UTSNZ have a number of awards that are presented both annually and at each event to recognise outstanding performance and results.

UTSNZ Overall National Tertiary Championship Shield 

Awarded to the university with the greatest championship points total of each calendar year. The announcement and presentation of 'the Shield' to the UTSNZ Overall University Champion is made at the last calendar event of the year.

Shield fast facts:

  • Unveiled in 1923, the Shield has existed for 100 years.
  • The first winner was the University of Otago and they have gone on to hold the Shield aloft 36 times, more than any other university in New Zealand.
  • The University of Auckland has won it 20 times, the University of Canterbury 14 and Victoria University of Wellington ten. The University of Waikato and Massey University have secured bragging rights a few times (three and two respectively) and AUT has won it once over a near century of Shield competition.
  • Since UTSNZ was established in late 2015, the inter-tertiary competition has moved from being one big “Easter tournie” to a series of individual championship events with a focus on top-level sporting performance. The University of Auckland has been victorious every year since the rebirth.

UTSNZ National Tertiary Championship Teams 

Perpetual trophies are awarded to the winning teams of each UTSNZ National Tertiary Championship event. Perpetual trophies are awarded at the event prize giving straight after the last game/round has been completed and are returned and re-awarded the following year.

UTSNZ Overall National Tertiary Championship Spirit Award - Te Kaitiaki

Te Kaitiaki, the National Tertiary Spirit Champion award recognises the tertiary institution that has captured the spirit of national championship events as determined by participant vote across all UTSNZ National Tertiary Championships throughout the year.

The Spirit Award was first introduced in 2021 and is awarded based on three ‘Pou’ (pillars) that form the award’s overall criteria, each as important as the others. The combination of these Pou captures the overall spirit of the National Tertiary Championships, with examples of desirable attitude and behaviour provided and include Kotahitanga, Manaakitanga and Rangatiratanga.

UTSNZ National Tertiary Spirit Awards

National Tertiary Spirit Medals are awarded to one team at each UTSNZ National Tertiary Championship as decided by the participants of that event. They recognise the team that has displayed the best sportsmanship and captured the spirit of the event. Voting parties include participating teams, event officials and volunteers.

The National Tertiary Spirit Champion award recognises the tertiary institution that has shown the best sportsmanship and captured the spirit of the national championship events over the course of the calendar year. Institutions receive overall spirit points that are determined by their team's spirit performance at each event, and the trophy is awarded at the final event of the year to the institution with the most overall spirit points.

UTSNZ Tournament Teams 

For some UTSNZ National Tertiary Championship events a tournament team may be selected. Selections recognise outstanding individual performance during the championship. The announcement of Tournament Teams is made at the medal ceremony on completion of the competition. Where specified, these teams may have the opportunity to represent New Zealand at World University Championships and/or other selection events.

National University Blues

Historically, the former university sport entity University Sport New Zealand, acknowledged and celebrated the commitment and achievements of university students in their chosen sporting endeavor through the National Blues Awards.

The "Blue" was a prestigious award for excellence in sport and recognised national excellence through to world champions. A sporting "Blue" was something that students were extremely proud to receive and something that could be used in job applications and resumes to show commitment and dedication. 

Currently NZ universities continue to run their own regional Blues Awards and more information on these (including criteria) can be found by contacting the specific University directly. National level Blues Awards ceased in 2011. University and Tertiary Sport NZ, established in 2016, has however now taken over ownership and the IP associated with the national level awards and a full review of the former programme is pending. 

Further information on any reinstatement of the National Blues Awards will be communicated if and as developed.