The history of the Blue began in 1836 following a boat race between Oxford and Cambridge universities, first as a blue ribbon tied to the bow of the Cambridge boat and later as the colour of the stripes worn by the Oxford crew. Over time, any student who represented Oxford against Cambridge was entitled to wear a dark blue jacket. Eventually, Blues were awarded for outstanding achievement in university sport – a tradition adopted at universities in many parts of the world.
In 1908, the Blue was adopted as the highest recognition for sporting achievement by students of the University of Adelaide. The Blues Awards are an important element to our organisation as it allows our clubs and the university community to unite together and celebrate the sporting and volunteering achievements of our members at our gala event at the end of the year. Over 4,000 recipients have been awarded a University of Adelaide Blue, Half Blue or Club Letters. Formerly a jacket, today the Blues Award is presented as a certificate and a suitably engraved pin.
The Blues Committee recognises that comparing clubs and sports is not an easy task. Factors such as the size of each sport, the level of competition and the pathways within each sport can make this task difficult. As a result, to ensure that all who receive an award are of similar calibre, 'Club standards' are set to ensure consistency but still cater for the differences between sports and clubs. Clubs are asked to refer to their Club standards when discussing potential nominees and complete the online application form by the due date. All applications will then be reviewed, discussed and ratified by the Blues Committee.
Blue: Is awarded to University of Adelaide students who are members of an Adelaide University Sport club and have participated at a state or national level with distinction.
Half Blue: Is awarded to University of Adelaide students who are members of an Adelaide University Sport club for achievement at a high level. A Half Blue is also presented to Life Members of Adelaide University Sport.