Blues & Half Blues - Rugby
In 1829 the first boat race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities was rowed on the River Thames from Hambleden Lock to Henley Bridge, distance of about 2.25 miles.
There were old Etonians in either boat and, as the crews had no distinctive uniform to identify themselves, just before the start a Cambridge Etonian tied a light blue scarf to the little post at the bow of his boat and an Oxford Etonian tied a dark blue scarf to the bow of his. Thus began a tradition and a basis for the award of Blues for outstanding achievement in university sport, a tradition adopted by English-speaking universities in many parts of the world.
From the early years of the University of Queensland Sports Unions, Blues were awarded to outstanding performers in intervarsity contests and more recently the Sports and Physical Recreation Association. Through its Blues Committee, a selection method with criteria and standards has been developed which ensures that the award of a Blue or a Half-Blue in this University is a highly prized and indeed a rare honour.
To understand the standard required to be honoured with a Blue or Half-Blue award from the University of Queensland Sports Association a general rule of thumb now exists. Athletes who represent Australia at senior level are awarded a Blue and athletes with similar qualifications at state level or attain a particularly high ranking at Australian level in the junior listings, are awarded a Half-Blue. Each sport has more specific standards but generally the Blues Committee endeavour to keep the standards from sport to sport similar.
A Blues Honour Board displays all the recipients of the award since the University was founded in 1910 in the foyer of the Indoor Sports Pavilion.
Blues Awards are granted to University Sportpersons by the University of Queensland Sports and Recreation Association upon application by the University's Sporting Clubs. Blues are awarded to Sportpersons for sporting excellence. The nominees must be University Club members who are currently enrolled students at the University of Queensland or Graduates of the University of Queensland.
Historical content courtesy of: Professor James Mahoney M.A. (QLD) M.LIT (OXFORD)