Health & WellbeingNews

2023 University of Newcastle Sports Awards Wrap Up

Daneie Geddes takes you through the 2023 University of Newcastle Sports Awards victors in their respective categories. 

Over the weekend, the University of Newcastle, in partnership with NUSPORT, celebrated the triumphs of its student-athletes and outstanding contributions to university sport.

The event was graced with the presence of four guest speakers who have made their mark in the world of sports and excellence to discuss all things sport, performance and participation. 

NSW Institute of Sport CEO, Kevin Thompson raised ideas around improved funding for equipment for paralympic sports. Compeat Performance Founder and co-CEO, Alicia Edge explored the direct correlation between diet and performance, and how balance impacts an athlete’s overall well-being.    

Newcastle Jets Women’s (A-League) coach, Gary van Egmond shared his perspective on the influence of social media in the context of prominent athletes. He offered his insights after observing the impact of social media on his daughter, Emily van Egmond, following her outstanding performance at the FIFA World Cup for the Matildas.

Holly Fuda, the Wellbeing Manager for the Newcastle Knights NRLW team, emphasised the significant flow-on effect of the Matildas in the world of rugby league. She underscored the vital role media coverage plays in fostering and expanding the presence of women in sports.

  • NSW Institute of Sport CEO – Kevin Thompson
  • Newcastle Jets Women’s (A-League) coach – Gary van Egmond
  • Compeat Performance Founder and co-CEO – Alicia Edge.  
  • Newcastle Knights NRLW Wellbeing Manager – Holly Fuda 

Sports Person of the Year – Callum Beashel

Callum Beashel is a committed student of PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Newcastle and has demonstrated remarkable achievements in the sport of softball. 

Callum played a pivotal role in the success of the Australian Open Men’s National Championship-winning team, showcasing his exceptional skills and contribution. 

His talent further extends in his selection for the Australian Men’s team to compete in the 17th Men’s Softball World Championship held in New Zealand. Callum’s team emerged victorious, securing him the prestigious title of world champion. 

He was also a part of the Australian team that triumphed in the 2022 Tradestaff International Invitational Series, competing against top-ranked teams from around the world.

Sports Club of the Year – Mountaineering Club 

The Sports Club of the Year was awarded to the Mountaineering Club for its attainment of high standards in sports administration and the Team of the Year was awarded to the Mixed Touch Football Team for their outstanding results in 2022.

University Blue Awards – Emma Hopkins and Aden Searant

Emma Hopkins (Pole Vault) and Aden Searant (Swimming) joined more than 241 of Australia’s greatest athletes, academics and business people with the prestigious University Blue award for demonstrating outstanding sporting ability when representing the University of Newcastle.

University Colour Awards – Mitchell Eckford and Phillip Tingle

For making an outstanding contribution to the administration and organisation of University sports, University Colours were awarded to Mitchell Eckford (Cricket) and Phillip Tingle (Mountaineering).

In a commitment to supporting students who excel both academically and athletically, the University and Friends of the University granted six sports scholarships to deserving individuals who successfully balance their studies with their sporting pursuits. 

University Scholarship Recipients 

The Friends of the University Scholarship was presented to Bryn Bowen in Swimming. 

University Sports Scholarships were awarded to Ashlyn Blackstock (Athletics), Ellie Rudder (Shooting), Riley Van Haren (Football), and Tom March (Athletics).

The ‘Andrew Brown Scholarship,’ generously established by Mechanical Engineering Alumnus Andrew Brown, was presented to Courtney Yeandle. This scholarship aims to aid students facing financial challenges, ensuring that they can actively participate in both higher education and sports activities.


If you or someone you know is worthy of a Sports Award, don’t forget to apply for the awards next year to be recognised for outstanding sporting and academic pursuits here.

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