Five nominated in 2018 Women In Sport Awards

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Five University of Sydney-affiliated athletes have been named as Women’s Health Women In Sport Award Nominees for 2018.

The awards recognise and celebrate Australia’s female athletes – from grassroots through to elite professional level – and their achievements over the past 12 months. 

Nominees include current Elite Athlete Program members, Anja Stridsman and Belinda Snell, Sydney University Women’s Rugby Club member, Ash Hewson, former Sydney University Athletics Club member, Madeline Hills and recent Elite Athlete Program and University of Sydney Alumna, Anneliese Rubie.

See the full award breakdown below.

Anneliese Rubie is nominated for the Local Sporting Champion Award

Criteria: We salute the grassroots’ greatest – this woman competes and gives back to her sport at a local level. It’s time to give her some recognition. She’s well-known around her local community, not just for her performance, but for supporting others in her sport. She exemplifies the spirit and ideals of a true sportswoman both on and off the field. She is not necessarily pulling a wage from her sport and may be in other full-time employment.

The Rio Olympian and two-time Commonwealth Games athlete (Women’s 400m & 4x400m relay) is not only a member of Sydney University Athletics Club, but a recent graduate of the University of Sydney (B. Arts.) She was named the joint Female Blue of the Year in 2013 and Valedictorian in 2017, recording a PB (51.51 in the 400m) at the most recent Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Anja Stridsman is nominated for the Comeback of the Year Award

Criteria: This athlete has achieved the seemingly impossible, coming back from a physical, mental or emotional challenge to accomplish a sporting high. She’s triumphed over adversity to achieve a huge win while competing at a national/international level in the past 12 months. She’s been open about the challenges she has faced, and used her experience to inspire the broader community to achieve their own goals. While displaying sporting excellence, she’s also encouraged conversation about an important issue and conducted herself with grace in all areas of her life. 

No suprises with this nomination. Current SUSF Elite Athlete Program member and University of Sydney Student (B. Arts & B. Economics), Anja Stridsman won the gold medal for Australia in the Women’s 60kg at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, defeating England’s Paige Murney in the final bout. Remarkably, just eight months prior to winning a gold medal for her country, Anja tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) while competing in Poland. A comeback indeed!

With Celia Sullohern and Eloise Wellings, Madeline Hills is nominated for the Moment of the Year Award

Criteria: This all-time best female sporting moment has sent the country into a frenzy. This award is given to a moment in play OR as the result of a single game or season. The team or individual had an extraordinary victory in their game/competition/race/season that got Australia talking on social media, conventional media and in the local pubs around the nation. This moment changed the perception of the team or individual, and in turn, the sport (ie, empowered women and/or put their chosen sport on the social media agenda).

At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, former Sydney University Athletics Club member, Madeline Hills finished 8th in the 10,000m final with a time 32:01.04, and 10th in the 5000m with a time of 15:46.92. Hills also made news for a tremendous act of sportsmanship on day five. She, with Celia Sullohern and Eloise Wellings, stayed on the track waiting for Lineo Chaka, from the southern African nation of Lesotho, to run the last few laps at Carrara Stadium on her own. They clapped for her as she finished the race. 

Two stalwarts of sport at the University of Sydney, Belinda Snell and Ash Hewson, are nominated for the Leadership Legend Award

Criteria: This woman has shown top leadership skills while skippering a team to success. She’s displayed exceptional leadership in her game/competition/race/season, which in turn has led to her team’s outstanding success on a national or international level. She possesses leadership qualities that go beyond the realm of her responsibilities of team captain/senior team member. She’s helped increase the profile of women in sport and has shown exceptional sportswomanship both on and off the field. This athlete has consistently performed at a high level every time she has competed. Her performance and off-field actions will leave a lasting legacy on her sport.

Current Captain of the Brydens Sydney Uni Flames and long term Australian women’s basketball star, Belinda Snell announced her retirement from international competition at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Playing 159 games in the green and gold, Snell’s leadership and contribution to the sport is second-to-none. Snell is a current member of the Elite Athlete Program, completing her Grad. Cert. in Educational Studies (Sports Coaching) at the University of Sydney. 

Captain of Sydney University Women’s Rugby Club, Ash Hewson, is another leader in sport at the University. Also announcing her retirement in April of this year, Hewson called time on her international career after captaining (and kicking) NSW to a win in the Super W final. One of Australia’s most decorated Wallaroos, Hewson is a formidable leader in club rugby, about to lead the undefeated Students in a semi-final game against Paramatta, vying for the Jack Scott Cup.

Congratulations to all athletes on their nominations! Votes can be cast HERE.