Hegerty and Lawrence win sport awards

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To see photography from the event, head to www.davidstanton.com.au

Graham Croker
Olympic rowing silver medallist Francis Hegerty and World Cup winning conoeist Rosalyn Lawrence were the recipients of the 2009 Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards at the recent annual Sydney University Sports awards dinner in the Great Hall.

Hegerty, a B.Com from the university and a silver medallist in the men’s coxless four at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, continued with that form in 2009 when he crewed with Cameron McKenzie-McHarg, James Marburg and Matthew Ryan to win silver in the same event at the World Championships in Poznan, Poland.Others nominated for the Sportsman of the Year award were Dean Mumm (rugby union), Greg Mail (cricket) and Matt Jaukovic (swimming).

Lawrence, a Sydney University Sports Scholarship holder and Bachelor of International and Global Studies student, capped off a stellar 2009 season as the overall winner of the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup series in the C1 class. Lawrence won two of the three C1 races in the World Cup series.Others nominated for the Sportswoman of the Year were Sally Kehoe (rowing), Kristina Mah (karate) and Alex Croak (diving).

The Female Administrator of the Year award went to Roisin McNulty (rugby union), who edged out Lizzy Farrell (cricket) and Kate Gammell (touch football), while the Male Administrator of the Year went to Tom Mallet (sailing), ahead of Brett Latham (ultimate frisbee), Yaegan Doran (volleyball) and Giles Richardson (waterski and wakeboard).

Women’s water polo collected the Ann Mitchell Australian University Games award, edging out the baseball, judo and softball clubs.


Club of the Year went to Swimming for their outstanding achievements both in and out of the pool. Not only were the club awarded the Swimming Australia ‘Go Club’ of the Year award, but Matthew Jaukovic also set a new Commonwealth Record.

The Premier Club of the Year award went to the men’s cricket club, in a tough battle with the football (rugby union) club and the boat and rowing club.

Coach of the Year went to John Caruana (soccer), who headed a tight field including Stephen Dunne (American football), Dean Gleeson (athletics) and Roger Moten (Australian football).And the Premier Coach of the Year was awarded to Nick Ryan (rugby union), who tipped out Damien Hill (rugby union), Mathew Phelps (cricket) and Steve Alderman (swimming).

Prior to the awards, Sydney University Sport and Fitness announced the 270 Sports Scholarship holders for 2010. Among them were Matthew Mitcham (diving), Rosalyn Lawrence (canoe), Berrick Barnes (rugby union) and Sarah Stewart (wheelchair basketball), who participated in the Athletes Interviews during the evening.

The President of Sydney University Sport, Bruce Ross, said the scholarships were now in their 20th year. “The decision to establish the scholarship program was the foundation for the renaissance of sport at the university,” he said.

“But by themselves, scholarships would have achieved little. Some of the other actions and decisions over the past two decades have also been critical to the development of our sport.”

Mr Ross said continuing solid financial support from SUS’s operational units and generous financial assistance and support from SUS’s parent body, the University, since the introduction of voluntary student unionism, have been crucial to the success of sporting bodies at the university.

He also cited the provision of support services which have led to the establishment of the athlete services department, the appointment of full-time strength and conditioning coaches, the appointment of full-time coaches and administrative staff for major sports and administrative services for smaller clubs.

“The appointment of full-time directors for rugby, cricket, soccer, Australian football and a part-time director for hockey have been critical to our continued development,” Mr Ross said.

“As has been the establishment of a high performance manager who has overall responsibility for all of our sporting clubs.”

Mr Ross said despite the use of professional staff, SUS’s clubs are still very dependent on an army of volunteers enthusiasts.
“Each year we move closer to sustainable success,” he said. “But there is one area of considerable concern. The University has been extremely helpful in upgrading and refurbishing our facilities but we continue to fall behind in relative terms in relation to basic sporting infrastructure.

“We urgently need new and expanded premises to cater for our ever-growing sporting demands. One of our most pressing needs is for a rectangular football field.”

Mr Ross said the global financial crisis had restricted the capacity of the University to assist, but the situation was becoming critical. “We have to explore all available alternatives to get things moving,” he said. “In the meantime, we continue to move ahead by focussing on those things we can control.

“Success in any competitive endeavour is dependent on having an edge over your rivals. We have multiple edges in the quality of our coaches, our army of volunteers, our very generous supporters – but most importantly, our wonderful athletes.”