Paralympian student-athlete Jaryd Clifford (Bachelor of Arts), student-athlete basketballer Joel Rimes (Doctor of Philosophy (Immunology)) and the Melbourne University Lightning Netball Club have been honoured by UniSport Australia with a series of awards for their achievements in 2021.
For his performances at the Tokyo Paralympics where he won two silver medals, one in the Men's 5000m T13 and the other in the Men's Marathon T12, along with a bronze medal in the Men's 1500m T13, Jaryd Clifford was awarded 2021 Outstanding Performance by a Student-Athlete with a Disability. Prior to the Paralympics campaign, Jaryd represented the University at the 2021 Uni Nationals, finishing 5th amongst a field of 28 in the open 1500m. His time of 3:45:41 was 99.45% world time for the T12 class which narrowly had Jaryd missing the world record for the event. In addition to Jaryd’s success at Uni Nationals, Jaryd broke his own T12 1500m world record at the Zatopek Classic in January 2021 (running 3:42:97 and breaking his old time of 3:45:18). In April 2021, running his first-ever Marathon as a pace-maker for a fellow athlete with a disability, Jaryd ‘accidentally’ broke the world record with a run of 2:19:08, qualifying for the Tokyo Paralympic Games in the process. Jaryd is currently a recipient of the Andrew and Geraldine Buxton Athletics Scholarship.
Joel Rimes was recognised as the 2021 Male Student-Athlete of the Year after becoming the co-MVP in the inaugural 2021 season of the University Basketball League, an award voted on by the competition’s opposition coaches for his game-day performance and contribution. Joel was the captain and team manager for the men's team and averaged over 25 points per game. Joel was also awarded a Full Blue by the University for his outstanding 2021 UBL performances.
For their work in leading and supporting pride initiatives within Netball Victoria, the Melbourne University Lightning Netball Club were recognised with the 2021 Club Leadership Award. The Club first delivered a stand-alone Pride game against the ACU Sovereigns in the 2016 Victorian Netball League (VNL) and has continued to do so ever since, raising awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community’s valuable role in netball. Through continued dialogue and consultation between the Club and Netball Victoria, the Victorian Netball League held its inaugural Pride Round for all 10 VNL clubs and their 30 teams in 2021, with the Club's game being the showcase game of the round. The Club were also recognised by Netball Victoria in 2021 as their Inclusive Community of the Year. The award marks consecutive victories for University of Melbourne sporting clubs, with the Lightning Netball Club joining the Melbourne University Soccer Club which won the award for 2020.