12 November 2007

The University of Queensland’s elite athletes and officials were honoured recently at the 2007 Blues and Sports Awards dinner.

Tattersall’s Club provided the setting for the annual gala event which pays homage to outstanding individual, team and club performances throughout the year.

The hotly contested Sportsman of the Year award went to Wallaby and Queensland Reds hooker Stephen Moore, while swimming sensation Melanie Schlanger took out the Sportswoman of the year.

Mr Moore came into his own in 2007, cementing his position as the first choice hooker for the Wallabies and playing in his first Rugby World Cup.

The 24-year-old said it was a privilege to join the likes of fellow Wallaby Nathan Sharpe, rower Sam Conrad and Olympian Toby Jenkins on the Honour Roll.

“It’s a big honour, I’ve been at Uni now for about six years and spent a fair bit of time there so to see the trophy and read the names that are engraved on it before me is certainly very humbling,” Moore said.

Clem Jones scholarship holder Melanie Schlanger has once again made an emphatic splash in the swimming arena this year.

A regular feature of the Australian women’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay team alongside swimming stars Libby Lenton, Linda MacKenzie and Shayne Reese, Ms Schlanger has risen to be ranked the fourth fastest Australian woman in history in the 100m freestyle.

Ms Schlanger was unable to attend Sports Awards dinner as she was competing in the 2007 FINA Swimming World Cup, where she finished third in the 100m freestyle behind Libby Lenton and Finn Hanna-Maria Seppala.

This year three Blues and ten Half Blues recipients were also recognised as the University’s best performing athletes of 2007.

Weightlifter Amanda Phillips, rugby player Brett Gillespie and water polo star Sarah Mills were all awarded Blues, the highest honour awarded to student athletes at University level.

Australian Under 19 team captain and centre for Australian Rugby Championship (ARC) team the Ballymore Tornadoes, Mr Gillespie was particularly proud of the award after following in his father’s footsteps.

“It is a great honour and a thrill to do what my Dad did so many years ago when he won a Blue for soccer in South Africa,” he said.

Of the ten Half Blues awarded it was a special occasion for the Farquhar family, with siblings Sally and Richard both receiving Half Blues for their sporting achievements.

Richard was recognised for his consistency in the pool this year, claiming silver in the 50m breaststroke at the Queensland State Swimming Championships before finishing fifth in the Australian Short Course Championships in September.

While Sally shares her brother’s love for the pool, she is a little more hands on with her opponents, choosing to take up water polo.

Sally has played for the Queensland Breakers in the National Water Polo League since 2006 and had a starring role in the 2006/07 Schoolgirls tour of New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

And after just two days of being awarded a Half Blue for an outstanding season, 18-year-old Joshua Amberger blitzed a world class field to finish fourth in the Noosa Triathlon.

This year’s dinner welcomed back Blues recipients from the pre 1960s and 1990s to be part of the celebrations, while the earliest recorded living blue, 93-year-old John Percy, was presented memorabilia from his old rowing days.

Awardees for 2007 are:

Sportsman of the Year:
Stephen Moore (Rugby Union)

Sportswoman of the Year:
Melanie Schlanger (Swimming)

Recipients of Half Blues:
Anthony Craig (Athletics)
Catherine Drummond (Athletics)
James Walsh (Fencing)
Emma Harris (Softball)
Richard Farquhar (Swimming)
Joshua Amberger (Triathlon)
Adam Carlton (Triathlon)
Sally Farquhar (Water polo)
Jordan Votan (Water polo)
Angus Morton (Rowing)
Tamara Collins (Hockey)

Recipients of Full Blues:
Amanda Phillips (Weightlifting)
Sarah Mills (Water polo)
Brett Gillespie (Rugby Union)

2007 Volunteer of the Year:
Scott Young – UQ AFL Club

Club Administrator of the Year:
Steve How Lum – UQ Powerlifting Club

2007 Presidents Cup:
UQ Athletics Club

2007 Club Coach of the Year:
Kerry Norman – UQ Touch Club

2007 Hulbert Bursary Award:
UQ Women’s Hockey Club

Media: James Rigby at UQ SPORT (07 3346 7518, jamesr@uqsport.uq.edu.au)