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Blues Awards celebrate sharp and sporty students

Auckland Sportsman of the Year Nick Southgate (Athletics) and Auckland Sportswoman of the Year Deena Franklin (Basketball). Photo credit: Kendra Eden Photography.

The annual Blues Awards were held this week at Massey University’s Auckland and Manawatū campuses to commend high-achieving student athletes.

The awards recognise students who have excelled in both the sporting world, and academically. Some of New Zealand’s most prized athletes were amongst the recipients at the awards this week.

Tall Fern Deena Franklin was awarded Auckland Sportswoman of the Year. A stellar year continues for Ms Franklin, after winning bronze with her team mates at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

The Master of Food Technology student is hoping to finish her studies this year to become a qualified Food Technician, but her plans don’t stop there. “Training begins in February where our goal is to qualify for the 2019 Olympics in Tokyo.”

She adds, “As a post-graduate student Massey have been great in assisting those of us who have busy schedules, making it possible to manage studies with sport.”

Auckland Sportsman of the Year recipient Nick Southgate currently sits as New Zealand’s top men’s pole vaulter. Mr Southgate received a gold medal at the 2018 National Championships, and joined the New Zealand athletics team at the Commonwealth Games in Australia earlier this year, and his summer athletics season is just beginning, leading up to his third and final World University Games in 2019.

On top of his athletic accomplishments, Mr Southgate is also studying towards a Bachelor of Construction. “Juggling study with sport isn’t easy, but Massey have been pretty awesome allowing students like me to mix both.”

Former Black Cap and Massey University sport advancement manager Jacob Oram was the guest speaker at the Auckland ceremony held last night. The combined Manawatū and Wellington ceremony was held earlier in the week at Massey’s Manawatū campus, where former rugby player and Highlanders personal development manager Mark Ranby was the guest speaker.

The group of Blues winners this year, from the Manawatū and Wellington campuses.

Manawatū and Wellington students awarded

Manawatū Sportswoman of the Year was awarded to Anona Pak, New Zealand’s current badminton champion in mixed and women’s doubles. Ms Pak was the recipient of a bronze medal at this year’s Oceania Championships and reached the women's doubles quarterfinals at the 2018 Australian Open.

Ms Pak was unable to attend but said in a written statement: “There were many ups and downs throughout my years of studying, and I am very thankful for Tamara, Kashif, Chris, my lecturers, and everyone else who had helped me at the Academy of Sport and at Massey… I had doubts whether Badminton and studying could go hand in hand, and being in the Academy of Sport has proven that it can.”

Manawatū Sportsman of the Year was awarded to Mac Wilcox, who in 2017 debuted as a striker for the New Zealand Men’s Blacksticks team at just 20 years old and represented the Blacksticks at the Oceania Cup in 2017, finishing second.

Mr Wilcox was also unable to attend the event but said in a written statement: “Thank you to Massey University for supporting all the athletes pursuing their sporting dreams alongside their studies. Without the support of Massey I wouldn’t be where I am today."

Rugby Sevens Black Ferns member Tyla Nathan-Wong was awarded Distance Sportswoman of the Year. The Bachelor of Sport and Exercise student represented New Zealand at this year’s Commonwealth Games and took home gold. She holds the title of the second highest point scorer at the Rugby World Cup Sevens Series 2018, and was part of record breaking history as her team became the first New Zealand team to claim back-to-back titles.

Distance Sportsman of the Year was presented to Blackstick Nic Woods. The Bachelor of Business student has represented New Zealand in Hockey for a whopping 83 caps. The mid-fielder played every match at this year’s Commonwealth Games, earning him and his team a silver medal.

Congratulations to all Massey Blues recipients for their hard work, dedication and commitment to their sporting and academic achievements in 2018.

The Auckland Blues recipients. Photo credit: Kendra Eden Photography.

2018 Massey Blues Awards Recipients:

Aerobic Gymnastics: Hannah Wilton; Archery: Hannah Hawley, Elizabeth Randle; Athletics: Natalie Booth, Olivia Eaton, Hamish Gill, Alexandra Hyland, Hamish Kerr, Ben Langton Burnell, Kara Macdermid, Nick Southgate, Pavinee Watson, Zoe Hobbs; Badminton: Anona Pak; Basketball: Deena Franklin, Matthew O’Connell; BMX: Trent Jones; Canoe Polo: Liam Bowden; Canoe Slalom: Finn Butcher, Benjamin Gibb; Canoe Sprint: Tim Waller, Danielle Watson; Cricket: Georgie Atkinson, Ma’ara Ave, Lauren Down, Melissa Hansen, Shawn Hicks, Felix Murray, Robbie O’Donnell, Michael Rae, Hannah Rowe, Thomas Walshe, Michael Bracewell, Cam Fletcher; Cycling: Regan Gough, Kristie Klingenberg, Luke Mudgway, Deborah Paine, Elizabeth Stannard; Duathlon: Christian Davey; Equestrian: Sophie Alexander, Emily Fraser, Abigail Long, Melody Matheson, Elise Power, Brigitte Smith, Georgia Massie: Fencing: Jessica Gracie; Football: Catherine Bott, Meikayla Moore, Ria Percival, Aimee Flavia, Paige Satchell; Futsal: Ben Ravenwood; Hockey: Robbie Capizzi, Robert Creffier, Anna Crowley, Benji Edwards, Renee Allan, Cherie Golding, Ella Gunson, Blair Hilton, Tessa Jopp, Rose Keddell, Clodagh McCullough, Pippa Norman, Mitchell Ottow, Megan Phillips, Ella Poole-Crowe, Kelsey Smith, Liz Thompson, Louisa Tuilotolava, Mac Wilcox, Hannah Williamson, Madeleine Williamson, Nic Woods, Sam Garrett Lane; Indoor Cricket: Melissa Hansen; Judo: Finn Brown, Lewis Peart; Lacrosse: Alannah Mouat; Mountain Biking: Samara Sheppard; Netball: Stephanie Collins, Maia Wilson; Olympic Weightlifting: Samantha Hansen, Richard Jones; Para-Cycling: Hannah van Kampen; Para-Swimming: Chris Arbuthnott; Racketlon: Sion Wiggin; Rowing: Taryn Abel, Georgia Allen, Hannah Bailey, Nicola Baker, Tom Clyma, Brooke Donoghue, Hugo Elworthy, Nathan Flannery, Jackie Gowler, Kerri Gowler, Zoe McBride, Georgia Perry, Grace Prendergast, Giacomo Thomas, Phillip Wilson; Rugby: Kaitlin Bates, Tim Cadwallader, Simon Hickey, Jamie Mackintosh, Andrew McDougall, Marcelle Parkes, Robin Praat, Pia Tapsell, Sydnee Wilkins, Mark Jackman; Rugby Sevens: Tyla Nathan-Wong, Marcelle Parkes, Pia Tapsell; Skating: Brooke Esther Tamepo; Skiing: Janina Kuzma; Squash: Sion Wiggin; Surf Life Saving: Liam Bowden, Olivia Eaton, Jessica Miller, Natalie Peat Georgia Rathbone, Cory Taylor, Andrew Trembath; Swimming: Kelsi Boocock, Daniel Hunter, Joshua McCormack-Goeth, Callum Prime, Emma Robinson, George Schroder, Matt Scott, Andrew Trembath; Taekwondo: Jack Francois; Tennis: Marina Erakovic, Claudia Williams; Triathlon: Simone Ackermann, David Martin, Liam Ward; Ultimate Disk: Megan Edwards, Bianca Mercer, Tristan Mercer, Keegan Miskimmin, Elizabeth Thompson, Vaughan Wilson; Volleyball: Hugh Hawkey; Waterpolo: Brandon Matthews; Yachting: Andrew McKenzie.

Massey University Sport Recognition Award:

Diving: Cordelia Norris

Ultimate Disc: Keegan Miskimmin.


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