Accolades for ACU’s healthy minds and bodies

Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games medallists, cricket world champions, and NRLW, NRL and AFL stars were among a distinguished cohort honoured with the first batch of Blues presented at ACU’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.

Award Recipients

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 an 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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