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Softballer Callum Beashel pitches up top university sport award

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A softballer, who has the world at his feet, walked away with the University of Newcastle’s (UoN) most prestigious sporting honour this week.

Callum Beashel claimed the Sportsperson of the Year plaudits from a star-studded field at the UoN Sports Awards at the Conservatorium of Music.

He was among several student athletes and clubs recognised at the annual function.

Swimmer Aden Searant and pole vaulter Emma Hopkins were presented with the University Blues and cricketer Mitchell Eckford and mountaineer Phillip Tingle received the University Colours.

Phillip Tingle, Kaitlin Cooper, Hanne Newman and Aidan McEnearney at the University of Newcastle Sports Awards.

Club of the Year went to the UoN Mountaineering Club, while the Uni Nationals division one mixed touch football side collected Team of the Year.

Beashel, who’s completing a PhD in Biological Sciences, admitted he was proud to be recognised alongside other great Newcastle athletes.

“The highlight of my sporting career (so far) is definitely winning the World Cup for Australia at the end of last year,” he said.

“It takes a lot of time, commitment and sacrifice, along with the ups and downs, to get to that point.

“So, to finally come out on top is certainly the high point.

“Receiving Sportsperson of the Year is an honour, especially considering the calibre of athletes we have across the university.

“The UoN has given me so many opportunities not just in my degree but also to participate in sport while I am studying.

“I’m really grateful for that.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky, Kevin Thompson and Chancellor Paul Jeans.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky said the awards were a reflection of the university’s commitment to supporting students to achieve their best on and off the field.

“Sport and extra-curricular activities are defining parts of the experience,” he explained.

“The awards are a celebration of not just medals won but of the personal qualities it takes to win them.

“We’re proud to have a dynamic group of students and community members, ranging from social sports through to elite athlete programs at our university.

“We provide the cream of the crop with access to sport and academic scholarships, premier sporting facilities and opportunities to represent UoN.”

Scholarship winners were also acknowledged on the evening.

“Grants provide the financial support that allows them to focus on their academic and sporting endeavours,” Professor Zelinsky said.

“So, we’re grateful of donors such as University of Newcastle Mechanical Engineering Alumnus Andrew Brown and Friends of the University whose assistance can alleviate some of the monetary pressure for students.”

The university boasts approximately 200 athletes in its Elite Athlete Network, which supports them to achieve excellence while studying.

The program helps pupils to manage study commitments, offers flexibility around sporting commitments and facilitates access to networking and personal development opportunities.

Sportsperson of the Year Callum Beashel.

Award winners

  • Sportsperson of the Year: Callum Beashel – softball

Blues

  • Aden Searant – swimming
  • Emma Hopkins – athletics (pole vault)

Colours

  • Mitchell Eckford – cricket
  • Phillip Tingle – mountaineering

Club of the Year: University of Newcastle Mountaineering Club

Team of the Year: Uni Nationals Div 1 Mixed Touch Football

Scholarship recipients

  • Friends of the University Scholarship: Bryn Bowen – swimming

University Sports Scholarships

  • Ashlyn Blackstock
  • Ellie Rudder

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