Two alumni, Courtney Richmond and Tim Neild, have been named as the 2021 Hillary Medalists for their roles in the arts and sports.
Hillary Medals are awarded to high achieving Hillary Scholars - the University’s premier school leaver scholarship and are students who completely embody the key pillars of the Hillary Scholarship - excelling in a sporting, creative or performing art area, have high academic achievement and show strong leadership qualities.
Courtney Richmond - Dance
As a Hillary Scholar, Courtney was a role model for her classmates and friends and was someone everyone could depend on.
Courtney was a very high achieving student and gained excellent grades in both her undergraduate and postgraduate papers. In dance papers, both her written work and her dance choreography revealed excellence in communication and the capacity to understand, critique and synthesise a wide range of information.
She graduated from the University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and Theatre Studies and more recently, completed her Master of Arts Thesis which focussed on the leadership and facilitation of inclusive dance practices in New Zealand, and its impacts on surrounding communities.
Since her Masters, Courtney has stepped into a Senior Dancer role with professional choreographer Helene Burgstaller. She is also continuing her dance teaching in Hamilton and Cambridge, working with both children and adults with an inclusive approach to teaching.
To the judges, Courtney was a clear Hillary Medalist recipient through her understanding of the arts and dance, leadership skills and determination throughout her studies.
Tim Neild - Hockey
Tim grew up in Hamilton and attended Hamilton Boys High School where he was Deputy Head Boy.
He was his family member’s biggest hockey supporter from a young age. So naturally, he decided at the age of four to join the game and hasn’t stopped playing since then.
He chose to study an Engineering degree at the University of Waikato after he graduated from Hamilton Boys because of his support systems through the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship and his local hockey community.
Tim was an exemplary Hillary Scholar and because of this, was awarded the Step Higher award where he was able to trek in Nepal for two weeks in. He and a handful of students made it back to New Zealand with only three days before the first lockdown was announced.
His hard work seems to have paid off, as he has recently been selected for the 2022 Men’s Vantage Black Sticks team.
Tim is a great example of what being a Hillary Medalist means through his hard work at University, in sport and through his leadership.