Buckling and Townsend named Blues of the Year

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Australian representatives Hannah Buckling and Kane Townsend were named female and male Blues of the Year at the annual Blues Dinner held in the Great Hall on Friday evening.

Buckling, a distinction-level Bachelor of Science student and Sydney University Sports scholar, highlighted her year with a silver medal with the Australian Stingers at the 2014 Women’s Water Polo World Cup in Russia, a bronze medal with the Sydney University Lions in the National Women’s Water Polo League, and was named in the Green and Gold Women’s Water Polo team at the 2014 Australian University Games.

She also won a silver medal with the Stingers at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona.

Townsend, a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) student and Sydney University Sport scholar, and Australian table tennis representative, had a busy year. He was a member of the Australian men’s team at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and competed at the Oceania Championships and Oceania Cup, the World Team Championships in Tokyo and won the men’s singles championship at the Australian University Games. |

He has been selected to represent Australia at the upcoming 2015 Table Tennis World Cup in Suzhou, China.

They were among 34 sportsmen and sportswomen presented with Blues by University of Sydney Chancellor, Belinda Hutchinson. The Chancellor also presented eight Golds to sports administrators and volunteers for their services to Sydney University sport.

One of the Golds was awarded to Ann Mitchell, the retiring President of the Sydney University Blues Association, who has been a staunch supporter of women’s sport on campus, nationally and internationally for nearly half a century.

A former state and national women’s cricket representative, she was the head of the Sydney University Women’s Sport Association when it merged with the Sydney University Sports Union to form Sydney Uni Sport in 2003 She has been Deputy Director since the merger.

Ms Mitchell graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Arts and Teachers Certificate in 1966, having represented the university at hockey, netball and softball as well as cricket for which she received a Blue in 1963.

In a very busy and productive post-playing career, she was President of the NSW Women’s Cricket Association between 1974-88, President of Women’s Cricket Australian from 1988-98, and President of the International Women’s Cricket Council from 1982-88.

Ms Mitchell was also the first delegate from the women’s cricket association to attend meetings of the NSW Cricket Association. She also managed the Australian women’s team from 1977-88, during which time they won three World Cups and all Tests played.

On the campus, Ms Mitchell became president of the Sydney University Blues Association in 2001. She handed over the reins to Clive Cooper this year.

In 2010 she was made an Honorary Fellow of Sydney University in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to the University, to cricket and to Australian women’s sport for nearly five decades.

She donned the Gold jacket to a standing ovation as a fitting end to the 2014 awards  night.

Earlier, the Executive Director of Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness, Rob Smithies, had opened the evening by welcoming guests and proposing the Toast to The University of Sydney.

He said the high standard of athletes competing for the university made it as hard to earn a University Blue as it was to be awarded a University Medal for academic merit. “Some of the Blues tonight will do both,” he said.

Mr Smithies said university sport was in the process of undertaking the most extensive infrastructure program in its history, with the $15 million Sydney University Sport and Aquatic Centre extension opened last year and a planned $11 million No.2 Oval redevelopment, including a 1000-seat grandstand.

He said the university had had a very successful year in all sporting endeavours, starting with the Cricket Club, which celebrated its 150th anniversary with the Club Championship and First, Second Grade and Sixth grade titles.  

“We won the Australian University Games by a record margin, with 18 gold medals in team events,” he said.

“The Athletics Club literally won everything and provided 10 Australian representatives at the Commonwealth Games – a fantastic achievement.

“Our link with NSW Institute of Sport as a podium partner has taken the Swimming Club to new heights. Our men’s and women’s water polo teams won medals in the national league competitions and our Boat club won the NSW Championship and the annual Australian Boat Race.

“The head-to-head event with Melbourne University is now the envy of every rowing club, with up to 3000 lining Sydney Harbour for the finish to this year’s event. We have Chris Noel to thank for much of the organisation and behind-the-scenes work.”

Mr Smithies said the AFL Club had hit a new level with participation in the NEAFL competition. “Sydney University had the perfect model to fit into the competition,” he said.

“We have an incredible array of athletes coming through year in and year out. Sydney University continues to the best in the country in providing graduates to shape our society. They put in at the highest level in their sport and many maintain HD levels in their courses.”

Mr Smithies also acknowledged the passing of Sydney University’s oldest Blue, Mal Stenning, at age 101. He had won a hockey Blue in 1932.

Entertainment during the evening included the St Andrew’s College Choir accompanied by university organist and carillionist Amy Johansen, and the Athlete Interviews by Greg O’Mahoney, who spoke with four Commonwealth Games representatives in Matthew Abood (swimming), Greg Jeloudev (Rugby Sevens), Emily Esposito (pistol) and Michelle Jenneke (athletics).

Please click the below link to view the photos from the evening


Blues for 2014

Stephanie Ambrose – Soccer

Natalie Archer – Athletics

Kim Avina – Kendo

Jennifer Blundell – Athletics

Hannah Buckling – Water Polo

James Dargaville – Rugby Union

Matthew Donald – Fencing

John Downes – Fencing

Emily Duve – Athletics

Katie-Rae Ebzery – Basketball

Emily Esposito – Pistol

Christopher Friend – Surfing

Kyah Gray – Hockey

Jack Hanley – Boat

Grace Henry – Soccer

Alice Keighley – Handball

Emily Kempson – Triathlon

Katherine Kwa – Fencing

Thomas Lewis – Skiing

Benjamin Lindsay – Swimming

Christian Lozada – Athletics

Nicola Maitland – Softball

Te Haumi Maxwell – Swimming

Jessica Moro – Taekwondo

Alexander Purnell – Boat

Nathaniel Romeo – Swimming

Maddison Rosser – Swimming

William Sierakowki – AFL

Kara Sutherland – Women’s cricket

Kane Townsend – Table Tennis

Julie Tran – Kendo

Rosie Weber – Athletics

Daniel Whitehead – Boat

Hyun Woong (Sam) Yang – Taekwondo


Golds for 2014

Ann Mitchell – Sports Administration

Mohammed Alkhub – Squash (2005)

Craig Fear – Rugby Union

Peter Hemming – Rugby Union

Jason McLennan – AFL

Ross Ryan – Rugby Union

Lariss Stanley – Athletics

Ed Walgien – Rugby Union