ANU did well at the Australian University Championships on the Gold Coast last week, taking out first place in Men’s Football, and second in Women’s Football and Women’s Hockey. The Mixed-Gender Touch Football team placed fourth in their competition.
This was the first national competition since the overhaul which saw the name changed from ‘UniGames’ to ‘UniSport Nationals’. The rebranding was intended in part to reduce the event’s association with a culture of heavy drinking. The regional competitions were removed, with a Division 2 national competition added to allow more participation. The Division 2 competition, which the teams competed in, was held earlier this month.
This was the second consecutive gold for the Men’s Football Team, following their success at UniGames last year. Captain Alex Ollman commended “the lads” for “[giving] it their all” throughout, remaining “hungry for the win” in every match. He especially emphasised the achievements of Cameron Thomas for his “last minute extra time goal”.
Despite a number of injuries and a much-depleted squad, the Women’s Football team was able to fight their way to a second-place finish. This was the first university-level competition for many of the team members.
Women’s Hockey similarly “dominated the competition”, according to Team Manager Jacqui Turner. Under the captaincy of Rachel Barnsley and Dani Cribb, ANU made it to the Grand Final. The team had strong support from the crowd, but ultimately went down 1-0 to the University of Southern Queensland.
Following the teams’ success, ANU will be competing in Division 1 for Football and Women’s Hockey at the Games in 2019.
ANU sent nine teams in total to compete at the games, including Water Polo, Volleyball, Basketball, Tennis, and Netball.
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