Olympic qualifier and VBS student wins top University sports award

Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifier and 2018 Junior Māori Sportsman of the Year World Swimming Championships bronze medallist Lewis Clareburt has won Sportsperson of the Year at the 2019 Victoria University of Wellington sports awards.

VUWSA president with Lewis clareburt with cup, and VC Grant guilford
VUWSA President Tamatha Paul, Lewis Clareburt, and Vice Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford

For a second year running, Bachelor of Commerce student Lewis Clareburt has been awarded the Sportsperson of the Year and Māori Sportsperson of the Year Blues Awards for his national record-breaking international sporting achievements in swimming.

Presented annually in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (VUWSA), the Blues Awards are the highest sporting accolade the University can give to students who have brought credit to the institution through their sporting achievements or contribution to sport.

Sixty-three awards were presented to the University’s top athletes, sports clubs and administrators at last night’s ceremony.

In July at the World Swimming Championships in South Korea, Lewis swum the race of his life to claim a bronze medal in the 400 metres Individual Medley. In doing so, Lewis took more than two seconds off the national record and was the first New Zealander to win a medal at the event since 2015. Lewis also qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Lewis is of Tainui descent.

Clark Samuel was named Pasifika Sportsperson of the Year.

Clark is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws. Clark was a member of the New Zealand Men’s U24 Underwater Hockey Team, who placed third at the 2019 Age Group World Championships in August.

Sports Club of the Year went to Victoria University of Wellington Athletics Club.

Over the past year, the Victoria University of Wellington Athletics Club has grown to become one of the best performing harrier clubs in Wellington, with some standout team and individual performances. Last year, they were winners of the Melrose Shield Track & Field competition. In the same month they achieved 3rd place in the Senior Men’s Open Grade at the National Road Relays. In May this year they organised the University Relay event, in which over 80 teams from across Wellington competed. The Club has also worked hard to welcome newcomers and achieve excellent attendance at their weekly club runs, with numbers ranging between 20 and 60—more than ever before!

Christopher Sole was named Sports Administrator of the Year.

Christopher is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Commerce. Over the last two years, he has restarted the Victoria University Tennis Club and sustained around 150 members in his capacity as President. He has worked with a range of stakeholders to build the club’s visibility and momentum, running social weekly sessions with strong attendance and organising coaching demonstrations. Christopher has also been heavily involved and instrumental in the success of his community Tennis Club who have achieved outstanding success over the last year, including Sport Wellington’s Club of the Year award in 2019.

The 2019 Victoria University of Wellington Blues Award recipients:

Sportsperson of the Year and Māori Sportsperson of the Year

Lewis Clareburt for swimming

Pasifika Sportsperson of the Year

Clark Samuel for underwater hockey

Sports Club of the Year

Victoria University of Wellington Athletics Club

Sports Administrator of the Year

Christopher Sole, Victoria University of Wellington Tennis Club

Blue Awards

  • Ainsleyana Puleiata
  • Alistair Ford
  • Amy Foreman
  • Angus Hazelton
  • Ben Paviour-Smith
  • Ben Wade
  • Bianca Nagaiya
  • Caleb Delany
  • Clark Samuel
  • Conner Simes
  • Courtney Stone
  • Dylan Sharma
  • Emily Williams
  • Erin Roxburgh-Makea
  • Estelle Macadré
  • Francesca Grange
  • Grace McLean
  • Hannah Taylor
  • Harry Hornabrook
  • James Preston
  • James Sales
  • Jordan Cohen
  • Katie Cory-Wright
  • Katie Barrott
  • Lewis Clareburt
  • Libby Bradley
  • Lisa Yue
  • Maddy Nash
  • Madeleine Hazelton
  • Max Ruffell
  • Michael Sole
  • Milly Douglas
  • Mohsen Maddah
  • Nathan Tse
  • Paddy Carter
  • Rebecca Lynch
  • Seamus Anderson Kane
  • Sean Beresford
  • Shakked Noy
  • Shamus Langton
  • Stella Bismark
  • Stephanie Lynch
  • Stephen Harding
  • Tiaki Fabish
  • Toby Gualter
  • Tom Martin
  • William Stables

Sports Club Blue Awards

  • Victoria University Cheerleading Club (The Vipers)
  • Wellington College Old Boys & Victoria University of Wellington Rugby Football Club (OBU)
  • Victoria University of Wellington Tennis Club
  • Victoria University Rowing Club
  • Victoria University of Wellington Athletics Club
  • Victoria University Netball Club (Team Vic Netball)

Sports Administration Blue Awards

  • Aleisha Amohia
  • Christopher Sole
  • Li Hao Yeoh
  • Mohsen Maddah
  • Amy Foreman