Dalton and Ryan collect top awards

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Olympians Chloe Dalton and Will Ryan were named Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year for 2016 at the annual Sydney University Sport awards held in the Great Hall on Wednesday night.

Dalton, a gold medallist with the Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens team at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games, was in elite company. The other finalists for the award were Nicola Barr (women’s AFL), Jenny Blundell (athletics), Katie-Rae Ebzery (basketball – Flames) and Georgia Yeoman-Dale (soccer).

A Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) student, Dalton was an integral part of the Australian side that won gold at the Rio Games, scoring 34 points across the three-day competition.

At the 2017 Australia Day Honours she received the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to sport as a gold medallist at the Games. She was also part of the Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens team that clinched the country’s first ever World Series with a win over Spain in 2016. Dalton starred in the final, scoring a try and landing five conversions for a 15-point haul.

Will Ryan was also in elite company, with the other finalist for the men’s award including Rio Games qualifier Joshua Clarke (athletics) and new Wallaby Tomas Robertson (rugby union).

Ryan made his Olympic debut at the Rio Games, where he claimed silver alongside Mathew Belcher in the men’s 470 class. Despite Will falling out of the boat in the home straight and being overtaken by Greece, the experienced Australian crew managed to recover on the final stretch to overtake their opponents and finish with a silver Olympic medal.

The sporting awards were presented by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Registrar) Professor Tyrone Carlin.

The Sports Awards night also doubles as an occasion to introduce the Sporting Scholarship holders for 2017.

Since their inception in 1990, when three Sports Scholarships were on offer, the program has grown to provide assistance to 350 elite athletes each year.

Professor Carlin also presented Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships the Elite Athlete Program duces for 2017, whose academic averages from the previous year place them at the very top of the sporting scholarship group.

The awards went to Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) student Bethany Croft (athletics – steeplechase), and Bachelor of Engineering Honours and Bachelor of Science student Will North (athletics – decathlon).

A graduate of Willoughby High School, Croft completed the first year of her degree with five HDs and three Ds. While doing that she also represented Australia for the first time in track and field. At the 2016 Australian Junior Championships Croft won the steeplechase and came 3rd in the 1500m. Two weeks later she placed 4th Australian in the steeplechase at the 2016 Australian (Open) Athletics Championships and Olympic Trials. Croft was subsequently selected in the Australian Junior team that competed at the 2016 IAAF World Under 20 Championships in July in Poland where she made the final and placed 13th in the world. When she wasn’t studying, training, competing or travelling in 2016; Croft was a first-year student representative for her degree cohort.

Will North, a graduate of Knox Grammar School, was also the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship in 2016. At the time of last year’s Sports Awards, he was in his second year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science degrees and after achieving an HD average in 2015. He had topped first-year Chemical Engineering, was acknowledged in the Dean’s List of Excellence in Academic Performance and received an Academic Merit Prize. Will was the 2015 Under 20 NSW Champion and silver medallist at the Australian Championships. He also won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 2015 Australian Uni Games.

Will continued to demonstrate academic excellence throughout 2016. He rounded-out the year with an academic average of 93 and has received a Chancellor’s Award for a third consecutive year. He completed the unit Chemical and Biological Systems Behaviour in semester two last year and received a mark of 100, no less. Last week, Will was awarded an Academic Merit prize for 2nd year as well as the Dean’s List of Excellence.

Among the other awards presented on the night were the Pat Sharp Awards for Female Club Administrator of the Year.

Lynda Voltz MLC, the Shadow Minister for Sport and Veterans Affairs, presented the award to Olivia Warren (Women’s AFL). The other finalist was Barbara Waddell (Women’s Rugby).

Rupert Rosenblum was on hand to present the Rosenblum Family Trophy for the Male Club Administrator of the Year to Nathan Richardson (Touch Football). The other finalists were Josh Collier (Basketball) and Chris Kintis (Rugby League).The Professional Administrator of the Year was presented by Jordi Austin, the Director of Student Support Services and a Fellow of the University Senate. The joint winners were John Curran (Soccer) and David Haigh (Rugby), with the other finalists being Karen Dalton (Sydney Uni Flames), Tristan Liles (Australian Football) and Ian Trent (Water Polo).

The Ann Mitchell Australian University Games Award was presented by Sancha Donald, the Deputy Director of the Women’s Sports Association from 1986 to 1996 serving under both Pat Sharp and Ann Mitchell. The joint winners were Women’s Basketball, Women’s Soccer and Men’s Cricket.

The Club of the Year award was presented by Lee Hagipantelis, a graduate of the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, and a partner at Brydens Lawyers, the naming rights sponsor of Brydens Stadium, Sydney Uni Flames and Sydney Uni Soccer Football Club Women’s teams.

The joint winners were the Basketball Club and the Kendo Club, with the other finalists being the American Football and Ultimate Frisbee clubs.

The Premier Club of the Year was the Sydney University Women’s Water Polo Club in a strong field that included the Athletics and Rugby clubs. The award was accepted by club President Simon Lewis.

In 2016 the men’s and women’s water polo teams combined their National League performances to claim the inaugural Peter Kerr Trophy for Premier Club in the National Water Polo League. 

The women finished second on the table before taking out the club’s first women’ National League title with a 12-8 win over the Brisbane Barracudas, who appeared in their 8th consecutive NWPL grand final.

Former SUSF Sportswoman of the Year Hannah Buckling won the Grand Final MVP Award with five goals and was named in the NWPL All Star team along with teammate Keesja Gofers. The women’s club also had 4 representatives at the Rio Olympic Games: Keesja Gofers, Isobel Bishop, Lea Yanitsas and Hannah Buckling.

The Coach of the Year Award went to Daniel Kovacic (Basketball Club), with the other finalist being Andrew Ogborne (American Football).The award was presented by David Pacey, Secretary to the University Senate.

The Premier Coach of the Year was jointly awarded to Heather Garriock (Soccer Football Club) And Alicia Smith (Women’s Water Polo), with the other finalist being Tim Davidson (Rugby).

The night also marked the retirement of Bruce Ross as the President of Sydney University Sport.