By Robert Morrison
Over 400 Sydney University students returned on Friday from the 2009 Australian University Games, which has been taking place on the Gold Coast over the past week. While some are still nursing sore heads, student feedback for the games has been overwhelmingly positive.
Event organisers have reported that a record 7003 students attended the games, and many are calling the 2009 Uni Games the best ever. Australian University Games project manager Wes Grant told the Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin that he was pleased that despite the current economic climate, so many students still competed. “The students obviously value it quite a lot and have saved to come here,” said Mr Grant. “[And] the majority of them are here to compete and to win.”
With one of the largest squads, Sydney University was one of the stand out performers of the games. Coming third in the overall championship points score, behind The University of Melbourne and Monash University, Sydney University had an impressive games taking a number of team and individual medals.
“We had a successful AUG both on and off the playing arena,” said Sydney University Team Manager Luke Madigan. “We placed highly in all sports, with some really good performances in Athletics, Swimming, Judo, Baseball, Softball and Water polo. The social program was well attended by our athletes and combined with the fantastic weather and ideal accommodation, all of our team really enjoyed the event.”
Of particular note is the Sydney University rowing team who took out three of the four medals on offer, which included both the overall men’s and women’s championships and the overall university championship.
Although it was a very impressive games for Sydney University in 2009, they will still be looking to improve when the games move to Perth next year.
“Next year we would like to increase the representation even further to include teams in women’s AFL, women’s rugby and cycling so that we can compete with Monash and Melbourne and win the overall title,” said Madigan. “It will be a difficult task getting a large team to Perth but hopefully our athletes will take up the challenge.”