Two women standing on a stage at an awards event
Claire Colwill (left) and Elizabeth Dekkers at the UQ Blues Awards night.
7 November 2022

Several Commonwealth Games representatives are among 19 students recognised for their sporting achievements as The University of Queensland celebrates 110 years of the UQ Blues Awards.

University Blues – regarded as UQ’s highest sporting honour – have been awarded to 8 students in 2022 for exceptional results at national or international-level competitions, while 11 Half Blues have been awarded for outstanding achievements at state, underage or UniSport-sanctioned events.

Swimmer Elizabeth Dekkers, a UQ Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) student, was awarded a Blue for her outstanding performances in the pool, most notably a gold medal in the 200 metres butterfly at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

“The fact that I’m a Commonwealth Games gold medallist hasn’t sunk in yet because it was something I had only ever dreamed of achieving,” Dekkers said.

"I’m honoured to be receiving a Blue. It’s pretty incredible when you look at the people who have won it in the past.”

UQ Clinical Exercise Physiology student Claire Colwill received a Blue after a stellar season on the hockey field.

She was part of Australia’s silver medal-winning side at the Commonwealth Games and bronze medal-winning performance at the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup.

Blue recipients also included UQ para-swimmer and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) student Harrison Vig, who finished fourth in the S9 100 metres backstroke at the Commonwealth Games, and Felicity Cradick, a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education (Honours) student who competed in the Commonwealth Games as a guide for Australia’s sole female para-triathlete Erica Burleigh.

“It’s an amazing honour to receive a Blue among some incredible athletes,” Cradick said.

This year’s UQ Blues Awards dinner on Friday 4 November marked the 110th anniversary of the honours, presented to champion UQ athletes for their outstanding sporting achievements and for enhancing the reputation of university sport.Two women wearing white Commonwealth Games t-shirts. The women are angled towards each other with their arms crossed.

UQ Sport Chief Executive Officer Bryan Pryde said a University Blue or Half Blue is one of the highest accolades a student-athlete can receive.

“Being an award recipient means you’re joining a very exclusive club,” Mr Pryde said.

“Since 1912, the University has awarded fewer than 2,500 Blues and Half Blues – which represents only 1 per cent of UQ graduates to date.

This year’s awardees represent 15 different sports and include 9 UQ Sporting Scholarship recipients. I congratulate all the athletes on their remarkable sporting achievements this year.”

The Blues name is derived from the inter-varsity rivalry between Britain’s Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

A Cambridge oarsman famously tied a light blue ribbon, the colours of Eton College, to the bow of a boat during a race in 1836.

The Blues legacy was born, and the tradition of Blues Awards has been widely adopted by universities all over the world.

Notable former recipients of UQ Blues awards include former Wallabies captains Dr Mark Loane AM (1973), Michael Lynagh AM (1982) and Stephen Moore AM (2005); Olympic gold-medal swimmers Dr David Theile AO (1957), Kieren Perkins OAM (1992) and Susie O’Neill OAM (1996); former Australian women’s cricket captain Jodie Fields (2013); and Paralympic swimmer Lakeisha Patterson OAM (2018).

Image above right: Felicity Cradick (left) who competed in the Commonwealth Games as a guide for Australia’s sole female para-triathlete Erica Burleigh (right). Credit: Getty Images

 

2022 UQ Blue recipients

Jack Clayton

Cricket

Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Sciences (Honours)

 

Claire Colwill

Hockey

Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology

 

Felicity Cradick

Triathlon

Bachelor of Health, Sport, and Physical Education (Honours)

 

Elizabeth Dekkers

Swimming

Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours)

 

Cara Feain-Ryan

Athletics

Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours)

 

Mac Grealy

Rugby Union

Bachelor of Business Management

 

Emily Meaney

Diving

Master of Physiotherapy Studies

 

Harrison Vig

Swimming

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

 

2022 UQ Half Blue recipients

Jacob Crook

Fencing

Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology (Honours)

 

Eve Gath

Water Polo

Bachelors of Mathematics / Computer Science

 

Ryan Gray

Orienteering

Bachelors of Mathematics / Science

 

Jeremy Hunt

Athletics

Doctor of Medicine

 

Shemaiah James

Athletics

Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education (Honours)

 

Chelsea Mailer

Lifesaving

Bachelor of Science (Honours)

 

Jana Milutinovic

Beach volleyball

Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)

 

Jayden Morrow

Surf Lifesaving

Bachelors of Science / Education (Secondary)

 

Elizabeth Newell

Rowing

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)

 

Natalie Wright

Rugby Sevens

Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology (Honours)

 

Corbin Zahn

Surf Lifesaving

Bachelors of Business Management / Economics

Media: UQ Communications, communications@phillycheckpoint.com, +61 (0)429 056 139.