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Blues Awards go virtual

Blues winners 2019 - Manawatū

Blues Award winners at the 2019 event in Manawatū.

After the cancellation of last year’s Blues Awards due to Covid-19, Massey University is celebrating the 2020 and 2021 finalists and winners online this year.

Next week, the virtual event will see more than 200 athletes receive awards, and the announcement of the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards. Blues are awarded to high-achieving students who have also excelled in their sporting codes, recognising students from all campuses, as well as those studying via distance. This year will also see the introduction of a Supreme Award – a new award presented to one of the major award winners on the night.

Across the two years, 222 student athletes will receive Blues, with 312 trophies and pins being awarded consisting of 113 trophies for first time Blues recipients, and 199 pins for athletes getting an award for a second or subsequent year. Six athletes are receiving Blues for their performance competing in two different sports.

The guest speakers this year are Blackstick and Bachelor of Business student Nic Woods and Football Fern and Bachelor of Sport Management student Paige Satchell. Nic attended both the Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games and is currently overseas on a hockey contract, and doing some work experience to support the completion of his degree. Paige attended the Tokyo Olympics and has a professional contract with Canberra United to play in the W-League in Australia.

Massey University High Performance Coordinator Tamara Scott-Valath says it’s really special to be able to recognise the achievements of the student athletes, after such a tumultuous time.

“This year is obviously different with the pandemic affecting both domestic and international sporting competitions, limiting opportunities for athletes to travel and compete at a high level within the relevant period for our Blues Sports Awards.

“Last year we made the decision to cancel our awards ceremonies due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, so it’s really exciting to have a new virtual format this year to be able to celebrate all our recipients and major award winners. A major added benefit with the online event is that we’re able to include all our campuses in one event, and our recipients who are based in other areas of New Zealand or overseas that can’t usually attend a function on campus, can join in regardless of their location.”

Ms Scott-Valath says the fact the students are able to perform at such a high level in their sport, while successfully completing their studies, is an incredible accomplishment.

“Each year as we undertake the nomination and selection process for our Blues recipients, I’m reminded just how amazing these individuals are – reading through their sporting achievements and seeing their academic achievements shows just how determined and dedicated they all are to achieving their goals.”

Event details

Date: Wednesday, October 13

Time: 6.00pm

Live stream online – to attend the live stream please register here.


2021 Finalists

Distance Sportsman of the Year

Regan Gough – Cycling

Tom McKintosh – Rowing

Zac Reid – Swimming and Surf Life Saving

Ben Waine – Football

Phillip Wilson – Rowing


Distance Sportswoman of the Year

Justine Bishop – Judo

Lisa Carrington – Canoe Sprint

Brooke Donoghue – Rowing

Kerri Gowler – Rowing


Campus Sportsman of the Year

Joseph Gavigan – Rugby

Connor Greentree – Hockey

Edward Lau – Badminton

Brad McNaughton – Rugby

Ben Strang – Rugby

James Thompson – Snowboarding

Charl Ulrich – Hockey


Campus Sportswoman of the Year

Kirsten Fisher-Marsters – Swimming

Stacey Fluhler – Rugby Sevens and Rugby

Erica Gatland – Rock Climbing

Zoe Hobbs – Athletics

Phoenix Reid – Artistic Roller Skating


2020 Finalists

Distance Sportsman of the Year

Finn Butcher – Canoe Slalom

Marcus Daniell – Tennis

Regan Gough – Cycling

Stefan Marinovic – Football

Rhys Marshall – Rugby

Nic Woods – Hockey


Distance Sportswoman of the Year

Brooke Donoghue – Rowing

Kerri Gowler – Rowing

Jessie Hodges – Cycling

Juliana Hung – Golf

Amelia Kerr – Cricket

Olivia McTaggart – Athletics

Meikayla Moore – Football

Tyla Nathan-Wong – Rugby Sevens

Grace Prendergast - Rowing


Manawatū Campus Sportsman of the Year

Sam Bentham – Triathlon

Finn Brown – Judo

Ray Toole – Cricket

Te Rangatira Waitokia – Rugby


Manawatū Campus Sportswoman of the Year

Jessica Burgess-Smith – Target Shooting

Meaghan Reesby – Target Shooting

Maia Wilson – Netball


Auckland Campus Sportsman of the Year

Chris Arbuthnott – Para-swimming

Connor Greentree – Hockey

Edward Lau – Badminton

Brandon Matthews – Waterpolo

Charl Ulrich – Hockey


Auckland Campus Sportswoman of the Year

Lauren Down – Cricket

Brooke Tamepo – Ice Figure Skating

Pia Tapsell – Rugby

Hannah Wilton – Aerobic Gymnastics

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