2019 NSWCCC Blue Awards

On Monday 3 February, St Mary’s Star of the Sea Wollongong hosted the 23rd Blue Award Presentation which celebrates and recognises the best sporting achievements of Catholic Secondary students throughout NSW. The strong sporting talent from the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese was on show with five of our students receiving an award.

Charlie Hawke from St Francis Xavier's College, Hamilton received a blue for swimming. Charlie’s exceptional talent saw him excel at each level of the swimming pathway in 2019. At NSWCCC Charlie swam in an astounding 11 events. He won gold in the 200m and 400m freestyle breaking the NSWCCC record in both. He also won gold in the 50m fly & 100m free, silver in the 200m IM & 100m fly and bronze in the 100m back. At NSW All Schools he finished 1st in 100m free, 200m free, 400m IM, 200m fly and 2nd in both the 50m fly & 200IM. He was rewarded with selection on the NSW team and was appointed one of the leaders of the team. At the School Sport Australia Championships in Melbourne Charlie finished 2nd in 50m fly, 100m free, 200m free, 200m IM, 200 fly, 400, IM and 3rd in 100m fly & 400m free. An exceptional year in the pool!

Pyper Hollis from St Clare’s, Taree received a Blue for golf. Pyper was a member of the NSWCCC golf team for 3 years. In 2019 she was selected in the NSW All Schools Team after strong performances at the NSW All Schools Championships. At the School Sport Australia Championships Pyper placed 25th in the Strokeplay. Matchplay is Pypers’ forte and she won 4 of 5 matches at the SSA Championships. Pyper also assist and actively participates in extracurricular activities and the coaching of school sporting teams.

Michael Walker from St Pius X High School, Adamstown in 2019 received a blue for basketball. Michael was a significant player in the 2019 NSWCCC team. His offensive and defensive skills were noticed by the selectors and consequently he was chosen in the NSW All Schools Basketball Team. An impressive achievement for a Year 10 student. Michael is a strong all round basketballer with solid defensive and rebounding skills. In attack he is difficult to guard with his outstanding ball handling and court awareness. Michael’s talent was obvious even in primary school where he was selected in Polding athletics, AFL and basketball teams.

Mitchell Black from St Mary’s Catholic College, Gateshead received a Blue for rugby league. Mitchell was selected to represent Northern Country at the NSWCCC Trials. He played in the key position of hooker and led his team around the field in a strong, all round display. As a result of his consistently high level of performance, he was the selected in the NSWCCC team for the National Championships for a 2nd time. At nationals in Canberra Mitchell was chosen to captain the NSWCCC team. His ability to lead the team in varying weather conditions and take control of the game was a highlight. Mitchell is very quick out of dummy half and was the creator of many NSWCCC tries. He is also a great defender who works tirelessly in the middle of the field. Mitchell was once again outstanding in his position at the National Championships and in the process gained selection into the Australian schoolboys Rugby League side who defeated New Zealand in the Test Series.

Leroy Reid is a talented athlete from St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton and he received a Bar award which is awarded when a student has previously been awarded a Blue and has continued to excel in their sport. Leroy has represented our Diocese from 2015-2019 in athletics. He holds the Diocesan record in the 400m and at the NSWCCC Championships Leroy won gold in the 200m & 400m events, silver in the 100m and was named 17 years age champion. At the NSW All Schools Leroy ran a personal best in the 200m to win a gold medal. He followed that with a silver in the 100m and 5th in the long jump. These results saw him selected to represent NSW at the Australian All Schools Championships. He continued his outstanding form securing silver medals in the 200m and 4 x 100m relay and a PB in the 100m. Leroy is an outstanding young man who manages to balance a highly academic program with his athletics. Leroy was also one of 20 athletes in Australia to attend the Raise the Bar Academy held at Melbourne University. Leroy is a proud and committed indigenous man who is actively involved in promoting greater appreciation of his aboriginal heritage within the community and at the NSW Blue Award Ceremony acknowledged country.

The Diocese is extremely proud of these five outstanding athletes. It is amazing to think that many Maitland-Newcastle students who have worn NSWCCC colours and are now competing successfully at the highest levels in Australian sport.

The Blues evening is a time to reflect on the fine achievements of our athletes and to acknowledge the great structures we have in place for all of our students. Every child who participates in sport no matter the level should be celebrated for their participation.

Pope Francis says, “sport is a great opportunity to learn to give the best of yourself, with sacrifice and commitment but above all, not alone”.

Thanks to our teachers who work tirelessly to support students in their sport as do parents.


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