30 October 2013
International Paralympic swimming champion Blake Cochrane of Sippy Downs was today crowned the University of the Sunshine Coast’s 2013 Sportsperson of the Year.
Cochrane, 22, won gold at the Australian National Swimming Championships in Adelaide in March in the 100m breaststroke multiclass event.
The Clinical Exercise Science student then broke his own world record in August when he won the 100m breaststroke SB7 class at the IPC World Swimming Championships in Montreal.
As well as winning the trophy for Sportsperson of the Year today, Cochrane was also one of three students to gain Full Blue awards at USC’s Sports Awards Ceremony.
The other recipients were elite surf lifesaving competitor and dual Coolangatta Gold winner Ali Day and Under 21 Laser sailing world champion Mitchell Kennedy.
Half Blue awards went to kayaker Charlie Copeland, swimmer George O’Brien, rugby league player Joseph Meninga, futsal player Laura Moore, touch player Katherine Connolly, and women’s rugby 7s players Samantha Boholt, Erica Fowler and Hayley Kermond.
Boholt, Fowler and Kermond were recently selected for the Australian University Sport’s Green and Gold squad to compete at the Australian rugby 7s titles early next year after strong performances at the Australian University Games on the Gold Coast last month.
The trio led the USC rugby 7s team to a bronze medal at these Games in an effort that was today rewarded with the University’s 2013 Team of the Year trophy.
Ashleigh Solomon received a special USC Green Award for her work as touch football coordinator at the University, while former Green Award winner and touch player Cameron Sullivan and Blake Cochrane received Continued Excellence awards.
The tradition of universities honouring their sporting champions with Half Blue and Full Blue awards dates back to 1829, when rowing teams from Oxford and Cambridge universities each tied a blue scarf – one light blue and one dark blue – to their boats to distinguish themselves.
— Terry Walsh