Grider and Davies named UQ Sportspeople of the Year

Brisbane Lions’ AFLW grand finalist Natalie Grider and Australian middle-distance runner Callum Davies have been announced as The University of Queensland’s 2021 Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year.

The duo were honoured at the annual UQ Sport Club and Sports Awards, which recognise excellence in sport and contribution to university life.

Ms Grider, who will compete in Saturday’s AFLW Grand Final against the Adelaide Crows, is the first Australian Rules footballer to win the Sportswoman of the Year Award, dating back to 1968.

The Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science (Honours) student played in all of the Lions’ AFLW matches last year, and was named the Club’s ’Most Competitive Player’.

“It’s a real honour to be the first female Australian Rules footballer to receive this award, and given the rapid the growth of the AFLW, I’m sure there will be many recipients to come,’ she said.

“Looking back on 2020, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I have been given within my sport at the Brisbane Lions, and I am beyond excited for what’s to come.’

Mr Davies, who represented Australia at the 2018 World Under 20 Athletics Championships in Finland, is the fourth athletics competitor to win the award since 1975.

Last year, the Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences (Honours) student became the first male athlete to win the Queensland State Open 1500m, 3000m and 5000m titles in the same season.

“To be only the fourth track and field athlete to win the award, a group including former Australian Mile record holder Simon Doyle and Olympic medallist Dane Bird-Smith, is something I am extremely proud of.

“It has taken many early mornings and late nights to reach this point, many of them at the UQ Sport Athletics Centre, but I am looking forward to building upon this result and seeing what else I can achieve.’

The UQ Cheer and Dance Club received the prestigious $5000 Hulbert Bursary - awarded for outstanding achievement, innovation and best practice in club management - for the second-consecutive year.

Throughout 2020, the Club maintained its 100 per cent UQ student membership, and achieved its best ever results at the Australian All Star Cheerleading Federation National Championships, winning four titles.

The UQ Cricket Club won its first President’s Cup - awarded for exceptional event competition performance - after winning three Queensland Premier Cricket titles, as well as a ninth Club Championship in 10 years.

Powell led UQ Boat Club crews to 15 gold medals at the 2020 Queensland State Championship Regatta, and played in a pivotal role in monitoring the mental wellbeing of Club members during the COVID shutdown period.

UQ Touch Club President James Sharp received the Club Administrator of the Year Award for a second time (2018 & 2021).

Under Sharp’s leadership, the Club gained affiliation with both Touch Football Australia and Queensland Touch Football, leading to an 80 per cent growth in student participation.

The Club also won five Brisbane Metropolitan Touch Association titles, as well as a fourth-consecutive Club Championship.

- Club Service Award: Edward Jensen (UQ Basketball Club), Alana Hewish (UQ Boat Club), Edward Draydon (UQ Boat Club), Elton Berrange (UQ Rugby Union Club), and Ashley Wilkinson (UQ Tennis Club)

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