INDEPENDENT NEWS

Sports Superstars Battle For Honour

Published: Tue 29 May 2001 02:56 PM
Five superstars of New Zealand sport battle out for the 2000 New Zealand Universities Sportsperson of the Year this Saturday.
Silver Ferns Lesley Nicol and Adine Harper, Black Cap James Franklin, All Black Scott Robertson, and multi-talented runner Melissa Moon are the five finalists for the award to be announced at the New Zealand Universities Blues awards.
“This is the toughest year of selection for an outright winner”, said Dr Jane Skeen, member of the NZU Blues panel. “We have so many excellent athletes to choose from this year, all who have performed significantly on the international stage. I can’t remember a year when the contest has been so even”.
Previous winners of the NZU Sportsperson of the Year include Farah Palmer 1998, Belinda Colling 1997, Danyon Loader 1994, and Mark Ellis 1993.
The NZU Blues Panel consists of Dr Jane Skeen, Howie Tamati, Stephanie Foster, and Mary Stewart. They selected 47 recipients to receive Blues from 94 nominations. The finalists for the Sportsperson of the Year was chosen from the Blues recipients. The winner of the Sportperson of the Year award will be announced at a celebration of all Blues recipients at Parliament on Saturday evening.
“The NZU Blues Award is a reward for excellence and achievement on the sporting field. It is often the start of a life filled with similar achievements in the community and business world. NZU Blues is a reflection of the strength, commitment and flair of New Zealanders”, said University Sport Executive Director Sacha Haskell.
Attached: background sheet on Blues
THE BACKGROUND
The New Zealand Universities Blues Award (NZU Blues) is the highest sporting accolade in the New Zealand tertiary system. It is part of a tradition dating from 1902 in New Zealand and earlier in England, where the colours of Oxford and Cambridge came to be a recognition of sporting excellence.
To be eligible for a NZU Blues students must be enrolled at a New Zealand University or have graduated one year prior to the presentation of the award. Students need to have passed the national qualifying standard set by their national sports organisation and have passed at least one third of a full time course.
The NZU Blues is awarded annually. Since 1902 NZU Blues have been received by over 2,700 of our top university athletes.
The 2001 New Zealand University Blues awards ceremony for the 2000 Blues recipients is being hosted by the Hon Trevor Mallard, Minister of Sport Fitness & Leisure, in the Banquet Hall of Parliament, on Saturday Evening, June 2nd.

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