What do Jack Lovelock, Michael Laws, Anna Scarlett, Sir
Arthur Porritt, Chris Laidlaw, David Kirk, Lorraine Moller
have in common? They have each received a Blue from the Otago
University Students Association (OUSA).
The Otago University Blues awards turn 100 this year.
The country's oldest university students association also
boasts the oldest Blues awards.
The OUSA is hosting a special awards dinner to celebrate at
the university on September 20 and is calling on New Zealand
to assist it in determining the OUSA sportsperson of the past
The public can visit the OUSA website to vote for their
favourite from a shortlist of 20.
The Blues originated from the traditional rivalry between
Cambridge and Oxford Universities in the United Kingdom where
it was thought the Cambridge boat would be improved by the
addition of a colour at its bows.
Whether the blue ribbon was chosen because of its Etonian
association or was all the haberdasher had at the time is a
matter of debate.
All that is known for sure is the year was 1836, and the Blue
became an accolade of sporting achievement.
The Blues have been the premier award for sporting
achievement by students since 1908 at Otago University.
Awards presented include Blues for individual sporting
achievements, the club administrator award, sports club of
the year, Maori sportsperson of the year and Otago University
sportsperson of the year.
The oldest Blues recipient to be present at the upcoming
ceremony will be Miles Hursthouse.
Hursthouse, a retired doctor and current aviation instructor
in Nelson, is 88 and won Blues in 1948 and 1950 for shooting.
Moller, bronze medallist in the marathon at the Barcelona
Olympics in 1992, and All Black great Laidlaw will be guest
speakers at the event.