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Nothing blue about UTS sport stars

UTS Sportsman of the Year Gavin Woods awarded by Vice-Chancellor Prof Ross Milbo

UTS Sportsman of the Year Gavin Woods awarded by Vice-Chancellor Prof Ross Milbourne, photo courtesy UTS Union

In summary:

  • Alyssa Healy and Gavin Woods were honoured as 2011's Sports Man and Woman of the Year last month at the annual UTS Union Blues awards
  • Both are exceptional students at UTS with sport in their veins

Stellar UTS athletes Alyssa Healy and Gavin Woods were honoured as 2011's Sports Man and Woman of the Year last month at the annual UTS Union Blues awards.  

The University's sporting greats are given Blues Jackets for representing Australia and Alyssa and Gavin were no exceptions.

According to UTS Union Director, Programs and Sport and acting CEO, Liz Brett, cricket runs through Alyssa Healy's veins, while Gavin Woods is a natural for water polo, with a father  who was himself a three-times Olympian in the sport.

"Alyssa has been hooked on cricket ever since she put on her first pair of wicket keeping gloves," Ms Brett said. "Like her uncle (Ian Healy), Alyssa has grown to be a first class cricketer both behind the stumps and with the bat."

Alyssa had risen quickly through the ranks of club cricket before being noticed by state and national selectors.  In 2009 she competed in her first season of Senior Women's Cricket with the NSW Breakers.  As their number one wicket keeper, Alyssa was instrumental in setting the field and driving her team to its 2009 National League victory.  That same year Alyssa was selected in the Australian U/21 Shooting Stars team as their leading wicket keeper and opening bat.  Alyssa's performance with the Australian U/21s impressed selectors so much that they elevated her to the Australian women's senior team, an amazing result after such a short international career.

UTS Sportswoman of the Year Alyssa Healy with Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof ShirleUTS Sportswoman of the Year Alyssa Healy with Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof Shirley Alexander

"Alyssa is an amazing athlete who balances her training, competition and travel commitments with her studies here at UTS," Ms Brett said.  "In her second year of a Bachelor of Science, specialising in Marine Biology, Alyssa is performing well both on the field and in the classroom."

Business student Gavin Woods began playing water polo at a very young age.  He first donned the green and gold Speedos in 1997, having secured a full scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.  Only one year later, when he was still eligible for the junior team, Gavin competed with the Australian Men's senior team at the World Championships, where they finished in 4th place.  He and his team finished 8th place at the Sydney Olympics and scored 9th place at the Athens Olympics.

"For many athletes, competing in two Olympic Games would be enough but not Gavin," Ms Brett said.  "He and the Aussie Team won three of their five preliminary round games at the Beijing Olympics, to win through to the quarter finals.  The Aussie team fought hard and finished in 8th place at the birds nest stadium, a fantastic result for Gavin in this his third Olympic Games. "

In 2011 Gavin was named in the Australian Men's Water Polo team of the decade.  

For information about the UTS Elite Athlete Program visit the web page.

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