Victoria sporting students succeed at highest levels

Victoria's supreme athletes and administrators from a variety of sports have been honoured at the 2014 Victoria University Blues Awards.

Blues Awards 2014

The Blues are the highest recognition the University can give to people who have, by their sporting achievements or contribution to sport, brought credit to the institution. They are awarded by the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (VUWSA).

A total of 30 Blues Awards were presented by Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford and VUWSA President Sonya Clark at a function held at the University’s Pipitea Campus in central Wellington.

New Zealand swimming and surf life saving representative Samantha Lee was named Sportsperson of the Year. Samantha, who is completing a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Victoria, has had an outstanding 12 months. She gained two fourth placings at the recent Commonwealth Games in Scotland, fifth and sixth placings at the Pan Pacific Championships in Queensland in August and three first placings at the Oceania Championships in Auckland.

Samantha has also had considerable recent success in Europe, being ranked first female overall at the German Cup in November 2013 and first female overall at the BeNe Cup in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The 2014 title of Māori Sportsperson of the Year went to Chapman Kutia who is ranked number four in junior squash in New Zealand. Chapman is currently completing a Tohu Māoritanga, also known as the Diploma in Māoritanga. His tribal affiliations are Ngāti Porou and Te Aitanga a Māhaki. Chapman has been playing squash competitively since the age of eight. In 2014 he was one of four selected in a squad of nine for the Junior World Championship, which took place in Namibia. He also competed as part of the New Zealand Junior Team in the Trans Tasman Series last year.

The President of Victoria University Rowing Club, Sean Durkin, received the award for Sports Administrator of the Year. Sean, a fourth year law and commerce student, has been club President since 2013 as well as a director of the Wellington Rowing Association. Sean has been heavily involved in coaching and administrating rowing in Wellington for the past four years. He has undertaken fundraising for major Rowing Club assets and also organised a sizable team to participate at the National Championship in Dunedin.

Professor Guilford commended all the recipients of Blues Awards for their dedication and success.

VUWSA is very proud of all recipients, says Sonya. “Their ability to balance degree-level study with outstanding performance in sports is a truly impressive achievement.”

2014 Blues Awards were presented to: 

  • Joanna Judge Basketball (Sport)
  • Daniel Wilson Debating (Administration)
  • Jodie O’Neill Debating (Administration)
  • Asher Emanuel Debating (Sport)
  • Jodie O’Neill Debating (Sport)
  • Nicholas Cross Debating (Sport)
  • Felix Boyce Fencing (Sport)
  • Daniel Clarke Football (Sport)
  • Aleksa Djorovic Handball (Sport)
  • Benedict van Woerkom Hockey (Sport)
  • Cameron Birchall Hockey (Sport)
  • Madeleine Simmonds Hockey (Sport)
  • Luke Watts Rowing (Sport)
  • Whitney Souness Netball (Sport)
  • Sean Durkin Rowing (Administration)
  • Lauren McAndrew Rowing (Sport)
  • Pratik Tailor Shooting (Sport)
  • Patrick Li Squash (Administration)
  • Chapman Kutia Squash (Sport)
  • Emma Robinson Swimming (Sport)
  • Samantha Lee Swimming (Sport)
  • Samantha Lucie-Smith Swimming (Sport)
  • Hamish Thornton Ultimate Frisbee (Sport)
  • Conor Ivory Ultimate Frisbee (Sport)
  • Li Hao Yeoh Ultimate Frisbee (Sport)
  • Miriam Burke Ultimate Frisbee (Sport)
  • Jessica Freeland Underwater Hockey (Administration)
  • Harriet Whitmore Underwater Hockey (Sport)
  • Jack Whiterod Underwater Hockey (Sport)
  • Tristan O’Neale Underwater Hockey (Sport)
  • Euan Wong Lawn Bowls (Sport)