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UniSport Australia celebrates and recognises outstanding contributions in 2021

Wednesday 11 May 2022

UniSport Australia (UniSport) last night honoured the 2021 sport award winners and welcomed new Life Members at the 2022 UniSport Gala dinner at the TAG Family Foundation Grandstand at The University of Sydney.

After being announced as Life Members at the 2021 Annual General Meeting, last night, Chris Massey UniSport Chair, formally welcomed Martin Doulton and Rob Smithies to join the group of twenty-one other Life Members.

New Life Member Martin Doulton was proud to formally receive his Life Membership after it was announced in 2021. “I feel absolutely honoured to be recognised by my peers and colleagues for my contribution to university sport. This is something that I am extremely passionate about and proud to have contributed to an outstanding and positive sector” Doulton said.

Alongside the welcoming of Life Members, UniSport announced the winners of ten sport awards. Melbourne University Sport collected three awards, capping off an outstanding year for the university, despite spending much of the year under Covid restrictions. Melbourne University Sport’s Director of Sport, Tim Lee, was delighted with the recognition. “I am thrilled with the recognition of our student-athletes and the work of the Melbourne University Lightning club. It is testament to the great work of our staff and volunteers across the organisation to receive this national acknowledgement.”

The winners of the sport awards were:

Most Outstanding Sporting Performance by a Student-Athlete with a disability award was presented to Jaryd Clifford from The University of Melbourne. Jaryd earnt this title from his impressive performance at the Tokyo Olympic Games, winning silver and bronze medals in his para-distance running events.

Most Outstanding Sporting Performance by an Indigenous Student-Athlete was presented to Caitlyn Costello from Bond University. Caitlyn’s pivotal role in Bond University’s Rugby 7’s Team assisted their win in the AON Women’s Uni 7’s National Championship.

The Most Outstanding Sporting Performance by a Student-Athlete was awarded to 2020 Tokyo Olympic Gold medallist, Jessica Fox from Griffith University. Jessica’s dedication to Canoeing allowed her to represent Australia where she won gold and bronze medals at the Tokyo Games for canoe slalom.

Female Student-Athlete of the Year title was presented to Katja Dedekind from the University of the Sunshine Coast. Katja earns this award following her contribution to USC’s National Squad at the 2021 UniSport Nationals Swimming Championships. Katja showcased her talent by claiming gold in multiple multiclass swimming events.

The Male Student-Athlete of the Year was awarded to Joel Rimes from The University of Melbourne for his ongoing dedication to university basketball. Joel was the Team Manager as well as captain of Melbourne’s Men’s University Basketball League Australia (UBL) team. He was also awarded the joint Most Valuable Player for the 2021 UBL.

The Most Outstanding Sport Project/Program was awarded to two deserving programs. Edith Cowan University Sport and Fitness and the University of Sunshine Coast were awarded joint winners.

In 2021, Edith Cowan University developed a 5-day sport-networking event across Edith Cowan University’s diverse sporting landscape. Sport for Thought by the University of Sunshine Coast is an outreach program paving the way by creating visibility for disadvantaged high school aged students. This program is building quality sport, education and healthy lifestyles, as well as prioritising accessibility.

The Most Outstanding Contribution by a Student Volunteer award was presented to Belinda Rutherford from The University of Adelaide. Belinda has shown her dedication to Adelaide’s university sport scene with her ongoing commitment to Sport Social and Intervarsity programs. Belinda advocates for inclusivity and development in intervarsity sport offerings.

UniSport is proud to announce their Club Leadership Award to The University of Melbourne’s Lightning Netball Club (MUL). MUL claims this award based on their ongoing efforts to facilitate Pride Rounds since 2016. The club is actively raising awareness for the LGBTQIA+ community.

The award for Official of the Year was presented to Tyler Miller from The University of Western Australia. This award accompanies Tyler’s dedication to refereeing multiple games throughout the Rugby 7’s Tournament in the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Team of the Year was awarded to The University of Sydney’s Water Polo. Collectively, both the men’s and women’s teams demonstrated their skill by winning gold at the Kap 7 Cup as well as the WPNSW Sydney Super League. Six of their players also represented Australia at the Tokyo Olympic Games.


For more information, please contact:

Kylie Bloodworth

Marketing and Communications Manager

UniSport Australia

Phone: 0449 949 916

About UniSport Australia

UniSport Australia (UniSport) is the peak body for university sport in Australia. 43 universities are members of UniSport, representing a population of over one million students. UniSport’s ambition is to become an integral partner of Australian universities to deliver an outstanding student experience at our national intervarsity sports competitions. UniSport is also committed to advocate on the value of sport on student experience.

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