Rower Zoe Stevenson and surf life saver Samuel Shergold took out the top two accolades at the 2014 Wallace Corporation University of Waikato Blues Awards on Friday, October 3.
This year, more than 60 Blues Awards were given out to the University of Waikato’s top sporting and arts students. Award winners represented a range of disciplines, from snowboarding to beach volleyball, kapa haka to music composition. The Blues Awards are one of the University of Waikato’s most prestigious awards and one of its strongest traditions.
Sports people of the year
Stevenson was named Sportswoman of the Year, while Shergold was named Sportsman of the Year. The Pou Ahurea Award for Māori Person of the Year went to Tupuria King, and Teresa Connors was named as Creative and Performing Arts Person of the Year.
Stevenson, who is studying for a Bachelor of Science, came second in the Women’s Double at the 2013 Rowing World Championships in Korea. She came first in the Premier Women’s Quad, second in the Premier Women’s Single, and second in the Premier Women’s Double at the 2014 New Zealand Rowing Championships. Most recently, she won gold in the women’s double sculls at the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam. Stevenson is a former Tauranga Girls’ College student and also won a Blue for rowing.
Shergold, studying for a Bachelor of Management Studies, is the winner of the national Surf Life Saving Open men’s board rescue title, and won the board relay and Taplin relay in 2013. He was selected to represent New Zealand in Nicaragua at the ISA World Championships for stand up paddleboarding and paddleboarding in May 2014 where he competed in the 18 kilometre prone-paddleboard race, and finished second in a sprint up the beach. Shergold is a former Tauranga Boys’ College student and also won a Blue for surf life saving.
Māori Person of the Year
The Pou Ahurea Award for Māori Person of the Year went to former Kaitaia College student Tupuria King, who also received a Blue for Waka Ama. King is this year’s 250 metre, 500 metre and long distance New Zealand Waka Ama National Premier champion. He came first in the 28 kilometre race at the Australia Waka Ama Te Aito Race, and qualified to represent New Zealand in Tahiti. He also recently won bronze at the World Waka Ama Sprint Championships 2014 held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is studying for a Bachelor of Sport and Leisure Studies.
Creative and Performing Arts Person of the Year
Creative and Performing Arts Person of the Year went to Teresa Connors, who also received a Blue for Music – Composition. Connors is a music PhD candidate and was invited to feature her latest work Lines at the Toronto International Electroacoutic Symposium this year. She presented Terror, a fixed media audio-visual work, at the Sweet Thunder Music Festival in San Francisco, at the Seeing Sound Symposium at Bath Spa University and at The Listening Room: Landscapes in San Diego. Connors was presented with a Terry Stringer sculpture commissioned by arts patron Sir James Wallace for the Creative and Performing Arts Person of the Year.
Stevenson, Shergold and King are all Sir Edmund Hillary Scholars. The Hillary programme provides full fee scholarships to academic high achievers who show significant leadership qualities and also excel in either sport or the creative and performing arts.
Other major Blues AwardsOther major awards were given for:
- University Club of the Year – University of Waikato Netball Club
- Don Llewellyn Trophy Sports Team of the Year – University of Waikato Premier Netball
- Sport Coach – Rebecca Gabel
- Service of the Year – Beverley Pullon
- Margaret Nicholson Long Service Award (10 years or more service) - Mark Donnelly
- Creative and Performing Arts Group of the Year – The Stravinsky Trio