The annual awards, which recognise the efforts of La Trobe’s athletes, sport clubs, volunteers and administrators, were celebrated in front of a sold out crowd of 350 people at the University’s Union Hall.
Ahmed Kelly, a para-swimmer, represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Paralympics where he placed seventh in the Men’s 50m Breaststroke SB3 final.
Emma Cox attained a world ranking as high as world number five in Women’s Trap shooting in 2016. Cox also achieved a Gold Medal at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup held in San Marino and placed tenth at the prestigious ISSF World Cup.
In a special Q&A with Master of Ceremonies and Australian cricket legend Mel Jones, Ahmed discussed his journey in sport and pathway to University.
“La Trobe did everything they possibly could to help me start studying,” said Kelly. “I was taught to set myself up for a post sporting career. It has been great to get that sort of guidance.”
Guests were also treated to a special address from guest speaker Kate Palmer, CEO of the Australian Sports Commission, who discussed the future of Australian sport.
Director of La Trobe Sport, Professor Russell Hoye, said it was wonderful to see so many sport devotees celebrating university sport.
“Sport is a significant part of La Trobe’s DNA,” said Hoye. “The night is about coming together as a community of sport to recognise our athletes, our sport clubs, and the many volunteers and administrators for their efforts and achievements over the past two years.”
It’s fitting that it was the largest ever gathering for a Blues Awards function at La Trobe in the University’s 50th Anniversary year.
In celebration of the University’s 50th anniversary, Chancellor Professor Richard Larkins also inducted existing SARA Life Members into the La Trobe University Sport Hall of Fame.
Other distinguished guests included Professor Keith Nugent, DVC (Research), Scott Munn, CEO of Melbourne City FC, Don Knapp, CEO of Australian University Sport, Stephen Potts, CEO of Vicsport and Peter McDougall, CEO of the Northern Football and Netball League
La Trobe also recognised the Sports Club of the Year, Dive La Trobe, an inaugural Academic Excellence award recipient, Emily Marotta, 36 University Blue and Half Blues winners and eight Outstanding Service to Sport award recipients.