Lightning’s Jacqui Russell Recognised At USC Sport Awards

Sunshine Coast Lightning’s own Jacqui Russell was announced as the inaugural USC Vice Chancellors Sporting and Academic Excellence Award recipient at Thursday’s USC Sport Awards.

The award recognises the student who achieves excellence both in their sporting and academic pursuits simultaneously – as USC continues to forge a reputation as a leader in dual career education.

To be eligible for the award students must attain a GPA of at least 6.5, whilst also achieving success in their given sport at a national level.

At the time of selection for the award, Jacqui had achieved a GPA of 7 in her Masters of Education, while also competing in the Suncorp Super Netball for Lightning.

In 2019 the Club finished the season as Minor Premiers and went on to compete in the Grand Final, eventually falling to the NSW Swifts.

Russell’s efforts also saw her receive a Half Blue Award – for her outstanding sport performance at a national level.

“We couldn’t be happier for Jac to be acknowledged with this prestigious award from USC,” Lightning Head Coach Kylee Byrne said.

“After being presented with the Team Spirit Award for the past two years, it demonstrates what an asset to Lightning and USC Jac is.

“Also, having the happy balance in life away from the demands of training and playing in SSN is so important here at Lightning and to be able to excel in both academia, and sport takes a lot of commitment and hard work – two things that Jac excels at.”

The award is a strong endorsement of Lightning’s partnership with USC as one of the Club’s joint owners.

The affiliation not only benefits the athletes and staff on court but also in their future education and tertiary studies.

Fellow Lightning player Peace Proscovia also received a Full Blue award at the USC Sport Awards – which recognises outstanding sporting performance at an international level while also displaying good sportsmanship in and out of competition.