The sporting excellence of 11 outstanding student athletes from secondary schools throughout the Diocese of Wollongong were recognised at the 25th Annual New South Wales Combined Catholic Colleges (NSWCCC) Blues Award evening, held on Monday 28 November.
The evening, staged at MacKillop Catholic College, Warnervale, involved the presentation of awards and recognition of over 65 top student athletes in all sports from NSW Catholic Secondary Schools and Colleges.
The highest achieving boys and girls from each sport are judged by the NSWCCC Blues committee taking into account their 2022 achievements which often involves NSWCCC, NSW All Schools and Australian representation. The Blues Awards is the culmination of a busy year and a great advertisement for the sporting pathways available to students in Diocese of Wollongong schools.
2022 NSWCCC Blue Award winners from the Diocese of Wollongong were:
|Delta Amidzovski (Athletics)||Corpus Christi, Oak Flats|
|Bailey Abela (Cricket)||Edmund Rice College, West Wollongong|
|Kailee Moore (Athletics)||Holy Spirit College, Bellambi|
|Lilly Twigg (Hockey)||Holy Spirit College, Bellambi|
|Bronte Wilson (Rugby League)||Holy Spirit College, Bellambi|
|Caitlyn Halse (Rugby League)||Magdalene Catholic College, Narellan|
|Blake Waugh (Swimming)||Mt Carmel Catholic College, Varroville|
|Paula Zaballero (Softball)||Mt Carmel Catholic College, Varroville|
|Aya Milton (Swimming)||St Mary Star of the Sea College, Wollongong|
|Lara Thomsen (Golf)||St Mary Star of the Sea College, Wollongong|
|Grace Tracey (AFL)||St Mary Star of the Sea College, Wollongong|
Guest speaker, Sarah Walsh, a former NSWCCC alumni, captivated the audience with her inspirational story.
Sarah was born with fibular hemimelia, and at 18 months of age had her foot amputated. At the age of 9, Sarah began to take sport seriously after she was gifted her first running blade, paving her way into high level competition and ultimately a debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games where she set an Oceanian record of 4.82m in the women's long jump T44 event. At Tokyo 2020, her second Paralympics, Sarah leapt 5.11m in the women's long jump T64 to finish in seventh position.
Sarah provided some strong messages to our athletes and parents showing the importance of setting goals, working hard and the need to enjoy your sporting experiences. The evening was well supported by representatives from Catholic School NSW, many school Principals and all NSWCCC conveners and Diocesan sporting representatives.
The NSWCCC Blues are a great advertisement of the sporting talent and pathways we have in our schools and we congratulate our talented students on their fine achievements.