Diamonds star Liz Watson among winners of Deakin Sport Awards

Media release
31 October 2019

The vice-captain of the Australian netball team, silver medallists at the 2019 Netball World Cup, has been named Female Sportsperson of the Year at the 2019 Deakin University Sport Awards.

Deakin student Liz Watson helped the Australian Diamonds prove their mettle on the international stage claiming victory in every game during the tournament before a one-goal loss to the New Zealand Silver Ferns at the heart-stopping final.

Watson was among 23 Deakin students who received a Deakin University Sport Award at the ceremony last night hosted by Nine sports commentator Clint Stanaway - who is also a Deakin alumni.

Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin, who presented six of the awards, said Deakin's proud tradition of sporting endeavour was well known, not just in the university's support and practice of sport, but in the way the university is pioneering sport science, and pushing the boundaries of sport education and training.

"I extend my congratulation to all the award winners who are role models for so many people in the community. They have the great gift of being talented at sport and they also have the gift of an education," Professor Martin said.

Many of the award winners are part of Deakin's Elite Athlete Program, which supports elite student-athletes to balance their academic and sporting commitments.

Highlights from the Deakin Sport Awards include:

Sportsperson of the Year - Female - Liz Watson
Sport: Netball. Study: Bachelor of Education (Primary).
Liz was vice-captain of the Australian Diamonds for the 2019 Netball World Cup in the UK. The team claimed victory in every game before a one-goal loss to the New Zealand Silver Ferns in the heart-stopping final. Liz resumed her place on the Diamonds squad for the Constellation Cup and plays for the Melbourne Vixens.

Sportsperson of the Year - Male - Matthew Ramsden
Sport: Athletics. Study: Bachelor of Laws.
Matthew placed 39th in the 10km course at the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Denmark. He also took out fourth place in the men's 1500m at the 2019 Australian Championships, first place in the Men's 1500m at the 2019 Oceania Athletics Championships, broke the WA mile record held by Herb Elliott and competed at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Sportsperson of the Year -  Indigenous - Ben Williams
Sport: Basketball. Study: Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science.
Ben is an all-rounder having excelled in many sports including high jump, volleyball, netball, touch football and basketball. In 2018 he attended the Australian College of Sport, before moving to Deakin in 2019. In his first year at Deakin, he represented the university at the Indigenous Nationals and was selected as captain of the volleyball team. He currently plays for the Bellarine Storm in basketball.

Sportsperson of the Year – Disability – Alexandra Viney
Sport: Rowing. Study: Master of Business (Sport Management).
After returning to rowing in 2018, Alexandra competed at the 2019 Australian National Rowing Championships, where she claimed two gold medals in the PR3 Women's Pair and the PR3 Mixed Four. She also competed at the World Rowing Championships in Austria, where her team finished fourth.

Emerging Sports Leader - Ben Hall
Sport: Volleyball. Study: Bachelor of Criminology/Bachelor of Laws.
Ben has emerged as a true leader on and off the field since his appointment as the Deakin men's volleyball team manager in 2018. This led to his selection as team captain for the UniSport Nationals, and he recently became a member of UniSport Australia's inaugural Student Advisory Group.

Elite Athlete Rising Star - Kate McDonald
Sport: Gymnastics. Study:  Bachelor of Environmental Science (Environmental Management and Sustainability).
Kate finished fifth in the Women's Artistic Gymnastics All Around and third on the bars at the 2019 Australian Gymnastics Championships. Kate was part of the Australian team at the 2019 Flanders International Team Challenge in Belgium, where the team finished second, and she represented Australia at the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

Details of other winners can be found at: here

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