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51 former and current students receive OUSA blues and golds awards

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Recipients of the 2013 OUSA Blues and Golds awards

In September, The Otago University Students’ Association announced their annual Otago Blues and Golds Awards for their top sporting and cultural performers.

“These awards are the top of the top, celebrating our high-achieving sports and cultural students past and present,” OUSA President Francisco Hernandez said.

“Each year Otago students breathe new life into Dunedin and their contributions stretch to all areas of the community, and we like to recognise those who have given up time to pursue their passions while representing Otago.”

In total, 51 awards were presented to recipients including clubs and societies, as well as individuals from a range of disciplines and a special retrospective award for New Zealand cyclist Alison Shanks.

The Blues awards have been held for over 100 years and the Golds for over 10 years. Award recipients are nominated by their peers, and a selection committee from around Otago decides on the final nominees and award recipients.

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Performers at the September awards ceremony

Retrospective Blue for Cycling

Alison Shanks

While Alison was studying at the University of Otago in 2008, she was never awarded with a University of Otago Blue despite her achievements in the sport of cycling. Her achievements from the period August 2007 to July 2008 are as follows; 4th in the Teams pursuit Round 1 World Cup, in Sydney, Oceania Champion, in Invercargill, 6th in Round 1 World Cup, 9th Round 2 World Cup in Beijing, 6th in Round for of the World Cup in Copenhagen, the National Pursuit Champion at the Track Nationals (setting a National record of 3mins 36.4seconds), 7th in the Track World Championships in Manchester, and then 4th in the Beijing Olympic Games and setting a personal best time of 3mins 32.4 seconds.

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University of Otago Golds Awards

OUSA awards 2Sabrina Goh (Music, Taiko Drumming)

In early 2011, Sabrina joined the Japanese Drumming group “O-Taiko” and this year she became the leader of the group. With her leadership, the group has been taken to a new level of performance ability through her drumming and teaching. Sabrina also fulfils administrative duties for the club to ensure there are regular rehearsals and public performances. Her unquestioned dedication to the group has been commended by professors in the Universities music department and helped make the group a popular fixture at public events throughout the country.

Benjamin Madden (Music, Voice Performance)

A conscientious student, Ben has never been one to waste time or effort and is prepared to work and use his vocal talents. Ben sings as a tenor, and is the Convenor of the Capping Sextet. He is also the director of music at Selwyn College, and this year has played a significant role in the University Music Department’s Britten 100 Festival. Ben has been a member of the New Zealand Youth Choir and was selected as a member of New Zealand’s leading chamber choir, Voices New Zealand. Ben is also the drummer for the band “Males” and represents the University in a number of musical endeavours and genres.

Corwin Newall (Music)

Corwin is an accomplished pianist who regularly performs in professional contexts. But first and foremost he is a composer. In this domain, his record speaks for itself. His music is frequently performed by professional musicians and groups,including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and some of his music was featured in two Southern Sinfonia concerts.

Special Mention

Kawiti Waetford (Music, Voice Performance)

Kawiti is an exceptionally talented and highly motivated student that has the charismatic presence to inspire and lead those around him. He reached the final of the Lexus Song Quest, New Zealand’s premier vocal competition. He brings to his baritone voice considerable stage experience, with a background in Maori oratory, Kapa Haka, and Theatre. In 2010, he was the recipient of the prestigious Ngarimu VC & Maori Battalion Scholarship and last year performed as a guest soloist with the likes of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Earlier this year he was asked to sing the National Anthems of New Zealand and England at the State Banquet hosted by Sir Don McKinnon and the Prime Minister, in honour of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, during their state visit.

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The winner of both the University of Otago Maori Sportsperson of the year and Sportswoman of the year:

Anika Tiplady

Anika is an outstanding rugby player, known as much for her presence and strength on the field, as her targeted passing ability. In previous years, she played for Otago Spirit and the Black Ferns, and spent nine years in the New Zealand Army. She also represented the Army in soccer and touch. She is a versatile player that can play in both the forwards and the backs. Following a 12-month military deployment with the United Nations in the Middle East, Anika returned to captain the Otago Spirit and to playing in the Black Ferns last year while studying Medicine at the University.

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The inaugural OUSA Coach of the Year Award

Helen Littleworth

Regarded by many at the University of Otago Rugby Club as one of, if not the pre-eminent coach in the club, Helen’s knowledge of the game is deep and extensive. Coupled with her ability to communicate, and meld a team, she has been to the fore this year. University players have made up a third, if not more, of the Otago team while Helen has coached at University. Players such as Anika, Claire Richardson, and Beth Mallard have gone on to represent New Zealand. With the ever-changing environment that is University rugby, there is little doubt that Helen has fostered an environment where the players play for each other, have great friendships off the field, but they play for her also. Earlier this year, Helen was recognised by the creation of a cup, the HLP Trophy, which recognises the influence of three women who have been instrumental in the development of women’s rugby in Otago. Helen demonstrates the qualities of humility and a strong desire to give back to her community. She is a worthy recipient of the very first OUSA Coach of the Year Award.

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The University of Otago Sportsman of the Year

Andrew Whyte

Following on from his success last year which included ranking first in the New Zealand Men’s 400m and coming 11th at the World Junior Championships in athletics, Andrew’s achievements this year have been equally impressive. At the New Zealand Athletics Nationals Andrew placed first in the Men’s 400m, and 2nd in the 200m. In April, he broke records in the Otago men’s under 19, under 20, and senior 400m event, placed 2nd in the Australian National Championships and broke the New Zealand Under 20 400m record. He was, in May, selected as the Otago Junior Sportsman of the year, and has won this OUSA award for the second consecutive year.

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Full list of 2013 Blue and Gold Awards Recipients

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University of Otago Golds award recipients:

  • Sabrina Goh
  • Benjamin Madden
  • Corwin Newall

University of Otago Graduates' Association Contribution to the Arts and Culture

  • Kishan Gunatunga
  • Joydeep Kaur
  • Jayani Kannangara
  • Aakash Chhibber
  • Yi Ping Ong
  • Yee Min Chua
  • Sherwin See Choon Wee
  • Vivien Poon Yuen Yan

OUSA Society of the Year

  • Sri Lankan Students' Association

University of Otago Blues award recipients

  • Susan Baxter
  • Kieran James Bunn
  • Alec Nevis Dawson
  • Callum Bailey
  • Troy MacDonald
  • Paige Lane
  • Oliver MacIntyre
  • Courtney Ross
  • Phillipa Symes
  • Benjamin Tinnelly
  • Celina Ledgard
  • Miaana Walden
  • Bryce William Abernethy
  • Sachin Arulambalam
  • Holly Fletcher
  • Scott Green
  • Rachael Kennedy
  • TJ Leeming
  • Adrian Albert Riepen
  • Anika Tiplady
  • Tyler Schreurs
  • Eliza Sim
  • JC Susan
  • Samantha Kingsford
  • Nicholas Kalsale
  • Marsden Barraclough
  • Bailey Anne Lovett
  • Alison Shanks

University of Otago Graduates' Association Contribution to Sport

  • Tim Chambers
  • Rahul Das
  • Douglas Hancock
  • Matt Johl
  • Kathryn Guinevere McLachlan
  • Kirsty Thompson
  • Helen Littleworth

University of Otago Sportsman of the Year

  • Andrew Whyte

University of Otago Sportswoman of the Year

  • Anika Tiplady

University of Otago Maori Sportsperson of the Year

  • Anika Tiplady

OUSA Coach of the Year

  • Helen Littleworth

OUSA Sports Club of the Year

  • Otago University Rowing Club