Lawrence and Renshaw collect top sports awards

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Canoeist Ros Lawrence and middle-distance runner Lachlan Renshaw were named Sydney University Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year for 2011 at the recent annual awards dinner held in the Great Hall.

Lawrence had a stellar year on the water, winning three World Championship events, including the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup.

She was the LC1 Wildwater Sprint World Champion, won the C1 Team Gold at the ACF Canoe Slalom Championships in Slovakia, won medals at each of the four Slalom World Cup events, held in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Germany and France, and was the overall C1 World Cup champion.

Lawrence headed a star-studded group of finalists for the female award, including Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens representative Iliseva Batibasaga, Australian Paralympic Pan Pac team swimmer Sarah Hilt, World Championship and World University Games athletics representative Anneliese Rubie, and Australian Wheelchair Basketball representative Sarah Stewart.

Renshaw also had a year to remember, topped by a win against a very strong field in the 800m at the World University Games. He also won the 800m Brisbane Track Classic, finished second at the Australian Championships, the Perth Track Classic and the Sydney Track Classic, and finished third at the Melbourne Track Classic.

Also in contention for the 2011 men’s award were Australian archery representative Donald Chiou, Australian Rugby Sevens captain Bernard Foley, NSW Waratahs rugby representative Tom Kingston and Australian University Games cycling representative Alex Wong.

The two awards were presented by Sydney University HR Director and vice-president of the Cricket Club Board, Piyush Bhatt.

Other awards on the night were:

Pat Sharpe Award for Female Club Administrator of the Year – presented by Jane Spring: Anne Simmons (Hockey Club). Other nominees were Leanne McKee (Water Polo) and Samantha Wade (Swimming).

Rosenblum Family Trophy for Male Administrator of the Year – presented by David Mortimer: Bob McGovern (Sydney University Football Club). Other nominees were David Mifsud (Cricket) and Elgar Welch (Sailing).

Anne Mitchell Award for the Best Team Performance at the Australian University Games or Australian University Championships: Joint winner – Soccer Club (accepted by John Curran) and Tennis Club (accepted by Michael Power). The other nomination was the Handball Club.

Club of the Year – presented by Bruce Corlett: Athletics Club. Other nominations were Handball, Women’s Cricket and Women’s Rugby.

Premier Club of the Year – presented by Bruce Corlett: Cricket Club. Other nominations were the Boat-Rowing Club and the Football (Rugby) Club.

Coach of the Year – presented by Chris Noel: Philipp Enders (Handball Club). Other nominees were Patrick Cunningham and Louise Ferris (Women’s Rugby) and James Walsh (Cricket).

Premier Coach of the Year – presented by Chris Noel: Jack Farrer (Football Club) and Gary Whitaker (Cricket). The other nominee was Bobby Folan (Swimming).

During the evening, 380 ongoing and new Sydney University Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holders for 2012 were announced. They included the female and male Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships which were awarded to Sydney Uni Flames basketballer Jaimee Kennedy (B.Education – Human Movement Health Education) and field athlete Andrew Giltrap (B.Science).

Entertainment on the night included ABC Radio breakfast announcer Adam Spencer interviewing a panel of Sydney University athletes that included Wallaby Phil Waugh, swimmer Sarah Hilt and Southern Design Sydney Uni Flame Alicia Poto.

In welcoming guests to the function, Sydney University Sport president, Mr Bruce Ross, provided a brief summation of another wonderful year for sport at the University.

“We are the overall Australian University Games champions once again having won 11 gold medals at the 2011 Games,” he said.

“We also won the American Football premierships a 9th straight season, the men’s handball team won the Oceania Champions Cup in Tahiti, women’s rugby won their second successive Sydney premiership, the Athletics Club was first overall in the men’s division NSW Club Championships and won the men’s division of the NSW Cross Country and Short Course Championships and the Australian Football club was promoted to the NEAFL competition, which includes the reserves teams from four AFL senior clubs.”

The Valedictorian’s Toast was made by soccer representative Emma Schiller (B.Arts (Hons) and M.International Business), who has played for the University for eight seasons and was a member of the Sydney University Elite Athlete Program (EAP) as a scholarship holder.

To view photos from the night, please click here.