UWA has been declared overall winner of the 13th National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games held in Perth in September.
Over the three days of competition, the teams competed for championship cups in netball, basketball, touch, volleyball and fly, a traditional Noongar game that involves running through sticks placed on the ground.UWA won the basketball and netball competitions while Newcastle University took first place in touch rugby and Griffith University won the volleyball.
The event attracted 14 teams representing four universities from WA and nine from interstate. More than 200 Indigenous students from around Australia competed in the games, which were hosted by the Western Australian Students Aboriginal Corporation together with UWA's School of Indigenous Studies.
One of the most popular events was the ancient Noongar game of fly which involves competitors taking only one running step between sticks placed in the ground. The intervals between the sticks get longer as the game progresses. Teams consist of two men and two women.
Games coordinator Brendon De Gois, also from SIS, said there were thousands of traditional Indigenous games which were being revived around the country.
They included "meetcha boma", a kind of hockey played in the Perth area with a red gum nut ("meetcha") and a piece of wood with a crooked root ("bandeegurt"); "koabangan", a hide-and-seek game enjoyed by children in North Queensland where the item to be found within a time limit was traditionally a goanna claw; and "buran", an accuracy game in which South Queensland's Jagara people wielded right-handed ("dunimgi") and left-handed ("watungi") boomerangs to strike an object.
Jeromy Harvey, from UWA's School of Indigenous Studies, said the Games provided a rare opportunity to bring together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students from around the country to participate and compete at a national level and exchange cultural knowledge and experience from different regions.
"The aim of the gathering is to promote unity, a healthy lifestyle, positive interaction and friendly competition between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tertiary students, while also giving them the opportunity to develop and maintain national networks," Mr Harvey said.
"The Games allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture to be seen in a positive light and produce role models for the community."