed at the Rio Olympics, and also played for Midlands National Hockey League. Charlton has nearly 200 caps for New Zealand. Charlton was also out of the country and unable to accept her award in person.

First-year Bachelor of Business student Hayden Phillips won the Auckland Sportsman of the Year Award. The 18-year-old debuted for the Men’s Black Sticks hockey team in March this year, and continued on to be a valuable member of the team at the Rio Olympics. Phillips, one of the youngest Blues winners this year, gave a short acceptance speech, thanking those who have helped him on and off the hockey field.

Former sports broadcaster Hamish McKay hosted the event, with Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey commending the student athletes for their inspirational attitudes to life. “You are not only fantastic athletes, to get a Blue you must be both a great athlete and smart. You have to be able to carry a study load as well as achieve at a national or international level if you are going to be able to call yourself a Blue. It’s not easy.”

Mr Maharey says Massey takes its athlete friendly status very seriously. “Our staff are absolutely committed to our athletes. They go that extra mile to ensure you can study, that your lecturers are flexible, that we work with you to make sure you achieve the right standards, but do it in a way that fits in with your training and competition.”

2016 Massey Blues Awards Recipients:

Adaptive Alpine Ski Racing: Corey Peters; Archery: Cheree Kinnear; Athletics: Daniel Dyet, Alex Jordan, Ben Langton Burnell, Lucy Oliver, Deborah Paine, Jordan Peters, Aaron Booth, Palu Fia, Hamish Gill, Quin Hartley; Badminton: Anona Pak, Christopher Sharrock; Basketball: Tom Abercrombie, Josh Bloxham; BMX racing: Matthew Cameron; Canoe Polo: Sian Fendall; Canoe: Zachary Quickenden; Canoe Slalom: Haylee-Rose Dangen, Malcolm Gibson, Callum Gilbert, Luuka Jones; Cricket: Hannah Rowe, Christopher Sharrock; Cycling: Rushlee Buchanan, Cameron Karwowski, Stephanie McKenzie, Simon van Velthooven, Regan Gough, Elizabeth Steel; Equestrian: Lauren Alexander, Bonnie Farrant, Abigail Long, Tayla Mason, Catherine West, Francesca da Souza-Silver, Caitlyn Horton; Fencing: Stephanie Wyllie; Football: Abby Erceg, Erin Nayler, Ria Percival, Kirsty Yallop, Isabella Coombes, Emma Kete, Meikayla Moore; Hockey: Johanna Avery, Robbie Capizzi, Samantha Charlton, Michaela Curtis, Amelia Gibson, Blair Hilton, Stephen Jenness, Rose Keddell, Julia King, Sanjay Lala, Mick Lammers, Pippa Norman, Alex Shaw, Lara Williams, Georgia Barnett, Sean Crook, Benjamin Edwards, Kathryn Henry, Hayden Phillips, Kelsey Smith, Mac Wilcox, Hannah Wiliamson, Nic Woods, Mitchell Ottow; Jiu-jitsu: Chevron Te Whetumatarau Hassett, Airana Ngarewa; Netball: Olivia Tilyard, Brooke Leaver; Para-cycling: Laura Thompson; Rowing: Alistair Bond, Toby Cunliffe-Steel, Brooke Donoghue, Julia Edward, Nathan Flannery, Sarah Gray, Lewis Hollows, James Hunter, Claudia Hyde, Sophie MacKenzie, Zoe McBride, Grace Pendergast, Lucy Spoors, Hannah Bailey, Kerri Gowler, Hugh Pawson, Curtis Rapley, Ruby Tew, Samantha Voss; Rugby: Tim Cadwallader, Nick Grogan, James King, Sam Malcolm, Rhys Marshall, Robin Praat, Keri Hayden; Rugby Sevens: Keri Hayden; Sailing: Polly Powrie, Erica Dawson, Andrew McKenzie; Skiing: Janina Kuzma; Shooting: Rachael van Bysterveldt; Squash: Sion Wiggin, Ben Calvert; Surf Life Saving: Benjamin Robert Cochrane, Natalie Peat, Laura Quilter, Jessica Miller; Swimming: Mary Fisher, Blake Gunn, Penelope Hayes, Laura Quilter, Charlotte Webby, Julian Weir, Jacob Garrod, Joshua McCormack-Goeth, George Schroder, Andrew Trembath; Tennis: Matthew Alexander, Claudia Williams; Triathlon: Will O'Connor, Christian Davey, Jaimee Leader, David Martin, Nicole van der Kaay; Underwater Hockey: Georgia Child; Ultimate Frisbee: Tamsin Fitzgerald; Water Polo: Anton Sunde, Ema Carevic; Weightlifting: Mathew Madsen.

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