DKU Athletics Awards celebrate year of champions

The Duke Kunshan University community joined to celebrate its talented student-athletes and commemorate a year of resilience, teamwork, and sportsmanship at the 2022-23 DKU Athletics Awards on May 12.

Jill Creighton, dean of student affairs, and Zarko Krkeljas, director of athletics, provided opening remarks in which they stressed the crucial role that athletics plays in university life.

The awards acknowledge teams and individuals who have shown outstanding performance and commitment to their sports throughout the academic year.

In the individual categories, Tianhui Liao was named Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and Wenzhi Wang collected Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The Best Sportsmanship Award went to Ola Stryjska while the Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award was presented to Kennedy McNeilly-Anta.

In the group categories, DKU Football Club won Sports Club of the Year, and the DKU men’s football team was named as Varsity Team of the Year. In addition, Running Club was presented with the Community Engagement Award and the volleyball Club was recognized as Most Improved Team.

The awards ceremony was also an opportunity for coaches to honor graduating seniors in varsity teams and sports clubs who have stood out during their four years at DKU for their dedication, perseverance, and immense contribution to the campus community and beyond.

Head basketball coach Marko Potkonjak recognized Zhiyi Chen and Yuexi Li from the women’s team; football coach Peter Zhao praised men’s team players Andrea Riccardo Assenza, Cameron Page, Haowen Ji and Jiacheng Xie; and table tennis coach Bingfang Li highlighted student-athlete Shihe Pan.

Also recognized were Zichao Chen, Jingwei Li and Yuxuan Wang by Badminton Club; Zhitong Chen, Danming Kang, Yizhen Wu and Yufei Li by Chinese Dance Club; Neil Kelly by Judo Club; Erin Greig by Running Club; Tzu-Ying (Jean) Chuang, Xiwei Huang and Yuanye Liu by Street Dance Club; Shi Wang by Table Tennis Club; Alan Lien by Ultimate Frisbee Club; Shu-Yueh (Winnie) Liao, Emily Gonzales, and Yao (Joy) Xiao by Volleyball Club; and players Siying Song and Shiwei Wang and coach Runkun Guo by the Football Club.

In addition, DKU Moves, an innovative online program led by DKU Athletics that motivates students, faculty, and staff to prioritize daily exercise, also gave prizes to individuals for outstanding performance over the school year.

The DKU Moves MVP Award went to Jay Shen, an avid runner who works in marketing for the university. Xiao Theng Liew and Wenlong Xi were named Fitness Stars, Haoxin Feng and Tong Yu were named PE Stars, and Paul Stanley and Eric Eberly were celebrated as Outdoor Adventurers. Chaoran Han and Zhuoli Huang also were both honored as Daily Exercise Models.