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Maddie Groves awarded Sportsperson of the Year

Capping off a stellar year in the pool, butterfly superstar Maddie Groves was last night crowned Sportsperson of the Year at the Bond University Blues Awards.

This year alone, Groves competed for Australia in the FINA World Championships in Russia, the FINA World Cup Series in both Moscow and Paris and the Australian Swimming Championships in Sydney, where she claimed gold in the 200 metre butterfly and broke the Australian All Comers record.

The record marked the fastest time ever swum in an Australian pool in the 200 metre butterfly event and had previously been held by swimming legend, Susie O'Neill, for 15 years.

Groves is in her first year of a Bachelor of Social Sciences at Bond University after being awarded the 2015 Georgina Hope Rinehart Swimming Excellence Scholarship, an exclusive sporting scholarship that provides opportunities and support to young swimmers to complete their studies while competing at an elite level.

Also honoured at this year's Blues Awards were Queensland Reds captain James Slipper, surfing champion Codie Klein and long-distance swimmer Jordan Harrison, with the keynote address delivered by Bond student and world champion sailor, Mat Belcher.

Groves said she was honoured to accept the Sportsperson of the Year Award.

"It is such a privilege to stand in front of my fellow athletes and friends to accept the award for Bond University Sportsperson of the Year," she said.

"Bond is home to so many amazing athletes who study and train here, and their collective achievements both on and off the field this year have been truly commendable.

"Being part of the Bond Elite Sport Program has been such a benefit to me in juggling both my sporting and academic pursuits, and I am thankful to everyone who has supported me along my journey.

"The Rio Olympics are less than one year away, so my focus is now on training hard to give myself the best chance of making the Olympic podium in 2016."

The Bond University Blues Awards are held annually to celebrate and acknowledge the sporting achievements of Bond's student athletes and clubs, with past winners including Olympic gold medallists Melanie Wright (nee Schlanger) and Mat Belcher.

Wright, who was named Sportswoman of the Year at last year's awards, took home the title of 2015 Elite Sport Scholar, a new award for academic excellence presented to the Bond Elite Sport Program member with the best academic record.

Bond Cheer claimed the Champion Club trophy for winning the World Bid to represent Australia in the ICU World University Cheerleading Championships in Florida, USA, as well as claiming first prize at the Winterfest competition in Brisbane.

The Bond University Football Club, the Bond Bullsharks, took out the award for Best Sporting Moment for their historic back-to-back premiership win in the Queensland Amateur Football Association (QAFA- A) competition.

Also announced at the event was the 2015 ADCO Sport Excellence Scholarship recipient, awarded to leg spinner Matthew Kuhnemann for his outstanding performance representing both Queensland and Australian cricket at the U19 level.


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