La Trobe’s sporting champions celebrated at the Blues Sport Awards

Published Fri 10 Nov 2023

A new chapter of excellence in performance, participation and contribution to sport was celebrated at last week’s 2023 La Trobe University Blues Sport Awards.

Over 130 people converged on the time-honoured Ikon Park last Thursday to celebrate the University’s major sporting accomplishments at La Trobe Sport’s night of nights.

In the major awards presented on the night, the coveted Sportspeople of the Year Awards were awarded to La Trobe University Elite Athlete Program (LEAP) members, Halle Mifsud (Weightlifting, Bachelor of Food and Nutrition) and Daniel McGrath (Baseball, Bachelor of Commerce).

Mifsud received the recognition off the back of an outstanding past 12 months, in which she represented Australia at the 2022 IWF World Championships in Columbia in December last year, before setting a new Australian Senior and Under 23 record at the 2023 Queensland Junior & Under 23 Championships, with a 111kg Clean & Jerk at 59kg body weight.

McGrath on the other hand was awarded the honour in absentee due to being on international duty overseas with the Australian Men’s Baseball team. The pitcher represented Australia at the World Baseball Classic in Tokyo earlier this year and played a key role in helping the Australian team make it out of the group stages for the first time in tournament history.

Mifsud and McGrath were also presented with full University Blues on the night, along with Aimee Aharoni (Judo, Bachelor of Applied Science and Master of Physiotherapy Practice), Lily Tomkinson (Snow Skiing, Bachelor of Animal and Vet Bioscience) and Sophie Reinehr (Rowing, Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science) in recognition of outstanding professional sporting achievements on the international or national stage.

University Half Blues for significant sporting achievements or representation at state or national level were awarded to Liam Park (Judo, Bachelor of Business), Rebecca Pizzey (Basketball, Bachelor of Applied Science and Master of Physiotherapy Practice), Thomas Alisandratos (Football, Bachelor of Physiotherapy), Amy Bachmann (Equestrian, Bachelor of Dental Science), Loredana D’Orazio (Cheerleading, Master of Occupational Therapy), Cooper Goulding (Judo, Bachelor of Exercise Science), Alana Bellman (Sport Aerobics, Bachelor of Sport Coaching and Development), Paige Zois (Football, Bachelor of Biomedicine), Caitlin Laird (Softball, Bachelor of Arts) and Kaelan Boundy (Hockey, Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science). Boundy also received the Sporting and Academic Excellence Award for the highest academic achievement of a Full Blue or Half Blue recipient with a weighted average mark (WAM) of 91.

In the Team La Trobe awards, it was a huge night for the La Trobe University Women’s Basketball team. Not only were they awarded with the Team La Trobe Team of the Year Award for the second year in succession, but the team’s coach Cameron Burt was also presented with the Coach of the Year Award.
In yet another outstanding year, the Eagles had a total win-loss record of 18 wins and two losses across their two championship-winning University Basketball League (UBL) and Uni Nationals Division 1 campaigns in 2023, including an unbeaten run of 9-0 at the Uni Nationals on the Gold Coast.
The team also represented La Trobe University on the international stage in December 2022, where on the back of their 2022 UBL championship win, they were invited to represent UniSport Australia in a series of exhibition games in Taiwan against Chinese Taipei universities.

Team La Trobe Uni Nationals co-captain and LEAP member Marija Lukic was presented with the Team La Trobe Athlete of the Year Award on the back of her brilliant leadership and winning a gold medal in Beach Volleyball at the Uni Nationals Division 1 competition.

Rounding out the awards was a dual presentation to the La Trobe University Football Club, who took out the Sport Club of the Year in recognition of the club’s enormous contribution towards enriching the La Trobe student experience and engaging with the local community.

The club’s president, Andrew Sutherland, was also bestowed with the Outstanding Service to Sport Award in honour of his enormous contribution to the La Trobe University Football Club as a player, coach and administrator over a 40-year period.

Stay tuned to the La Trobe Sport Facebook page for a full gallery of images from the 2023 Blues Sport Awards in due course.