2015 Annual Blue Awards Presented
The Australian National University (ANU) Annual Blue were awarded on Thursday 19 May to students, club members and administrators for their excellence and contribution to sport & recreation during the 2015 calendar year. A total of thirty-five (35) recipients received an award spread across nine (9) sports.
A Blue Award is the highest sporting accolade that can be awarded to a student athlete at the Australian National University and is awarded to sports men and women in recognition of their outstanding sporting achievements and for enhancing the reputation of University Sport.
The top gong, 2015 Sport Star of the Year, was awarded to swimmer and International Security Studies student Justin James. Justin had a fantastic year in the pool, with his greatest accomplishment coming at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea. Justin claimed the gold medal in the 200m Individual Medley in a dead heat following victory in the same event in Kazan, Russia in 2013. Justin is the first ‘Uniroo’ to achieve this amazing feat. Justin was also a recipient of a Full Blue award at the 2014 ceremony in recognition of his achievements during 2013. His notable performances during 2015 included:
· Gold in 200m Individual Medley at the 2015 World University Games in Korea in a time of 1:58.38
· Silver in the 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay at the 2015 World University Games in Korea
· Silver in 200m Individual Medley at the 2015 Australian Open Swimming Championships
· Gold in 200m Individual Medley at the 2015 Australian Open Short Course Swimming Championships
· Selected in the 2016 Australian Team to compete at the Perth Aquatic Super Series in international competition against the Chinese and Japanese Swim Teams
Despite falling agonisingly short of selection for the Australian Swimming team for the Rio Olympics, Justin has managed to take some great life lessons out of it. “It’s a bit of an oxymoron, but sport gives you an opportunity to fail. It’s important to cope with that, re-adjust and find the next thing that drives you.” For Justin, this is simple – qualification at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
A video of Justin’s gold medal swim at the 2014 World University Games can be found here: https://youtu.be/AWy3B9fP-t8
The overarching theme of the Blues Awards is to recognise outstanding achievements and the diversity of sporting opportunities at the Australian National University. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian Schmidt AC spoke of the inclusive nature of sport, building a community on campus and creating friendships for life. He added that “the discipline I learned through sport helped me instil the discipline to complete my work for my Nobel Laurette”.
Another notable award winner was Kathryn Ross of the ANU Boat Club. Kathryn had a stellar 2015 on the water, winning her third consecutive gold in the Mixed Double Sculls at the World Championships in Aiguebelette, France with rowing partner Gavin Bellis. We wish Kathryn and Gavin the best of luck as they are likely to be selected to represent Australia at the Rio Paralympics later this year. “This is the first time someone from the ANU Boat Club will be competing at the games, so that’s very exciting”
ANU Sport Chief Executive, Michael Brady, concluded the evening by emphasising the value of team work in achieving a common goal in sport. He added that sport and recreation "provides life lessons that build a holistic experience at ANU".
Finally, we would like to thank our sponsors National Australia Bank, Contentgroup and The Coffee Grounds, for which the evening would not have been possible.
The outstanding achievements and contributions of each of the award winners can be found in the full program here: