Māori Black Sticks players win top university award

By Jessica Tyson

Pictured: Madison Doar (Credit - Newshub)

Two Māori Black Sticks players are among the winners of the 2018 University of Auckland Blues Awards which delivers awards of the highest honour earned at a tertiary level.

Madison Doar, who studies engineering, and Sam Harrison, from the Faculty of Education and Social Work have won the Māori Sportsperson of the Year Award.

Both wāhine were a part of the Black Sticks squad who won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, after defeating Australia 4-1.

It was the first hockey gold medal New Zealand have won at the Commonwealth Games since the sport was introduced to the programme in 1998.

Madison Doar. Source: University of Auckland Blues Awards

University of Auckland Chancellor Scott St John congratulated all award winners for their achievements at both national and international level.

“While success is very much down to the individual’s commitment, hard work and dedication, many staff have also gone above and beyond to ensure students are given the opportunity to combine academic achievements with pursuit of success in their chosen endeavour.”

A University Blue is the highest accolade to be earned at a tertiary level for excellence in a sporting code, arts, culture, service and leadership.

Sam Harrison. Source: University of Auckland Blues Awards

The seven major award winners were:

Māori Sportsperson of the Year Award
Sam Harrison (Faculty of Education and Social Work) and Madison Doar (Faculty of Engineering).

Sportsman of the Year Award
Riley Phillips-Harris (Faculty of Law/ Faculty of Arts).
Riley put in an outstanding performance to take home a silver medal at the 2017 International Taekwon-do World Championships.  

Sportswoman of the Year Award
Alisa Samountry (Faculty of Science).
Alisa set a New Zealand and Oceania record at the 2018 World Classic Powerlifting Championship with an impressive lift of 190kg.  

Most Meritorious Performance (Sport)
Stacey Michelsen (Faculty of Law/ Business School).
Named as Captain of the Black Sticks Women’s hockey team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Stacey led her team to a historic gold at the Gold Coast competition.   
 Most Outstanding Contribution in Service & Leadership
Alexander Kuch (Faculty of Arts).
A passionate advocate for children’s rights and international adoptions, Alexander was named a Young New Zealander of the Year semi-finalist in 2018, received the Young Romanian of the Year award 2017/18, and was a Rotary Peace Fellowship finalist in 2017.  

Most Meritorious Performance in Arts and Culture
Siyu Sun (Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries).
Siyu is a highly gifted pianist and has been recognised at a number of national and international competitions.