Olympic Gold medallist and world champion sailor, Mat Belcher and Australian University Games (AUG) Gold medallist swimmer, Amy Levings took out top honours at Bond University’s annual Blues Awards last night, when they were named Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.
The two award winners were very popular choices with the 100-strong crowd, who gathered at Bond’s Princeton Room to honour the University’s sporting achievements and elite athletes.
2013 has been a huge year for Mat Belcher. He and team mate Will Ryan were recently named Australian Sailors of the Year and Mat is one of 5 finalists for World Sailor of the Year, which will be announced in Oman this month.
Mat is no stranger to success, having won 17 consecutive regattas and not experiencing a single loss since November 2011.
In addition to becoming a new dad to baby Aaron just eight weeks ago, Mat is halfway through his Master’s degree in Sustainable Development at Bond.
“It’s been a very busy year for me so far, but incredibly exciting,” Mat said.
“Winning Bond Sportsman of the Year is a huge honour and I’m very thankful to Bond for giving me the time and understanding to pursue my goals in sailing, while at the same time completing my Master’s,” Mat said.
“It’s not easy, but if you want to follow your dreams in sport, and balance it with your studies – Bond University is definitely the place to be.”
With this most recent accolade, Mat is following in the footsteps of his brother Dan who was named Bond Sportsman of the Year for his achievements in Sailing in 2000.
Bond Sportswoman of the Year, swimmer Amy Levings, was a standout star at the 2013 Australian University Games (AUG), taking home five gold medals and one bronze in the pool and setting two new Games records in the 200m Freestyle and 200m Butterfly events.
Amy also shone at the Australian Open Short Course Championships, winning silver and bronze and secured herself a place in the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) team at the US open tour in California.
Amy said she knew she was in line for a University Blue Award, which is awarded to students who excel at the AUG, national or international level, but being awarded the top honour took her totally by surprise.
“I knew I’d had a good year, but I certainly didn’t think I’d be named Sportswoman of the Year, given the amazing calibre of the athletes here tonight,” Amy said.
For Amy, the secret to her success in and out of the pool is time management, which is essential given the 21 year-old athlete spends 35 hours a week training.
“It’s challenging to strike the right balance between swimming and study, but thankfully our coach and all the staff here at the university are flexible and really want us to succeed at both,” she said.
“With such a lot of time spent in the pool and gym each day, I love coming to Bond and focusing my mind on something other than swimming,” she said.
With just six subjects left to complete her Journalism Degree, Amy has her sights set firmly on the finish line, and is keen to pursue a career in sports journalism when she graduates.
Amy’s next major focus in the pool is the State Championships in December, followed by the all-important Commonwealth Games trials in April 2014.
Other winners at the 2013 Blues Awards included:
Rewards students that show success at a national or international level in their chosen sport
Amy Levings (swimming), Alex Beck (athletics), Mat Belcher (sailing), Moritz auf der Heide (distance running), Gemma Blums (equestrian), Claudia Jones (netball), Emma Eichhorn (canoeing) and Ben Daley (rugby).
Rewards those athletes that have attained strong results at a national or state level
Glen Horner (beach volleyball), Benjamin Green (touch football), Sam Simmonds (volleyball), Celeste March (volleyball), Mel Schlanger (swimming), Sophie Walker (cross country), Campbell McDonald (surf lifesaving) and George Duddy (rugby union 7’s).
Awarded to the sporting club that best represents the University in all aspects of sporting life. The award is given to the sporting club that has exhibited demonstrable success at external competition, membership, and its presence on campus.
Bond Netball team
Recognises dedication to and leadership of a sporting club or team at Bond University.
Declan Hart (Ten Pin Bowling), Caitlin Liddelow (Netball) and Matthew Jackson (Cricket).
Outstanding Service to Sport
The Outstanding Service to Sport is awarded to the student who has shown exceptional commitment to the betterment of sport at Bond.
James Mulholland (BUSA/Water Polo) and Jonathon Paul (Hockey)
Bond University boasts 24 sporting clubs on campus and regularly participates in intervarsity sport on a regional and national level. The University is affiliated with Australian University Sport and sends teams to the Australian University Games (AUG) every year.
Last month Bond had its best ever result at the 2013 Australian University Games (AUG) taking home 11 Gold medals, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze and the Doug Ellis per capita trophy, which is awarded to the university winning the most pennants per student numbers.