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Blues Awards recognise high-achieving student athletes

Netballer Maia Wilson was presented with the Manawatū Sportswoman of the Year award last year.

Manawatū Sportsman of the Year Finn Brown (Judo).

2017 Auckland Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Aaron
Booth (athletics) and Tessa Jopp (hockey).

Finalists for the Massey University Blues Sports Awards - the highest sporting accolade given in the New Zealand tertiary education system - have been announced.

The University is presenting 154 Blues to high-achieving students who have excelled in their specialised fields. Eight students are receiving awards for competing in two sports.

This year will also see two student athletes receive a Sport Recognition Award – a new award to recognise high achievers in sport who are not athletes, (for example managers, coaches, referees). They must have achieved at the same level as an individual athlete would to receive a Blues Award.

The combined Manawatū and Wellington ceremony will be hosted at the Sport and Rugby Institute at the Manawatū campus on October 16.

The guest speaker on the night will be Mark Ranby. Known for his long-standing career in rugby, Mr Ranby represented the Manawatū, Central Vikings and Waikato rugby teams as well as played for the Hurricanes during 1997-98 and the Chiefs until 2006. Mr Ranby played one international game with the All Blacks against Samoa in 2001, and is now the personal development manager with the Highlanders.

The Auckland ceremony will be held at the Auckland campus on October 18, where former Black Cap and Massey University sport advancement manager Jacob Oram will be the guest speaker.

Mr Oram, who is from Palmerston North and graduated from Massey in 2015 with a Bachelor of Business Studies after studying via distance, made a name for himself as a cricketing all-rounder. He played 229 internationals, and became one of only six New Zealanders to reach the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in one-day internationals.

The awards also recognise distance learning students and how their aspirations reflect the University’s reputation for being well suited to those playing high performance sport that typically comes with a fast-paced and travel-heavy lifestyle. In 2011 Massey was proud to have been named the first athlete-friendly university by High Performance Sport New Zealand.

And the finalists are …

Manawatū and Wellington Campus Sportswoman of the Year finalists:

Hannah Hawley – Archery

Anona Pak – Badminton

Hannah Rowe – Cricket

Samantha Hansen – Olympic Weightlifting


Manawatū and Wellington Campus Sportsman of the Year finalists:

Hamish Kerr – Athletics

Matthew O’Connell – Basketball

Liam Bowden – Canoe Polo and Surf Lifesaving

Felix Murray – Cricket

Mac Wilcox – Hockey

Finn Brown – Judo


Massey University Auckland Campus Sportswoman of the Year finalists:

Zoe Hobbs – Athletics

Deena Franklin – Basketball

Lauren Down – Cricket

Jessica Gracie – Fencing

Paige Satchell – Football


Massey University Auckland Campus Sportsman of the Year finalists:

Nick Southgate – Athletics

Benji Edwards – Hockey

Richard Jones – Olympic Weightlifting

Chris Arbuthnott – Para-Swimming

Matt Scott – Swimming


Massey University Distance Sportswoman of the Year finalists:

Kirstie Klingenberg – Cycling

Ella Gunson – Hockey

Rose Keddell – Hockey

Kelsey Smith – Hockey

Liz Thompson – Hockey

Brooke Donoghue – Rowing

Tyla Nathan-Wong – Rugby Sevens


Massey University Distance Sportsman of the Year finalists:

Ben Langton Burnell – Athletics

Finn Butcher – Canoe Slalom

Regan Gough – Cycling

Nic Woods – Hockey

Jamie Mackintosh – Rugby

Cory Taylor – Surf Lifesaving

Massey has a proud sporting history, including the establishment of the Academy of Sport which opened in 2006. It enables athletes to work with High Performance Coordinators, who provide individually-tailored support to assist with academic planning alongside sport commitments. 

With a combination of on-campus, distance or mix-mode study options, and the choice of either full-time or part-time study, athletes can fit their study around their sporting commitments so they are able to participate on the international sporting stage.

To attend the Blues Awards click here.

Manawatū Event details

Time: 6pm – pre- award drinks followed by Award presentations and dinner

Date: Tuesday October 16

Location: Sport and Rugby Institute, Massey University, 56 Albany Drive, Palmerston North

Host: Head of School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition Associate Professor Andrew Foskett


Auckland Event details

Time: 6.00 pm Award presentations, entertainment, drinks and canapes

Date: Thursday October 18

Location: Atrium Round Room, Gate One, Massey University Auckland campus in Albany

Host: Former sports broadcaster Hamish McKay

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