Celebrating student success.

What are the Blues Awards?

Since 1913 the University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) has been recognising and awarding students who excel in their chosen sport. Blues are awarded for achieving a high level of sporting and academic standards and as such are named after the traditional sporting competitions between two original ‘Blues’, Oxford and Cambridge.

In 2017, the UCSA in association with the University of Canterbury (UC) developed the traditional sports focused UC Blues event into an all-round awards night celebrating a broader scope of student success. The event now consists of Sports, Community Engagement and the Arts categories.

Receiving an award at our Blues ceremony is the highest honour we can present students who have excelled in these areas.

In 2018, we restored a number of awards such as the Outstanding Contribution to University Sport award, returned the event to the Gala dinner format, and presented Ivan Bolton a lifetime achievement award for his 57 years’ of service to UC Rugby.

Nominations for the 2019 Blues awards are now open as we celebrate 125 year of the UCSA, and also the opening of our new building in July.


Nominees must have reached the required level of achievement between the 19th of August 2018 and the 12th of August 2019.

The Nomination Process and Criteria for 2019

  • Nominations must be made via the prescribed form with all sections completed.
  • Anyone may nominate a person for a Blue. Individuals are able to nominate themselves.
  • Nominees must be enrolled at or have graduated from the University of Canterbury during the 2019 academic year.
  • They must have paid the required University fees and have passed at least one third of a full-time course at University.
  • Nominations must be made before or on the close of nominations date
  • Nominations made after such date will not be considered by the Blues committee.
  • The Blues Committees decision is final

Major Awards

From all nominations, the panel will select individuals for Major Awards. The categories are:

  • Sportsperson of the Year
  • Outstanding contribution to University Sport
  • Team of the Year
  • Coach of the Year
  • Official of the Year
  • Outstanding Achievement in the Arts
  • Outstanding contribution to University Arts
  • Outstanding Achievement in Community Engagement
  • Waewae Kai Pakiaka: Outstanding contribution to the Māori Community
  • Outstanding contribution to Equity and Diversity
  • Outstanding contribution to Sustainability


Recognition Awards

2019 sees the introduction of two new awards. The University of Canterbury Sport Recognition and Art Recognition awards recognise those who have performed exceptionally, however are not eligible for a University Blue as an individual. For example coaches, managers, directors, producers, administrators, executives etc.

This award allows for recognition across a broader range of categories, while retaining the prestige and level of performance that characterises University Blues