David Swallow (Bachelor of Business — Sports Management) capped his brilliant AFL season by being crowned the Gold Coast Sun’s club champion and becoming the first player to break skipper Gary Ablett’s stranglehold on the award.

Swallow took out the honour in front of Tom Lynch (Bachelor of Business — Sport Management) and Dion Prestia (Bachelor of Communications) in a tight finish.

Griffith’s Sports College Manager Mr Duncan Free OAM congratulated the trio on their incredible season.

“Studies have proven, athletes that study are higher performing and this shows with the recent Suns awards for our Griffith students.

“Fostering elite athletes and helping them to play sport whilst studying is a major part of the Sports College’s focus, and we are delighted to be building community spirit on the Gold Coast as we support our local Suns team,” he said.

Performing consistently throughout the year, Swallow polled in 21 of 22 matches, exceeding 25 disposals in 11 games. Swallow’s season included inspirational performances against the Adelaide Crows in round 11 where he collected 37 disposals, four inside 50s, two goals and 22 votes.

Despite falling short to Swallow, Lynch’s consistency was highlighted in the second half of the season, where he polled in every match after round 11, in a run that saw him shoot up the leader board from fifth place to second.

Dion Prestia’s continued improvement didn’t go unnoticed by the match committee. He picked up in excess of 25 disposals in 15 games, while in the final three rounds of the season he demonstrated he could break opposition tags, averaging 28 disposals, seven clearances and four inside 50s.

GC Suns Player Welfare Manager Sam Coen said the support from Griffith’s Sport College has seen 12 current players start studying.

“The importance of obtaining a degree is an integral part of the Suns concept and the relationship we have with Griffith Sport’s College will allow us to play an important part in the education of this and future generations of AFL players.

“GC Suns will produce not only great AFL players but well-rounded young men who have focus, drive and now, the necessary qualifications to ensure they are well equipped to tackle life after their football careers come to an end,” he said.

2014 Gold Coast SUNS Club Champion Top Ten

1st — David Swallow 240
2nd — Tom Lynch 233
3rd — Dion Prestia 230
4th — Gary Ablett 190
5th — Jaeger O’Meara 178
6th — Steven May 173
7th — Jarrod Harbrow 137
8th — Michael Rischitelli 120
9th — Harley Bennell 119
10th — Greg Broughton 112