After a very successful 2002-5 season seven new Rowing Blues were awarded last night at the Great Hall of Sydney University. After the guests were primed by a long list of outstanding sporting achievements in 2005 the new Blues were introduced to the audience one by one and the Chancellor, Kim Santow presented the 2005 blazers. In Rowing Blues went to SUWRC Captain Yasmin ?Estrange and her pair partner Laura Polin as well as to Olympic Cox Katie Foulkes and Junior World rowing bronze medallist Elsa O?Hanlon. On the men?s side Terrence Alfred, Will Chambers and Pat Wilson were awarded Blues.
Terrence, Pat and Will were important contributors to SUBC?s success in 2005 and included in their outstanding performances were wins in the NSW U21 Eights and NSW Championship Eights. All three were victorious at 2005 AUG in the Oxford and Cambridge Cup while Pat won the pair as well and Will the Double Scull.
All three have just completed exams and are busy training as they attempt to earn representative honours for Australia in 2006.
A highlight of the dinner this year was the attendance of new Australian Socceroo and Sydney Uni player Michael Thwaites. Michael gave the audience and insider?s view of the teams World Cup qualifier against Uruguay in and endearing interview with soccer tragic, Mr University, Adam. Next week Michael rejoins his club FC Nacional in Rumania.
The Vice Chancellor, in his most competitive mood was called to announce the Blue of the Year which he did after fiercely and cruelly highlighting the outstanding performance of Sydney University in the latest "grants" round. The Male Blue of the Year went to Robin Bell for winning the 205 World Championship in Canoe Slalom after a great fourth at the 2004 Olympics and the Female Blue of the Year was won by jacqueline Bonnitcha who had earlier in the year won the World Championship in 29'er sailing in San Franscisco. It was also announce that Jacqueline's brother Jonathon himself and outstanding sailor has been awarded a Rhodes Scholraship.
On a day when Sydney University was deep in competition with three eights and a four contesting the Head of the Parramatta and a number of our elite members making a trip to Melbourne for the new Head race it was a fitting evening to pause and celebrate the achievements of our rowers as individuals.
Special hello goes to Lin Ryan, mother of Matt, for her 50th birthday also celebrated on the same night as the Blues Dinner 2005.