View Photos from the night here – Blue Awards dinner 2008
Australian Junior women’s water polo representative Keesja Gofers and Olympic 800m representative Lachlan Renshaw were named female and male Sydney University Blues of the Year at the annual Blues Dinner held in the Great Hall on Saturday night.
The two Sydney University Sports Scholarship holders were among 19 Blues and four Golds honoured at the function.
Gofers, 18, was a member of the Australian Under-20 side that won the 2007 Women’s World Championship in Porto, Portugal.
With Sydney University team-mates Melissa Hammond and Joanne Whitehorn also in the side, the Australians went through the tournament undefeated, culminating with an 8-6 win over China in the gold medal final.
Gofers also played in the Global Challenge tournament in July this year, when the Australian Under-20s finished with a silver medal after losing to the US in the final.
A former captain of the Australian Schoolgirls team, she is now studying architecture at Sydney University and is a member of the University team competing in the women’s national league. She has her sights set on breaking into the Australian senior ranks.
Renshaw, 20, the Australian 800m champion, realised a dream this year when he competed at the Beijing Olympic Games.
A Commerce student at Sydney University, Renshaw won a Beijing berth in the 800m when he ran the fastest time on Australian soil in nearly 10 years at a Grand Prix meet in Melbourne earlier in the year. His Olympic ‘A’ qualifying time of 1:45.8 put pressure on the selectors to pick him in the Olympic team. He confirmed his selection a week later when he won the national title at the Australian Track and Field Championships.
After a disrupted preparation immediately before the Games, Renshaw didn’t progress past the first round, but he said the Olympic experience was everything he had dreamt about since his days as a schoolboy champion.
Gofers and Renshaw now have the 2012 London Olympic Games high on their agendas.
Others to receive Blues at the function were: Edward Alexander (Boat), Natasha Bolsin (Rowing), Elizabeth Bornstein (Netball), Jeremy Braude (Soccer), Nathan Charles (Football – rugby union), Brenton Dumbrell (Lawn Tennis), Mark Egan (Australian football), James Goswell (Boat), James Harding (Boat), Jessica Hazelwood (Athletics), Emily Hurtz (Hockey), Mitch Inman (Football – rugby union), Lucy Marshall (Rowing), Edward Noel (Soccer), James Quigley (Boat), Amy Sarandopolous (Soccer), Melissa Smith (Basketball), Ailsa Tremayne (Rowing), Victor Vadiveloo (Hockey) and David Wise (Swimming).
University Golds for 2008 were awarded to Ian Foulsham (Cricket), Paul McGirr (Sydney University Sport and Fitness), Antony Sukka (Football – rugby union) and Jim Zammit (Soccer).
The presentations of Blues and Golds were made by Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence, while the Toast to the University Blues was made by Australian water polo representative and Sydney University Blue, Trent Franklin.
In proposing a Toast to the University, the President of Sydney University Sport, Mr Bruce Ross said the university’s sporting clubs continue to thrive because of the support of the University and its commitment to the enhancement of the student experience.
“We’re very fortunate that at a time when other universities have had to curtail or abandon their sporting participation, we have been able to continue to grow,” Mr Ross said.
“The University is committed to the pursuit of excellence and the achievement of human potential and that is evidenced with the Blues. There are just 19 new Blues for 2008. When compared with the hundreds of first class honours degrees awarded across the various facilities, it indicates just how difficult it is to achieve a Blue at Sydney University.”
Mr Ross said there were many sporting highlights during 2008, not the least being the 20 athletes and eight coaches and administrators who attended the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics.
“Sydney University athletes won silver medals at Beijing with Angie Ballard in the wheelchair relay and Matt Ryan and Francis Hegarty in rowing; and bronze medals with Sarah Stewart in wheelchair basketball, Nikita Cuffe and Taniele Gofers in water polo, and Robin Bell in the canoe slalom,” he said.
“And during the year Bronwen Watson was a member of the lightweight quad that won the World Rowing Championship; the University finished third at the Australian University Games, winning seven teams events as well as AUC rowing and the Twenty20 cricket; the Football Club won a fourth successive First Grade premiership; 17 rowers competed at the Olympic Games and World Championships; and the ACUVUE Sydney Uni Flames finished runners-up in the Women’s National Basketball League.
“National championships in athletics were won by Justin Merlino in the 100m hurdles, Nikki Molan in the 1500m and Lachlan Renshaw in the 800m; Lisa Sthalekar was named International Women’s Cricketer of the Year and NSW Women’s Cricketer of the Year; the women’s cricket team were runners-up in the Sydney Grade competition; we fielded four Australian cricket representatives, including Lisa Sthalekar, Kate Blackwell, Alex Blackwell and Stuart Clark; Matt Jaukovic recently set a new men’s Australian 100m butterfly short course record and broke the world 50m butterfly short course record; and our women finished minor premiers in the national water polo league.
“All in all, it has been another wonderful year across the sports.”