Water polo player Genevieve Longman and triple jump champion Emmanuel Fakiye have taken out top honours at the 2018 ActivateUTS Blues Awards.
Longman is a member of the Australian women’s water polo team and the NSW Institute of Sport team. She is the starting goalkeeper for the UTS Balmain Tigers, playing in the national league, and was a member of the UTS team that won bronze at the Division 1 National University Championships.
Longman is in her second year of a Juris Doctor, having moved to Sydney from Perth in 2017 to play for UTS Balmain Tigers and commence her studies in the UTS Faculty of Law.
Fakiye is the current national open champion in triple jump, and was the youngest triple jump competitor at this year’s Commonwealth Games. He won a gold medal at the Division 1 National University Championships, and competes for UTS Northern Suburbs Athletic Club.
Fakiye is in his fourth year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Diploma in Professional Engineering Practice. He competed in athletics for fun at high school and got serious only when he came to UTS. He began training for triple jump and joined the UTS Northern Suburbs Athletic Club.
The 2018 UTS Blues awards recognised more than 60 sports men and women, representing more than 40 sports, through Full Blue, Half Blue and club achievement awards. Longman and Fakiye were among 11 UTS elite athletes recognised with Full Blues for playing their sport at national level or as full-time professionals. A further 15 athletes received Half Blues.
UTS Vice-Chancellor Attila Brungs presented the Full Blue winners with their blazers and told guests UTS had a long history of supporting athletes to achieve excellence in and outside the classroom, knowing it helped them to prepare for life after university.
“Someone successful at sport learns discipline, determination and tolerance and, importantly, how to face defeat with a smile and maintain humility even in victory,” he said.
Eighteen UTS student athletes represented Australia at senior or junior level in 2018; four others were contracted to the NRL, the A-League and the Australian Netball League. Para snowboarder Ben Tudhope competed at the Winter Olympics in South Korea; Emmanuel Fakiye, rugby 7s player Ben O’Donnell and swimmer Bradley Woodward were part of Australia’s Commonwealth Games team. Woodward won a gold and two silver medals.
UTS sports clubs welcomed two new clubs in 2018, the UTS North Sydney Bears Cricket Club and the UTS E Sports Club. The 36 UTS clubs have a network of more than 5,500 students, staff, alumni and UTS community.
Club of the year for 2018 was the UTS Football Club, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. It now boasts 10 teams, seven of which qualified for finals this year. The club also runs an end-of-season charity football tournament.
Team of the year was awarded jointly to the UTS Men’s and Women’s Futsal teams which won back-to-back gold at the National University Championships.
ActivateUTS CEO Liz Morgan-Brett told guests the Blues awards and other UTS sporting achievements in 2018 were a direct result of student commitment and passion.
“Despite challenges with sporting facilities, our students are resourceful and find ways and spaces to train and play, always striving to be better every year,” she said.
“In 2018, the UTS Elite Athlete Program grew for the sixth consecutive year and now supports 250 elite athletes in balancing their studies with their sport.”
Morgan-Brett paid tribute to the students who competed in the National University Championships, formerly known as the Australian University Games, and said 23 UTS teams are now ranked in the top three in Australia.
“We won four gold medals, an incredible 14 silver medals and five bronze. While we would have liked more gold instead of silver medals, these are our strongest results yet – we have never had this many teams finish in the top three.
“It proves just how much talent, dedication and passion our student athletes have,” she said.
In a special presentation, Morgan-Brett awarded the ActivateUTS Mug to alumnus Moustafa Ardati, who has cerebral palsy. Ardati completed his undergraduate and master’s degrees at UTS and was a member of the Elite Athlete Program. He received a Full Blue in 2015, having represented Australia in powerchair football; he also played wheelchair hockey for Australia.
Ardati, 32, is the third of five children born to migrant parents – his father arrived in Australia from Lebanon in 1977, fleeing the Civil War – and now runs his own company, doing motivational speaking and coaching to promote his ethos “Be yourself, better yourself, believe in yourself”.
Emmanuel Fakiye, athletics
Ed Goddard, athletics
Claire O'Brien, netball
Ben Tudhope, para snowboard
Matt Curtin, rowing
Daniel Alvaro, rugby league
Martin Taupau, rugby league
Finn Alexander, sailing
Max Brooks, surf life saving
Bradley Woodward, swimming
Genevieve Longman, water polo
Kristie Edwards, athletics
Saskia Horley, cricket
Kate Hanna, hockey
Amy Parmenter, netball
Kelly Singleton, netball
Olivia Bartram, rowing
Patrick Holt, rowing
Nick Lavery, rowing
James Waldersee, rowing
Claudia Bell, rugby 7s
Zachary Attard, swimming
Oliver Signorini, swimming
Shaun Champion, swimming
Clare Vanzino, touch football
Christopher Elbitar, touch football
To see more photographs from the 2018 UTS Blues awards dinner, click here.