Team UWA takes home the 2016 University Games Championship.
In the last week of September, The University of Western Australia’s ‘Team UWA’ launched their 2016 Australian University Games campaign in Perth. With a team of over 520 athletes competing in 34 sports, Team UWA was striving to win the coveted AUS Champions Trophy on home soil.
While the main competitions were held throughout the week of Monday 25th, UWA had several martial arts teams competing over the weekend for the first pennants of the series, and didn’t disappoint coming away with gold in both the men’s and women’s Judo, and gold in the women’s Kendo giving us a solid start to the week!
Come Monday, competition began for most sports, with several wins in the first few days of play. The men’s basketball team, led by overall male team captain Jackson Simkovic started strong with a hard fought win against the University of South Australia, a perfect start to a week of difficult competition. Wins in men’s and women’s ultimate, softball, hockey, and water polo took Team UWA to the top of the leader board after day two of play, as the competition began to take shape.
Day three saw overall female team captain Christine Manungas tee-off early at The Vines Golf Club in an early morning of play before wet weather set in and halted play. The wet weather continued throughout the afternoon and caused several sports to be postponed in uncharacteristically wet conditions across the Perth metropolitan area. Despite a brief wet weather delay, the athletics pushed on in less than favourable conditions to come away with several wins despite a debilitating head wind on the track.
Our swimmers were well in truly in their element, setting the pool on fire in a stellar few days of competition. Competing in several events over the week UWA were hot favourites to take out the men’s 4 x100m relay, and didn’t disappoint with Nick Brown and Alex Milligan leading the team to victory before the individual 100m butterfly saw Team UWAs Nick Brown smash the Australian University Games record with a time of 53.84.
As finals approached and Thursday rolled around, teams across Perth played out their last round robin matches and heats before commencing their finals campaigns on Thursday afternoon and throughout Friday. The Men’s AFL team had a late win, bringing them to 6 wins from 6 matches and securing them a spot in the grand finale against Deakin University, in which they took home the gold!
Men’s and women’s hockey teams both secured their places in the grand finale with the women’s team coming away with a hard-fought semi-final win against Monash early Friday morning, before backing it up with a grand final thriller against Deakin University. The men’s team also came away with gold after beating Curtin University 3-1, seeing both teams take home a pennant for the first time in several years. Gold in women’s ultimate, men’s basketball, cycling, squash and fencing pushed UWA up the leader board with strong finishes in beach volleyball, women’s basketball, ten pin bowling and men’s badminton putting us in prime position to take out the win at the end of a great week of play.
The closing ceremony was held at Northbridge Brewing Company, and despite wet and rainy conditions, nothing could dampen the spirits of Team UWA who won not only the overall AUS Champions Trophy but also the per capita award, beating our closest rivals by over 200 points! In a shakeup of traditional results, our eastern counterparts were no match for the ferocity of Team UWA, with 42 student-athletes awarded green and gold titles, and the Team holding both the Western Uni Games, and overall Australian Uni Games titles for 2016.
Congratulations to everyone involved!
UWA Sport Marketing Communication and Events Officer