Eliza McCartney receives prestigious university award

Olympic bronze medallist Eliza McCartney receives her award from University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon.
Olympic bronze medallist Eliza McCartney receives her award from University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon.

Olympic pole vaulting bronze medallist Eliza McCartney has added to her breakout year by adding a University of Auckland Blues Award to her tally of achievements.

The Bachelor of Spence in Physiology student said: "It's amazing that such a prestigious university with so many students goes to the effort to recognise achievements beyond studies. It is really positive for the students involved in sport and takes some of the pressure off balancing studies as well as sports commitments."

Being awarded with a Most Meritorious (Sport) award was in recognition of the 19-year-old's 4.64m jump in December last year to break the junior world record.

The bronze medal she won at the 2016 Rio Games was outside the eligibility period for the Blues Awards, which ended in August.

In 2015, McCartney won the overall Sportswoman of the Year, an accolade that was awarded to up-and-coming karate hopeful Tia Tuiburelevu.

Taekwondo-do and kickboxing star Riley Phillips-Harris won the Sportsman of the Year accolade, while record breaking hurdler Joshua Hawkins (Ngāti Tamatera) was selected to win the Māori Sportsman of the Year.

The Blues Awards are part of a tradition from England, where the blue colours of Oxford and Cambridge Universities came to symbolise sporting excellence. Although Blues Awards are traditionally restricted to sporting achievements, the University of Auckland recognises Arts and Service and Leadership.

- NZ Herald

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