Blues award winners announced in Manawatū 

Left: High Performance Coordinators Vicki Hudson and Kashif Shuja pose for a photo with Manawatū campus sportswoman of the year Anona Pak.

Badminton’s Anona Pak and sprinter Alex Jordan were named Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year at the Blues Sports Awards at Massey University’s Manawatū campus on last night.

Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science student and badminton star Anona Pak was a shoe-in for her award, competing at the Sky City NZ Open this year, and also the Waikato International, winning the Women's and Mixed Doubles. While athletics star Alex Jordan earned his award with a mammoth effort at the 2016 New Zealand Track and Field Championships, placing first in the Open Men’s 200m and third in the Open Men’s 100m.

The annual Blues Sports Awards, now in their 26th year, celebrate a line up of some of New Zealand’s top sportsmen and women. This year 135 Blues Awards are going to 132 student-athletes, with the remainder of the awards to be announced in Auckland tonight. 

University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey said, “tonight we have both outstanding athletes and outstanding students, you’re all here not just because of sport, but because your intelligent as well. This programme allows you to go into great careers, not just in sport, but in other areas as well.”

2016 Manawatū Massey Blues Awards Recipients.

The best of the best

Distance Sportswoman of the Year: Luuka Jones

Bachelor of Business student and 2016 Olympic silver medallist Luuka Jones was unable to attend and will accept her award at the Albany event. Luuka won her silver medal in the Women's K1 at the Rio Olympic Games – her third Olympics.

Distance Sportsman of the Year: Corey Peters

Paralympic alpine skier and psychology student Corey Peters was unable to attend and it was accepted on his behalf. In October last year he was named Adaptive Athlete of the Year and Overall Skiier of the Year at the annual Snow Sports NZ Awards. During the 2015-2016 season Peters won multiple medals at the IPC World Cups in Super-G and Downhill events, finishing the World Cup Series in first place overall for Super-G and second place overall for downhill. 

Women's team of the year: Massey Netball Team

With many regional representative players from Manawatū, Dunedin, Counties-Manukau and Wanganui, the Massey A1 team made the finals of the Premiership for the first time in 21 years going undefeated until the final whistle. 

Men's team of the year: Varsity Men's Rugby Team

Having beaten the favourites, Old Boys Marist, in the dying moments of the semi-final, Varsity A went on to defeat Kia Toa in the 2016 Manawatū Club Rugby final to claim the Hankins Shield for the first time since 2013. On their way to glory, Varsity A won 12 of their 18 games. 

Outstanding Contribution Award: Peter Anderson

This award is presented to volunteers, coaches and supporters of sport who have contributed years of service to Massey sport.

Anderson entered Massey University fresh out of New Plymouth Boys’ High School and studied a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. Whilst a student Anderson played rugby for the Massey University Rugby Football Club for five years. In later life, when his career brought him back to Palmerston North, he re-joined the Massey Rugby Club as an administrator where he has made a substantial contribution to the club off the field.

A word from last year’s champion

Athletes heard a hilarious speech from guest speaker Hamish Kerr, New Zealand high jumper and last year’s Manawatū Campus Sportsman of the Year. Kerr took the crowd through last season’s injury, the perils of preparation and the importance of thanking friends and family.

“As athletes, we have to look after our bodies, right now we’re very young. If you have to take one season off for the rest of your career, it’s worth doing. When you accept your award, enjoy your success, but thank your coaches, your family and your administrators,” Kerr said.

Kerr is currently preparing for the season ahead where he is aiming to qualify for the World University Games, held next year in Taipei.

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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