Top students awarded AUT Blue Awards

18 Oct, 2019
 
AUT Blue Award recipients

59 AUT students from disciplines ranging from water polo to film directing had their successes celebrated at the 2019 AUT Blue Awards on Thursday 10 October.

This is the second year the awards have celebrated both sporting and art and culture successes, with the awards AUT Māori Athlete of the Year and AUT Junior Sportsperson of the Year introduced for the first time.

AUT established the awards to honour students who compete beyond their studies at the top level in their chosen sport, art or culture, while maintaining high academic achievement.

Head of School – Sport & Recreation Professor Erica Hinckson welcomed the students and their families and discussed celebrating success in the AUT community, with Vice President of AUTSA Angelica Tovia also addressing the crowd.

New Zealand Olympian Sarah Cowley Ross MC’d the event, and the audience also heard from guest speaker New Zealand basketball player Dillon Boucher.

The awards ceremony culminated with the presentation of six major awards – AUT Artistic Performance of the Year, AUT Female Athlete of the Year, AUT Male Athlete of the Year, Māori Athlete of the Year, AUT Junior Sportsperson of the Year and AUT Sportsperson of the Year.

AUT Sportsperson of the Year: Jessica Milicich – Water Polo

Jessica was a member of the NZ Women’s Water Polo Team who placed 7th at the FINA World Cup, 7th at the FINA Intercontinental World Cup, and 12th at the FINA World Championships.

Jessica captained the team for both the World League and the World Championships in 2019.

Jessica is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation and has maintained an A grade average over the past 12 months.

AUT Male Athlete of the Year: Jared Panchia – Hockey

Jared is a member of the NZ Black Sticks who placed 9th at the Hockey World Cup.

Jared is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Laws.

AUT Female Athlete of the Year: Charlotte Porter & Celia Willison

Charlotte and Celia both competed for Edge Racing at the GKSS Match Cup Women’s Trophy in Sweden (Women’s Match Racing Tour Final) as well as the NZ Women’s match racing nationals, with Celia at the Helm for both events.

Celia is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Health Science, in Nursing and Charlotte is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Health Science, in Physiotherapy

AUT Artistic Performance of the Year: Marina McCartney – Film

Marina was the Writer/Director of the Film Vai, and received numerous awards for the film, including The Grand Jury Award for International Narrative Feature at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and Best Narrative Feature at the Roxbury International Film Festival.

Marina is currently studying towards her PhD in Creative Practice.

AUT Māori Athlete of the Year: Pokaiaua Kurukaanga – Touch

Pokaiaua was a member of the NZ Men’s Touch Blacks who won Silver at the Touch World Cup.

Pokaiaua is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Health Science, in Physiotherapy.

AUT Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Kirsty Burrows – Underwater Hockey

Kirsty was a member of the NZ U24 Women’s Underwater Hockey Team who won gold at the Age Group World Championships.

Kirsty is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Health Science in Physiotherapy and has maintained an A Grade average over the past 12 months.

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