Little and Bell honoured with top honours at the 2023 Sports Awards

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World ranked javelin thrower, Mackenzie Little and Wallaby prop, Angus Bell were named 2023 Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year at the annual Sports Awards Dinner held in MacLaurin Hall on Wednesday 3 April.

During 2023, Little won gold at the UniSport Nationals where Sydney University claimed the overall title, earned a bronze medal with a personal best throw of 65.70m at the World Athletics Diamond League in Budapest, and was rated 2nd in the world by World Athletics at the end of the year. She also completed her medical degree and began her internship at Royal North Shore Hospital. Little has been a member of Sydney Uni Sport’s Elite Athlete Program (EAP) for some years.

“I’m so grateful and privileged to receive this award,” she said. “I’ve received so much support from so many people who have been part of my career over the years, Thank you all.”

She also made special mention of the EAP which she said was tantamount in helping her combine her arduous study and sport programs.

Others nominated for Sportswoman of the Year for 2023 were Tara Rigney (rowing), Taren King (soccer), Alice Arnott (hockey), Emily Sheppard (rowing), Rae Anderson (soccer), Evelyn Haseldine (sailing) and Savannah Henshaw (water polo).

Bell showcased his talent as one of the best young props on the world stage by playing in the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, as well as playing for the Barbarians and representing the NSW Waratahs in the Super Rugby tournament. He was also a nominee for the John Eales Medal, awarded to the Australian Player of the Year. Aside from rugby and study, he serves as a role model and advocate for the children’s disability organisation Whatability.

Bell enrolled at the University of Sydney in 2019, studying for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees and has been an EAP member since that time. “This award means a lot to me,” he said. “I hold Sydney University close to my heart when I’m playing here and when I’m representing Australia.”

He also paid tribute to Leonie Lum and her EAP staff. He said the program was key in assisting him to continue his “heartache studies” while travelling overseas or interstate to represent Australia and NSW.

Others nominated for the 2023 Sportsman of the Year were Rohan Browning (athletics) and Loui Schuler (water polo).

The annual Sports Awards Dinner celebrates the successes of Sydney University’s sporting clubs, administrators and athletes.


On that note, the evening’s award program included:


  • Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Academic and Sporting Excellence:
    • Steven Lin – Bachelor of Science (Advanced) & Master of Mathematical Sciences student and Badminton Player
    • Matilda Offord – Master of Health Communication Student and Triathlete
  • Senate Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement:
    • Nathan Battaglia – Australian Football player and Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise and Sport Science) student
    • Julia Baxter – Hurdler and Bachelor of Science & Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Taronga Wildlife Conservation) student
    • Elizabeth Bolster – Rower and Bachelor Education (Primary) student
    • Georgia Fichardt – 100m Hurdler and Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) student
    • Dominique  Goddard – Australian Football player, Cricketer and Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws student
    • Alexandra Harrison – High Jumper and Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise and Sport Science) student
    • Andrew Lei – Swimmer and Bachelor of Science & Doctor of Dental Medicine student
    • Keiley Mead – Australian Football player and Bachelor Applied Science (Diagnostic Radiography) student
    • Ethan Quintana – Sprinter and Bachelor of Advanced Computing & Bachelor of Science student
    • Frances Smith – Swimmer and Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Advanced Studies (International and Global Studies) student


  • Vice Chancellor’s Participation Program of the Year awarded to Lunchtime Social Soccer Competition. The other nominee was the Lunchtime Learn to Play Volleyball.
  • Ann Mitchell UniSport Nationals Team of the Year awarded to 3X3 Basketball (Men) other nominees included Squash, Ultimate Frisbee, Boat, Touch Football (Women), Hockey (Women) and Athletics (Women).
  • Rosenblum Family Male Club Administrator of the Year awarded to John Cowling (Squash) other nominees were Ben Warnock (Baseball), Brian Cho (Volleyball), Jim Beard (AFL) and Miller Argent (Rowing).
  • Pat Sharp Female Club Administrator of the Year awarded to Sara Al-Shameri (Soccer) other nominees included Emily Skipper (Cheerleading), Chaye Hartnell (Cricket) and Claudia Choi (Taekwando).
  • Professional Administrator of the Year awarded to Danielle Paskiewicz (AFL) other nominees were Amy Shepherd (Soccer) and Nick Ryan (Rugby Union).
  • Club of the Year awarded to Cheerleading other nominees included Squash, Netball and Baseball.
  • Professionally Administered Club of the Year awarded to Water Polo other nominees included AFL, Cricket, Rugby Union and Athletics.
  • Professional Coach of the Year awarded to Scott Nicholson (Water Polo) other nominees included Murray Creed (Cricket), Jonathon O’Hara (Soccer), Tom Laurich (Rowing), Adam Kennedy (Lawn Tennis), Scott Barker (Hockey) and Alfie Young (Rowing).
  • Coach of the Year awarded to Ryan Burge (Rugby Union) other nominees included Oscar Gibbons (Australian National Football), Antonia Maher (Cheerleading), Tim Spehr (Australian National Football), Immanuel Green (Gymnastics), Caitlyn Hargraves (Gymnastics) and Robert Giallombardo (Baseball).

Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Sydney University alumnus Tom Sacre, a former SUSF Elite Athlete Program member.

Distinguished guests called on to present awards included Deputy Chancellor, Richard Freudenstein and SUSF Head of Sport, Leonie Lum, while Dr Mackenzie Little OLY delivered the 2023 Valedictorian’s Toast.

In closing the evening, Chair of Sydney Uni Sport, Jane Spring AM congratulated all sporting individuals, clubs and administrators who had maintained the University’s high standards during the year.

“In ending the year as UniSport National champions, we not only retained the title but made it No.14 in the 20 years the program has been running,” he said.

She also made special mention of SUSF Events Manager, Kirsty Stevens who organised the dinner and extensive program for the evening which attracted a record 276 guests and participants.