Kate Kyros and Flynn Southam have claimed the top honours at the 2023 Bond University Blues Awards.
The teenaged duo, both in their first year at university, highlighted the fresh wave of talent in the Bond Elite Sports Program as they were named female and male Sportsperson of the Year at a gala function at the Princeton Room on Thursday night.
It was no surprise that after securing 35 medals and three national records, teenaged equestrian dressage sensation Kyros would be judged the female Sportsperson of the Year.
Kyros' consistent excellence throughout 2023 was highlighted by her impressive performances in both age and open categories at national and international tournaments.
Notably, she broke the Australian record for the highest score in the young rider individual competition three times in a single year, continuously surpassing her personal best.
To top off what had already been an outstanding year, Kyros was crowned the Overall FEI CDI U25 Grand Prix National Reserve Champion and the Overall FEI CDI National Young Rider Champion for 2023.
“It has been an incredible year and I’m so thrilled to be here accepting this award and I can’t wait to ring my mum and tell her,” she said.
“I’m very lucky to have the horses I do, we’re a team and I wouldn’t be here without them.
“We work very hard every day, we’ll celebrate this but we’ll be back at it in the morning.”
The men’s Sportsperson of the Year was a recognition of another athlete with talent beyond his years who continued to raise the bar throughout his 2023 swimming season.
Flynn Southam proved to be an unstoppable force in the pool, amassing an impressive 13 medals in both national and international events.
Southam’s achievements included a gold medal at the World Aquatics Championships in the 4x100m freestyle relay, as well as silver and bronze medals in various categories at the Australian Swimming Championships.
Notably, Southam also clinched gold and silver medals at the World Junior Championships, further solidifying his reputation as Australia’s most promising up and comer.
“It has been an amazing year and I certainly could not have done it without my family at Bond swimming, my teammates and the coaches,” Southam said.
“But we can’t rest on our laurels, we’re straight into preparation for Paris and I’m confident there will be a few of us on that Australian team.’’
The prestigious 2023 Champion Team Award was presented to the Bull Sharks AFL women.
This extraordinary side made QAFLW history this year as the only club to ever win both the senior and reserves premierships in the same season.
Bond’s Director of AFL and senior women’s coach Andy Lovell played a crucial role in guiding the team to their impressive victories.
It was only fitting that in doing so Lovell earnt the well-deserved award of Coach of the Year.
Since joining the Bull Sharks at the beginning of 2023, the entire club can testify to the shift Lovell’s presence has brought to the club culture, standard of play and overall player development.
“The girls deserve the team of the year award and to be honest, my award is all because of them,” he said.
“From the day I arrived the plan was introduce some change to the way we trained and played and that can be difficult.
“But to their credit they embraced what we wanted to do and got stuck into the hard work and I’m so happy they get to celebrate the rewards for that work.’’