The water sports dominated the Griffith University Sports Blues Awards with swimming champion Zac Stubblety-Cook and world champion paddler Jess Fox jointly taking out the Most Outstanding Sporting Achievement of 2022 award.
The award is one of the highlights of the night, recognising athletes who, in the eyes of the Blues committee, have reached the pinnacle of their sport and achieved the highest results of the year.
Zac Stubblety-Cook, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Psychological Science and a Bachelor of Business, set the current world-record in the 200m breaststroke this year and still retains this world record, he also won two gold and two silver medals at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and one gold and one silver at World Championships.
Jess Fox, who is studying a Master of Business Administration, is an Olympic gold medallist from Tokyo, and now a world champion nine times over.
Griffith Sports College Manager Naomi McCarthy OAM said 83 athletes were honoured at the awards ceremony, with 60 athletes competing internationally at a senior or open level and 23 athletes at an underage level, an amazing representation of the calibre of sporting excellence at the university.
“We had four inductees to the Griffith University Hall of Fame including weightlifter Deborah Acason, swimmer Michael Anderson, swimming coach Michael Bohl, and Professor of Sport Management Kristine Toohey AM,” Ms McCarthy said.
“The prestigious Academic Athlete of the Year was awarded to a Full Blue recipient who maintained the highest-grade point average from the previous three semesters of study, while also taking into account their study and sporting commitments.
“Cyclist Grace Brown was the deserving winner as she managed to balance such high academic standards while studying her Master of Marketing, coupled with her training and competition schedule.
“Athletes are generally quite driven people, and as an elite athlete, most are going to do whatever they do, to the best of their ability.
“I congratulate all of our award recipients for their stellar efforts both in and out of the sporting arena.”
Griffith has established itself as one of Australia’s leading sporting universities, with a current roster of around 600 student athletes and a legacy of alumni who have achieved the pinnacle of their respective sports.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games was a medal bonanza for Griffith athletes, with 51 Griffith athletes and staff at the Games and 47 medals won in total, which meant the university would have placed fifth just behind India and in front of New Zealand if it competed as a country.