Last week UC students were recognised for their extracurricular achievements in the fields of sport, the arts and community engagement while maintaining a good level of academia at UC.
The UC Blues Awards was held on Saturday 7 October and recognised 61 students and their achievements. Organised by the University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) this is the first time the Blues Awards have recognised achievements in the arts and community engagement as well as sport.
Liz Keneti, Director of Student Success was on the judging panel for the community engagement awards and is thrilled at the inclusion of the arts and community engagement at the awards.
‘The introduction of these awards is a wonderful way to recognise those students who through the investment of talent, time and service, have made a positive impact on helping UC to develop and inspire the kinds of attributes, values and opportunities we want our campus experience to reflect’, she says.
Congratulations to the three supreme winners of the evening:
- Tayla Bruce, Outstanding Achievement in Sport (Lawn Bowls). Tayla won silver with the Bowls New Zealand Women’s team at the 2017 Multi Nations Champs. She also won the women’s fours and women’s singles national titles this year and was named young player of the year and sportsperson of the year for Canterbury Bowls.
- Vaea Peterson, Outstanding Achievement in the Arts. Vaea competed with the National Band of New Zealand (Brass Band) at the invitational World Brass Band Championship in the Netherlands where the band placed second in the highest grade of competition.
- Ashley Stuart, Outstanding Achievement in Community Engagement. Ashley is Canterbury Regional President of United Nations Youth New Zealand and has represented New Zealand at the Harvard National Model United Nations. She is also heavily involved in Rotary Clubs and was the New Zealand representative at the International Rotary Youth Leadership Awards in Washington DC. In September Ashley won the Arts and Humanities section at the 2017 New Zealand Top Student Awards.
Grant Robertson, manager of UC Sport has overseen the Awards for many years and maintains they are an important part of the calendar year.
‘It is so important to recognise and celebrate the success of our students at UC. To be able to balance their extracurricular and academic endeavours is one thing, but to do that at such a high representative level is outstanding’, he says.
History of the UC Blues Awards
The UC Blues Awards was first held in 1914 and recognised achievement in ‘traditional sports’ such as football, tennis, athletics, boxing and shooting while maintaining ‘minimal academic success’. Named after sporting competitions held between the two original ‘Blues’ Oxford and Cambridge Universities, the awards required students to have competed at provincial or New Zealand University levels of competition while studying.
A number of outstanding and well known sports performers have been awarded over the years including Silver Ferns, All Blacks and Black Sticks players as well as talented individual sportspeople competing in boxing, chess, cycling, swimming and athletics to name a few.