Fergus Pragnell, Damon Hietbrink and Marty Rabjohns were on stage at the Sydney University 2004 Blues Dinner to receive their Blues jackets and certificates from the Chancellor, Justice Kim Santow. The garbing of the new Blues of 2004 was the highlight of the Annaul Blues dinner held in that traditional place, the Great Hall of the university. Guest speaker , John Langford, spoke about his time at Sydney University and how he was almost press ganged into his first game of rugby in his first year as a student. How the persistence of Patrick Cunningham saw him playing fifth grade initially one Saturday with no prior knowledge of rules and tactics. How he became a devotee of the game and went on to play four tests fro the Wallabies.
The final job of the evening was for Vice Chancellor, Gavin Brown, to announce the male and female Blues of the Year. Female Blue was Angela Ballard, bronze medallist in track at the 2004 Para Olympics and Male Blue of the Year went to SUBC’s own Fergus Pragnell. Fergus’s achievement in winning Gold at the U23 Worlds in the Coxed Four was recognized as an outstanding achievement for a 19 year old first year student.
Damon Hietbrink was recognized for his outstanding performances in Youth Cup . Damon represented NSW in both the 2003 and 2004 Youth Cups, winning the eight and four in 2003 and the four and pair in 2004. In addittion Damon won the U21 eight at the 2004 NSW Championships and was, with our two other 2004 Blues, a member of the winning 2004 Oxford and Cambridge Cup eight.
Marty Rabjohns achieved the rare feat of winning a Blue while at the same time filling his role as head Coach of SUBC. In 2004 Marty steered the NSW Kings Cup Eight to victory, the fiirst since 1984, and was ten selected both as coach of the Australian Junior Four and cox of the Australian Senior Coxed Pair. To round out a big year Marty coxed and co-coached the SUBC Oxford and Cambridge Cup crew to their win in Tasmania, our first in this event since 1993.
Three members of our sister club SUWRC were also awarded Blues in 2004. Megan Crawford and Kylie Grant and Katie ( whose surname has temporarily escaped the writer) were all members of the SUWRC eight which won the 2004 NSW State Championships.