Griffith University’s most remarkable athletes were recognised at the annual Blues Awards for Sporting Excellence at the Gold Coast campus.
The Uni Bar and Functions Centre was packed out with some of the country’s finest sportspeople, who celebrated a big year of competition that included the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Madison de Rozario (GBS) secured the Most Outstanding Sporting Achievement Award for her efforts at the Games, which included gold in the Marathon T54 and 1500m T54 as well as victory in the London Marathon and a world record-equaling time in the 1500m at the World Grand Prix event in Switzerland.
Madison had a busy night joining recently retired international swimmer Jessica Ashwood and triathlete Matt Heuser on stage for an engaging panel discussion about all things sport and study.
Pro Vice Chancellor (Science) Professor Andrew Smith presented the awards, including 52 blues and 42 half blues (pictured at top), as well as the Academic Athlete of the Year for Ella Connolly (Education).
“Tonight is about the celebration of you – Griffith’s student athletes – and acknowledging your achievements on the international stage,” Professor Smith said.
“Congratulations to you all, and I wish you all the very best in 2019 for your sporting and academic endeavours.
“It’s exciting times for Griffith University, and with our sporting partnerships and high-performance programs growing, we look forward to yet another successful year in 2019.”
Athletes at the ceremony included Commonwealth Games gold medal winners, Emma McKeon (Health) Cam McEvoy (science), Domonic Bedggood (GBS), and Matt Hauser (GBS), as well as surf life saving heavyweight Matt Bevilacqua (Education)
In total, 24 Griffith students and 12 alumni competed at the Games, more than twice the number of any other Australian university, and won 24 gold, seven silver and 10 bronze.
Universities have handed out blues awards since 1829, the year of the first boat race between Oxford and Cambridge universities.
The boats were distinguished by light blue and dark blue scarfs tied to their bows; those scarfs inspired the tradition to recognise athletes with a ‘blue’.
A half blue is awarded to those students who represented or competed for their country at a junior age group international event, while a full blue is awarded to senior athletes.