Showcase sport event makes triumphant return

The achievements of the La Trobe University sporting fraternity have been celebrated at the long-awaited return of the Blues Sport Awards on Wednesday night.

Hosted at the home of the Carlton Football Club, Ikon Park, the Blues Sport Awards returned for the first time since 2018, with over 120 people from across all facets of the La Trobe sporting landscape in attendance.

In a fabulous showcase of the University’s sporting accomplishments over the past two years, the event was highlighted by two La Trobe alumnus leading proceedings during the evening, with current Senior Reporter Riley Beveridge as the evening’s MC and current Carlton AFLW captain Kerryn Peterson as special guest speaker.

In the major awards presented on the night, the coveted Sportspeople of the Year Award was presented to La Trobe University Elite Athlete Program (LEAP) members, Amy Lawton (Bachelor of Prosthetics and Orthotics – Honours) and Cosimo Cirillo (Bachelor of Accounting).

Cirillo (main image above) was presented with his award on the back of impressing in para-football at different levels this year. He represented Australia playing for the ‘Pararoos’ at the 2022 IFCPF World Cup and won Best Player of the Tournament in his classification while playing for Victoria at the 2022 National Para Football Championships.

Lawton on the other hand had a brilliant year which included being selected for the Australian women’s hockey team, the ‘Hockeyroos’, which won a silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. She also scored a penalty in the semi-final shootout against India, which ultimately sent the team through to the final.

The all-conquering La Trobe University Women’s Basketball team claimed the award for Team of the Year after their dominant University Basketball League (UBL) season. The team breezed through their campaign, finishing top of the ladder with a 10-0 record and capped off their unblemished season with a seven-point Grand Final win.

Moving over to the Men’s Basketball team, captain Ovie Magbegor (Bachelor of Laws – Honours/Bachelor of Criminology) won one of the two Team La Trobe Athlete of the Year awards through his influential leadership presence both on and off the court, as well as his dominant on-court performance during both the UBL and the recent Uni Nationals campaign in Perth. The other Team La Trobe Athlete of the Year award was won by Team La Trobe swimmer Mia Holah (Bachelor of Prosthetics and Orthotics – Honours) thanks to her excellent 2022 UniSport Nationals campaign. Holah won a silver medal in the 100-metre butterfly and backed that up with a bronze medal in the 200-metre backstroke. She also showed brilliant team spirit throughout the week, going to watch other La Trobe teams and showing incredible support for her fellow athletes.

Equestrian athlete Amy Bachmann (Bachelor of Dental Science – Honours) won the Academic Excellence Award for the athlete that showcased excellence in their studies whilst also performing in their sport. Bachmann had a brilliant year not only with her feats in her sport, but also put maximum effort into her studies at La Trobe with a weighted average mark (WAM) of 83 in her degree.

Both Cosimo Cirillo and Amy Lawton added to their top honours by taking home a University Blue award for their achievements on the international stage in their respective sports. Alongside them were Josh Katz (Bachelor of Business & Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science) who recently won a bronze medal in the Men’s 60kg Judo event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, boxer Caitlin Parker (Diploma of Sport Coaching and Development) who also won a bronze medal in Birmingham after representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympics last year and para-athlete Bree Mellberg (PhD in Science – Genetics and Cell Biology), who represented Australia in wheelchair basketball at the Paralympics in Tokyo last year and has since made the transition to competing in para-badminton.

Several La Trobe athletes also won University Half-Blue awards on the night for their achievements at state or national level. Amy Bachmann was one who took home a Half Blue award for her achievements at the 2022 Australian Youth Dressage Championships, where she won in all three classes. She was joined by six other athletes who were rewarded for their recent sporting accolades:

Anastasia Typou (Bachelor of Psychological Science) won a bronze medal in Taekwondo earlier this year at the Sofia Open in Bulgaria. She also claimed two gold medals at the New South Wales and Victorian Open tournaments in 2021.

Triathlete Skye Wallace (Bachelor of Physiotherapy) recently claimed sixth place in the world in the Junior Elite category at the World Duathlon Championships in Romania.

Weightlifter Halle Mifsud (Bachelor of Food and Nutrition) became Under 23 National Champion in 2021 and will compete in the 2022 World Weightlifting Championships next month in Colombia.

Cindy Truong (Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science) placed first for Australia in Karate at the 2022 Oceania Championships and recently competed in the 2022 FISU University World Cup Combat Sports.

Will Sargent (Bachelor of Business – Sport Management) has won multiple national and international sailing events in the past two years and recently became a member of the Australian Sailing Futures team.

Kiera Rowe (Bachelor of Applied Science and Master of Physiotherapy Practice) plays as a guard for the Sydney Flames in the Women’s National Basketball League and was recently awarded the Most Inspirational Player award for the team.

Club of the Year was awarded to the La Trobe University Volleyball Club. Their rapid growth off the court, which saw them reach over 500 members has translated to results on the court. Seven of their 12 teams made it into state league finals, with two of those teams, the Men’s Reserves Division 2 Red team and the Junior Boys Division 2 team, taking out premiership wins.

The La Trobe University Football Club’s Senior Men’s coach Ricky Nolan won Coach of the Year after an amazing season where the team won the Men’s Division 4 premiership in the Victorian Amateur Football Association. His leadership and dedication allowed them to finish first on the ladder and complete an exceptional comeback in the last quarter of the Grand Final, where they won by 15-points after trailing by 17 at three-quarter time.

Finally, Teresa D’Angelo of the La Trobe University Football Club, Marc Heenan of the La Trobe University Baseball Club and Phil Nguyen of the La Trobe University Hockey Club were all presented with Outstanding Service to Sport awards for their contributions to their clubs as players and committee members, with their dedication to their clubs being a positive reflection on the university’s entire sporting community.

Stay tuned to the La Trobe Sport Facebook page for a full gallery of images from the 2022 Blues Sport Awards in due course.