UNSW's elite sporting talent has been honoured during an evening of presentations and fine dining attended by Vice Chancellor Professor Fred Hilmer and Chief Operating Officer, Mr Peter Graham at the John Niland Scientia Building.

The 2008 Ben Lexcen Sports Scholarship launch and the 55th Annual Blues Awards Dinner involved the presentation of 22 Ben Lexcen Sports Scholarships to the University's leading sports people, including world class athletes Johnno Cotterill (Water Polo), Hayley Carr (Karate) and Gabrielle King (Sailing).

Guest speakers included ex-Wallaby Simon Poidevon, coach of the Pakistan cricket team Geoff Lawson and current student Justin Jones, who described his 62 day trans -Tasman crossing by kayak.

The lucrative Ben Lexcen Sports Scholarship, now in its 20th year, is awarded to elite athletes commencing study at UNSW. The scholarship provides $5000 worth of financial and personal support and a mentoring program for each scholar to provide flexibility between study and sporting commitments.

The University Blue is UNSW's highest sporting award. Recipients are athletes who compete and perform at the highest level in their chosen area, as well as contributing to the development of UNSW sport from an administrative perspective.

This year's nine sporting Blues are; Hayley Carr (Karate), Kathleen Chua (Hockey), Daniel Natusch (Athletics), George Tang (Table Tennis), Sara Hungerford (Cricket), Charlie Claridge (Football), Spoorti Rattan (Badminton) and Ewan Watson (Cross Country Ski).

Media Contact: Fran Strachan | 9385 8732 | fran.strachan@unsw.edu.au