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A powerlifter has won top prize at this year’s Blues and Golds Awards after breaking records at a Commonwealth competition.

The awards, co-ordinated by the Otago University Students’ Association in collaboration with the University of Otago, recognise and celebrate the highest degree of sporting, cultural, community and arts achievements among University students.

Charlotte Worley, a Bachelor of Physiotherapy student, has claimed top honours at this evening’s ceremony, winning the Sportsperson of the Year award for her achievements in powerlifting.

Representing New Zealand at the Commonwealth powerlifting championships in Auckland last year, she won gold in the squat (175kg), bench press (102.5kg) and deadlift (200kg) in the under-84kg junior class.

This led to her winning gold overall in her class with a total of 477.5kg, breaking four Oceania records and qualifying for the junior world championships in Romania this month.

She has since moved to the 84kg+ category where her total of 503.5kg is the highest achieved by any under-23 lifter in New Zealand history.

Ms Worley also volunteers at competitions and has completed her provincial referee exam.

Highly commended in the Sportsperson of the Year category were Gareth Ward-Allen (underwater hockey) and Zaviera McMillan (powerlifting).

Manaia Butler was named Māori Sportsperson of the Year for her accomplishments in rowing.

As well as provincial and national success, Ms Butler was part of the New Zealand Universities Women’s Eight which won gold in the 4km race, 2km race and 1km race in a recent trans-Tasman series.

The Otago Singapore Club was named OUSA Cultural Society of the Year, while Tomuri Spicer won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts and Culture.

In total, nine awards, 10 Silver Service, 32 Blues and three Golds were presented at this evening’s ceremony, held at the Otago Business School.

OUSA president Quintin Jane says it’s exciting to see students’ success celebrated.

“Sitting on the selection panel for these was incredibly difficult, there were so many stellar applications. Otago is so incredibly lucky to have such talented students and community leaders, and we’re incredibly lucky to be able to recognise these people through the Blues and Golds awards.”

The Blues awards began in 1908 to celebrate students’ sporting success, while the Golds originated in 2002 to acknowledge arts and cultural achievements.

List of winners

University of Otago Sportsperson of the Year

  • Charlotte Worley (Powerlifting)

Highly commended

  • Gareth Ward-Allen (Underwater Hockey)
  • Zaviera McMillan (Powerlifting)

University of Otago Māori Sportsperson of the Year

  • Manaia Butler (Rowing)

OUSA Coach of the Year

  • Annalise Wilson (Handball)

OUSA Sports Club of the Year

  • Otago University Squash Club

Highly commended

  • Otago University Hockey Club

OUSA Society of the Year

  • Women in Health Network Otago

Highly commended

  • Otago Roleplaying & Boardgames Society
  • Society of Atheists, Rationalists and Skeptics

Special mention

  • UniQ
  • Otago Mathematics and Physics Students Association

OUSA Cultural Society of the Year

  • Otago Singapore Club

Highly commended

  • Otago University Thai Students' Association
  • Otago Filipino Students' Association

Outstanding Member of the Dunedin Community

  • Madelene Ozanne

Outstanding Member of the University of Otago Community

  • Eleanor Dunn

Outstanding Contribution to Arts and Culture

  • Tomuri Spicer (Music)

OUSA Silver Service

  • Gavin King (Otago University Squash Club)
  • Hamish Dudley (Otago University Squash Club)
  • Rosie Marchant (University of Otago Anthropology Society)
  • Grace Auckram (Otago Roleplaying & Boardgames Society)
  • Eleanor Dunn (Otago Student Volunteer Army)
  • Jidapa Tolley (Otago University Thai Students' Association & Otago Singapore Club)
  • Abby Bowmar (Otago University Debating Society)
  • Julia Randerson (Otago University Debating Society)
  • Julia Randerson (Otago University Debating Society)
  • Samuel Blackwood (Otago University Debating Society)
  • Makensie Waddell (Otago Dance Association)

Blues Awards

  • Agost Radzik (Beach Handball)
  • Amelie Henderson (Ice Figure Skating)
  • Anna Grace Brock (Surfing)
  • Bernice Cullen (Athletics)
  • Blake Miller (Duathlon and Aquathlon)
  • Charlotte Worley (Powerlifting)
  • Fergus McLeay (Athletics)
  • Fred Vavasour (Rowing)
  • Gareth Ward-Allen (Underwater Hockey)
  • Gerard Wall (Rowing)
  • Hannah Matehaere (Rowing)
  • Hannah Sime (Ice Figure Skating)
  • Henry Clatworthy (Rowing)
  • Jack Pearson (Rowing)
  • Jazelle McCormick (Ice Figure Skating)
  • Jemma Burrowes (Rowing)
  • Jeremiah Asi (Rugby)
  • Julian Harker (Weightlifting)
  • Jumari Oosthuizen (Weightlifting)
  • Kyran Edmonds (Handball)
  • Lachlan Colquhoun (Handball)
  • Laura Balmer (Netball)
  • Manaia Butler (Rowing)
  • Martha Toghill (Squash)
  • Meg Sycamore (Touch Rugby)
  • Orla Fitzgerald (Rowing)
  • Paige Symister (Ice Figure Skating)
  • Stefanos Hills (Handball)
  • Tom Tothill (Rowing)
  • Will Stodart (Rugby)
  • Zavieran McMillan (Powerlifting)

Golds Awards

  • Tama Alexander Shehadie Anthony-Whigham – Performing Arts (Stand-Up Comedy)
  • Boudewijn Keenan – Classical Music Performer (Cello)
  • Hineani-Au-Rangi Campbell-Collier – Performing Arts (Kapa Haka)

For more information please contact

Jessica Wilson
Adviser Media Engagement
University of Otago
Mob +64 21 279 5016

Ingrid Roding
Marketing and Communications Manager
Otago University Students’ Association

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