On the evening of the Valete dinner celebrations, it was also an opportunity to present the annual sporting awards and the highest accolade of all, the “Aquinian of the Year” trophy. The Sports Secretaries, James Ganley and Kenidee McNamara took to the stage to announce the sports award recipients.
Jason Gowers Memorial Trophy. A warm welcome was extended to Kale McBain, former Aquinian and President, who attended to present the Jason Gowers Memorial Trophy for the College swimming champion. This year there were two worthy recipients selected by coaches Eloise Vaughan and Hannah Kroemer and after saying a few words, April Burdon and Charlie Muecke were announced to collect the trophy.
Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year. These awards are given to the best performers of each sport and takes into account participation in sports. It is voted by each team member using a 3,2,1 voting system.
Sportsman of the Year: James announced the award as follows “This year’s sportsman is awarded to a 2nd year, who has competed in a number of sports at an exceedingly high level. He played netball, football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, table tennis and athletics. He not only participated but also coached sports. He was one of the best, if not the best in every sport. He carried on his success from his fresher year if not excelling this year. He has once again demonstrated his skill and sportsmanship after winning the table tennis champion. We have no doubt he will continue to succeed and contribute with great success for the College next year. We are proud of what this man has been able to achieve and you will struggle to find a more worthy winner. It gives me great pleasure to congratulate our 2017 Sportsman of the Year, Adam Proud.”
Sportswomen of the Year: This award was introduced by Kenidee who said, “This award goes to an extremely talented fresher, who had a very large impact on the sports she has played in. She excelled in netball, football and basketball and played a large part in our athletics campaign, proving that having no High Table Cup experience didn’t impact her performance. She stood up as a leader, imparting her skills to all team members. She was appreciated for her sportsmanship by being named netball champion and even whilst struggling from injury and juggling outside commitments, this didn’t stop this amazing fresher from an outstanding contribution to our High Table Cup success. We are excited to see this girls’ passion and skill continue when she returns next year as a leader in her 2nd year of College. Therefore, I am proud to announce the 2017 Sportswomen of the Year recipient is Rachel Hines.”
Sports Contributor Award. James and Kenidee then had the privilege to present an award to the greatest contributors of College sport and similar to last year, it was decided to give it to two deserving winners.
Sports Contributor Awards: Kenidee went on to say “The first admirable winner was someone who was not only a coach and player in multiple sports, but also an amazing role model, either contributing to the many sports or showing great support by always being there to lend a hand. Every sport she coached was given 110%, not to mention her unquestionable effort on the field. Whether a player or coach her positive attitude as a good leader set a great example and she has been a major contributor to our High Table Cup victory. She experienced both coaching and playing success winning football, hockey and volleyball, and closely missing out on table tennis and soccer. Her dedication to College, as well as her leadership and passion, shows what it takes to be a true Aquinian and we cannot thank her enough for her huge contribution and unfailing assistance. The College will certainly miss her talent, commitment, support, love and big smile next year. So, we would like to offer our huge congratulations and invite to the stage a very deserving winner, Stephanie Baird.”
James then said “The second winner who like Stephanie, not only played in multiple sports also gave up his time to coach. The attitude he showed towards each sport and the effort and commitment he gave was second to none. The way he was able to address his team, pass on his knowledge and show great leadership was something we were really impressed with. He managed to juggle College sport with his other sporting commitments, always trying to put College first. He played in netball, football, basketball, soccer, volleyball and athletics, giving each sport his all. The leadership and maturity he showed around difficult situations was inspiring. Kenidee and I would like to thank him for his assistance this year and with his return next year, we do not doubt his continuing effort and commitment and he will lead the way for a new group of freshers, showing them the Aquinas spirit. It is a pleasure to announce the second 2017 Sports Contributor is Jonty Inglis.”
Aquinian of the Year. The pinnacle of the awards is the announcement of the Aquinian of the Year and Eliza Boulton (incoming 2018 President) and Sean Munro, House Coordinator and Valetant were called upon to present this award.
A true Aquinian beholds the virtues of respect and compassion for others, not only those within the College but devotes time to care for those less well off, proactively contributes to the welfare and spirit of the College by participating in College sporting, spiritual and cultural programmes, demonstrates a successful academic record and personifies the sense of community and the friendly, caring culture the College is renowned for.
The recipient of this year’s award has been a resident of the College for the past three years and an outstanding young woman whose positive and wholehearted love of her fellow Aquinians and College life shines daily. The College community were bought to their feet and loudly applauded the announcement of Isabelle Hall as “Aquinian of the Year”.
Lawrie Smart Shield. The Lawrie Smart Shield is a perpetual trophy in honour of Dr Lawrie Smart, OA, an inaugural resident in 1950 & President of the student club that year. It is awarded to the House that attains the most points across the year from a range of different competitions which fall into three categories of Outreach hours, Recreational events and Intellectual challenge. This year Roche House residents proudly claimed the shield.