World champion stand up paddleboarder Brianna Orams has been named USC’s Sportsperson of the Year for 2020.
However it’s unlikely Brianna will hold the trophy aloft any time soon, as COVID-19 travel restrictions have resulted in her studying online from her hometown of Auckland in New Zealand.
The pandemic meant the Environmental Science student could not compete in the 2020 SUP Euro Tour from April to July as planned, but her other achievements over the past 12 months were enough for her to clinch USC’s top award for student athletes.
Brianna won the junior technical race at the Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) world championships in China in late 2019, became the SUPunited 5km and 10km time trial champion in mid-2020, and won or placed well at various SUP competitions in New Zealand.
The impact of COVID-19 on elite sport this year has meant many USC student athletes – including Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls – were denied the opportunity to compete in any major events.
There was so much disruption to sport this year that USC introduced its 2020 Resilience Awards to recognise those who made the most of the changed circumstances through ongoing training and competition, community involvement and study success.
Two students – sprinter and Doctor of Creative Arts student Jane Larkin and cyclist and Clinical Exercise Physiology student Zack Gilmore – received these awards at a special event at USC Stadium on Friday 13 November.