La Trobe University’s Blues Awards once again showcased the commitment and accomplishments of our elite student athletes, clubs, volunteers and administrators at Union Hall on 25 October. The award-giving culminated with the naming of the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year – which is the highest honour La Trobe can bestow in recognition of sporting achievements.
Joshua Thornton was named Sportsman of the Year for his Commonwealth Games heroics, including taking home a gold medal in lawn bowls. Kelsey Griffin was named Sportswoman of the Year, for representing Australia in basketball, also at the Commonwealth Games. Both athletes expressed how grateful they are to have La Trobe Sport by their side, insisting they would not be able to achieve their dual career goals without the University’s support.
Pro Vice-Chancellor Research Development and Director of La Trobe Sport, Professor Russell Hoye, opened the evening, outlining the vision for La Trobe to be the University of choice for sport in Australia. Professor Hoye went on to introduce La Trobe University Journalism alumnus and MC for the night, Nick Armistead, currently Head of Media at the VAFA (Victorian Amateur Football Association).
A highlight of the evening was Lydia Williams, 70 Cap Matilda’s player and Melbourne City W-League goalkeeper, treating the audience to detailed insights of her life as an elite level footballer. Guests continued to be inspired by the achievements of elite athletes as 20 Half-Blue and full Blues were awarded. Blues awardees Kat Paul, Australian National Champion for cross-country skiing and Brodie Grundy, 2018 All-Australian Collingwood ruckman brought the night to a close with an entertaining fireside chat with Nick.
Distinguished guests included Chancellor of La Trobe, Professor Richard Larkins; Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar; Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor Keith Nugent; Vice-President Development, Natalie MacDonald, and senior executives from the AFL Players Association, Carlton FC, Melbourne City FC, Melbourne Rebels, Northern Football Netball League, S-Trend and TechnologyOne.
For over 50 years, La Trobe has been recognising the highest calibre performances of its student athletes, as well as exemplary service to sport from affiliated clubs and individuals. The 2018 Blues Awards was no different with five Outstanding Service to Sport recipients recognised. The Sport Club of the Year award, sponsored by Uni-Super, was deservedly won by the La Trobe Mountaineering Club, with the Tennis Club receiving an honourable mention.
Ruth Brophy, inline hockey and studying Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Biosciences, received the Sporting and Academic Excellence award for her stellar efforts in maintaining an overall course WAM of 90.6, in amongst her elite sporting commitments.