The University of Sydney has claimed the 2023 UniSport Nationals Overall Champion crown for the fifth successive year, thanks to a wet day in Adelaide.
The title went down the final day of the last sport to be contested for 2023, T20 Cricket title in Adelaide, where wet weather saw the fourth and fifth days of competition abandoned, meaning the crucial Grand Final T20 match between Sydney University and the University of Technology, Sydney did not go ahead.
That resulted in the two universities sharing the cricket pennant and, as a result, they each finished the UniSport Nationals with 13 pennants (gold medals), resulting in a crucial countback meaning Sydney University were declared the overall winner with 13 silver medals compared to UTS’s four.
The T20 cricket drama in Adelaide saw the competing universities each play five games over the first three days, resulting in Sydney University topping Pool A after finishing with four wins and a loss, while UTS went through the pool undefeated to finish on top of Pool B.
All Quarter Finals on the morning of the fourth day were rained off, resulting in the higher placed teams in each pool progressing to the Semi Finals scheduled for the afternoon. They were also washed out and the leaders of each pool then progressed to the Grand Final on the fifth day.
However, the wet weather continued, resulting in no further play and a tied result for the two Sydney rivals.
Sydney University’s pennant in Adelaide followed the main UniSport Australia Nationals competition held at Surfers Paradise in September when 6,000 university students from 43 institutions descended on the Gold Coast for a week of competitions in 31 different sports.
Each sport won by a University goes towards an annual tally which results in one overall university champion.
Looking to defend their 2022 title, the University of Sydney sent 407 athletes to the Gold Coast to contest 22 sports. The team was co-captained by Jay Hirschowitz (Bachelor of Commerce/Advanced Studies and Soccer player) and Lauren Thomas (Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science and Netballer).
Heading into the week, USYD had already claimed four pennants in Women’s Athletics, Men’s Cross-Country Snow and both Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball. And during the week USYD claimed pennants in Women’s Kendo, Team Fencing, Mixed Ultimate Frisbee, Men’s and Women’s Rowing, Women’s Touch Football, Men’s Tennis, Women’s Hockey and Mixed Squash. There were also numerous individual medals across the various sporting disciplines.
Ed Smith, CEO of SUSF mentioned his immense pride in the athletes for taking the time out of their work and studies to don the blue and gold for USYD. “It’s more than just a sporting event,” he said. “Previous representatives look back on their time at Nationals with the fondest memories and consider it a highlight of their university experience – with lifelong friendships, learnings, and even marriages, forged from it.
“A massive thankyou has to go out to all of the students who competed for us across the year, and to Leonie Lum, Luci Monk, Matt Hutchinson and all of our coaches and other staff who contributed heavily behind the scenes to make this happen. And also, a very big thank you goes to our University who support Sydney Uni Sport better than any other university in Australia supports their sports organisation.”