Sunshine Coast Lightning CEO Danielle Smith will be a guest speaker at the University of the Sunshine Coast's annual sports awards.
Sunshine Coast Lightning CEO Danielle Smith will be a guest speaker at the University of the Sunshine Coast's annual sports awards. Melbourne Storm

Olympic stars honoured on Coast today

THE University of the Sunshine Coast will pay special tribute to the 12 USC-based athletes who competed at this year's Rio Olympics and Paralympics as part of its annual Sports Awards Ceremony today.

Guest speakers will be Sunshine Coast Lightning CEO Danielle Smith and Jordan Mullen of Australian University Sport, and the majority of those who competed in Rio and their sport scientists are expected to attend.

Almost half of the 12 Olympians and Paralympians are USC students and so they will also be in the running to receive awards today, including the prized title of USC Sportsperson of the Year.

USC Sport and Operations coordinator Gary Moore said along with some impressive results in Rio, USC had been well represented by its students in a wide variety of sports during 2016.

"We'll be recognising some outstanding performances with the traditional Half Blue and Full Blue awards for excellence, as well as the Sportsperson and Team of the Year,” he said.

"The ceremony is about honouring their commitment and drive to succeed in sport.”

The sporting Blues tradition 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.

The USC also presents a USC Green award to a student volunteer who has helped boost sport at the university.

The 2015 USC Sportsperson of the Year award was won by para-cycling world champion Kyle Bridgwood, with previous winners including Paralympic swimmer Blake Cochrane, triathletes Chloe Turner and Brodie Gardner and world kiteboarding champion Andy Yates.


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