Accolades for ACU’s healthy minds and bodies

Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games medallists, cricket world champions, NRLW, NRL and AFL stars were among a distinguished cohort honoured with the first batch of Blues presented at Australian Catholic University’s Sport and Performer Awards.

Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) student and Blue recipient Ash Waterman (Azure) and Bachelor of Speech Pathology student Jasmine Eldridge performed live at the inaugural awards ceremony held at Melbourne’s Cathedral Hall.

The event recognised the depth and breadth of achievement across the university’s student athletes and performers who succeeded at the top of their fields while meeting and exceeding academic standards.

The awards reflected the emphasis ACU places on the importance of sport, health and wellbeing programs in the lives of students while at university.

“You don’t need to be a gold medallist to gain enormous benefit from physical activity,” director of Sport, Wellbeing and Residential Life Paul McJannett said. “These award recipients embody the notion that a healthy mind and body should be indivisible, and that sport or performance disciplines promote student engagement, retention and success.”

Among those lauded for their efforts were ACU’s two-time Indigenous Unisport Nationals champions and Club of the Year ACU FC (Sydney).

Current and alumni Elite Athlete and Performer Program (EAPP) members were prominent recipients of ACU’s first round of Blues, the highest sporting honour awarded within tertiary institutions.

Decorated Paralympian Ellie Cole (alumna) was presented with a Blue and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games medallist Abigail Paduch was awarded a Blue and was one of three students honoured with an EAPP Academic Excellence Award.

Blue recipient Mason Wood said before the ceremony that tertiary study helped alleviate the stress of professional sport and prepared him for his transition to a post-AFL career.

“What study does is provide an escape from the footy club,” said the 29-year-old who lauded the holistic support St Kilda provides to players involved in higher education.

University Blue

  • Abigail Paduch
  • Alexandria Perkins
  • Anabelle Smith
  • Ashley-June Waterman
  • Brenden Hall
  • Bronte Job
  • Declan Tingay
  • Elle Armit
  • Ellie Cole
  • Emma Tonegato
  • Jarryn Geary
  • Justin Thomas Tulett
  • Kane Richardson
  • Luke Keary
  • Mason Wood
  • Nat Butcher
  • Nicola Carey
  • Rachael Lynch
  • Ricardo James Hadfield
  • Rowena Meredith
  • Sarah Roy

EAPP Academic Excellence

  • Abigail Paduch
  • Alexandria Perkins
  • Brydie Parker

Club of the Year

  • ACU FC Sydney

Outstanding Performance by and Athlete/Performer with a Disability

  • Hayley Slocombe

Outstanding Performance by an Indigenous Athlete/Performer

  • Jordan Bliss

Team of the Year

  • ACU Sport Indigenous Nationals 2022 Team

Volunteer of the Year

  • Ameliah Crowe

Official of the Year

  • Benjamin Marshall

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