OLYMPIC swimming champion Melanie Wright (nee Schlanger) has been named sportswoman of the year at Bond University’s annual Blues Awards dinner last night.
Ms Wright, who has won gold medals at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games and World Championships, is currently studying a Master of Business Administration at Bond University.
She was joined by Sportsman of the Year – Lucas Helmke – who is the current under 74kg Australian powerlifting champion – to accept awards in front of more than 140 students, staff and coaches who attended the exclusive ceremony.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
Ms Wright said that it meant a great deal to be recognised for her achievements by her friends and fellow classmates.
“It felt great to stand up and accept my award in front of the people who have helped and supported me in both my sporting career and through my degree,” she said.
“We have a really tight knit community here at Bond, with a number of elite athletes who are juggling study and sporting careers so it’s good to have people around you who understand what that journey is like.
“Bond staff have also been really supportive, and the flexibility in course work means that I have been able to give my all to both my swimming and my academic pursuits.”
Mr Helmke said he was honoured to win Sportsman of the Year amongst a cohort of talented athletes.
“There are so many talented people studying and training here, so it’s great to receive an accolade like this,” he said.
“I’m currently completing a Juris Doctor as a postgraduate of Law, and when I’m on campus I often use the Bond University gym to keep up with my training program, so I can maintain my fitness and keep on top of my assignments at the same time.
“This award is a great confidence boost and has spurred me on for my next competition – the Asia and Oceania Championships in Melbourne in December.”