The NZU Blue is one of New Zealand’s most prestigious and long standing awards that recognises a University student’s performance in representing New Zealand at the annual pinnacle event of their sport whilst successfully progressing their academic studies.

University Sport New Zealand is responsible for presenting the most prestigous award in University Sport – the New Zealand Universities Blue. Based on the traditional Blue of Oxford and Cambridge, it is awarded to NZ University students who have achieved excellence both on and off the field of play. Presented since 1919, it is a reflection of the standard that a large number of successful New Zealanders have received this award.

From Black Ferns captain Farah Palmer to All Black Richie McCaw, Olympic Gold Medalist Danyon Loader to Rowing Champions Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell, the Blues network of achievers covers all sporting codes.

Blues sporting standards are set by USNZ’s Blues Panel in conjunction with National Sporting Organisations and involve international representation at the highest level. The academic criteria involves passing at least one third of a full time course in the year of the award.

As well as the Blues, USNZ presents the NZU Sportsperson of the Year Award and the NZU Maori Sportsperson of the Year Award. Chosen from the Blues recipients in a particular year they are judged to have been the ‘best of the best’ and receive their awards at the annual Blues Awards Ceremony.

USNZ also presents annual Coaching and Sports Administration awards as well as special awards for outstanding achievement at a World University Games or World University Championship (usually medal winning) and also Distinguished Performance awards for performances in a non-Blues sport.

Blues Roll of Honour

Click here to view the Blues Roll of Honour

Blues Standards

a) Eligibility

To be eligible for a NZU Blues Award:

Student nominees must have been enrolled at a USNZ member University during the 2011 academic year.
Student nominees must have paid their University fees and Students Association fees in 2011.
Be a competing member of their University club wherever possible.
Student nominees must have passed at least 33% of a full time study load for the 2011 year (i.e. if a full year’s study load is 8 papers then the nominee must have passed 3 papers in 2011). This criteria is designed to ensure that nominees have maintained their academic standards during 2011.
Student nominees must have passed the national qualifying standard set by the relevant national sports organisation during 2011.
Nominations that are not on the official USNZ NZU Blues Nomination form will not be considered. Incomplete nominations will not be given full consideration.
All NZU Blues are awarded at the discretion of the NZU Blues Panel.

b) Sports Standards

The following are the Blues standards approved by the NZU Blues Panel after discussion with National Sporting Organisations. The standards are used by the NZU Blues Panel as a guideline to making their final decisions on each Blue award. They are only guidelines and the Panel takes into account the standard of competition, level of competition nationally and internationally etc when reaching a decision.