New awards recognise JCU’s sporting excellence
A new award ceremony inspired by a rich tradition going back almost 200 years will honour James Cook University’s top athletes.
The James Cook University Student Association (JCUSA) Sport Blues Awards will recognise students who have represented JCU at a high level with distinction in local, state or national competitions with a special plaque.
Originating in the 1800s as part of the rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge universities, students would receive a blue ribbon and then later a blue jacket when representing their university in sports.
The concept has since been adopted by various universities across Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.
JCUSA Sport and Recreation Manager Jason Conn said the Awards brought JCU into line with governing body UniSport Australia and other universities across the country.
“We’ve seen how much of a tradition it has become for those universities and how prestigious it is for those students,” he said.
“There’s a lot of intrigue amongst the students, and when you explain the importance of these awards for JCU and the sports department, that’s only going to grow as the years go by.”
Mr Conn said JCU had been recognised on both a national and international sporting level, with students having played for the JCU Townsville Fire WNBL team, North Queensland Cowboys, and the former Townsville Crocodiles NBL team.
JCU women’s netball team player Mya Thomas said she was excited by the new Awards.
“It’s great to see the university recognising students who are competing at a high level,” she said.
Aimee Jones, who plays for JCU’s mixed touch football team, said the Awards would help encourage students to pursue their sporting dreams.
“It’ll definitely get more students interested and wanting to play at this sort of level,” she said.
The pair represented JCU at this week’s UniSport Nationals - Queensland competition on the Gold Coast.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing touch football and you don’t get to play mixed at a competitive level that much in Townsville, so it’s good to go down to the Gold Coast and compete against other unis at a high level,” Ms Jones said.
The Blues Awards will be broken into two groups – the Blue Award for students who have participated at a state or national level with distinction and Half Blue Award for students who have participated at a high level with distinction including local or state.
Several trophies will also be awarded at the ceremony including Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year and the Spirit of Sport.
Mr Conn said each sport will have its own judging criteria tailored to North Queensland, with a judging panel comprising of former athletes and those who have experience in a variety of sports.
Townsville will host their Blues Awards at the JCUSA Fitness Centre on November 26, while Cairns will have their Awards the following day at the JCU Boathouse.
To nominate, click here.
Nominations close on November 3.
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