Sports unite thousands at upcoming games

  • Charles Sturt University has 151 students, including 14 members of the Elite Athlete and Performer Program, competing in 12 sports at UniSport Nationals
  • UniSport Nationals will attract more than 6,000
    participants with Division One and Two competitions being held at the Gold
    Coast from Saturday 23 to Friday 29 September
  • Charles Sturt students will compete in sports
    including netball, taekwondo, beach volleyball, road cycling, Oztag, football
    and basketball

Charles Sturt University students are preparing to compete in their chosen sports at the UniSport Nationals to bring home medals for their teams and University.

The UniSport Nationals will see more than 6,000 university students participate from across the country and will be held at the Gold Coast from Saturday 23 to Friday 29 September.

Charles Sturt has 151 students from Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Orange, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga competing, as well as 26 online students. Among these student athletes are 14 members of Charles Sturt’s Elite Athlete and
Performer program.

Charles Sturt Student Liaison Officer (Elite Athletes and Sport) Ms Kate Staniforth said the best student athletes are selected to represent Charles Sturt at UniSport Nationals through on-campus trials and online Expressions of Interest.

“You don’t have to be an elite athlete to compete at UniSport Nationals, but we do encourage our best student athletes to represent Charles Sturt University,” she said.

“Being a multi-campus regional and online university, it is sometimes challenging to get the top athletes involved, so we do cater for those more interested in social sports.”

Charles Sturt students will compete in the following sports:

  • Lawn bowls (mixed)
  • Road cycling (men and women)
  • Beach volleyball (women)
  • Golf (women)
  • Basketball (men and women)
  • Rugby League 9s (men)
  • Rugby Union 7s (women)
  • Touch football (men and mixed)
  • Oztag (mixed)
  • Netball (mixed and women)
  • Soccer (men and women)
  • Taekwondo (men and women)

Some UniSport Nationals events have already taken place, which Charles Sturt students have participated in, including triathlon (winning gold in women’s), 3×3 basketball for men and women, athletics, swimming (winning two gold medals), Indigenous nationals and distance running (winning silver in the women’s half marathon).

Student Ms Kristie Edwards also competed in athletics at the FISU World University
Games recently in Chengdu, China. She made the final for the 200 metres, placing fifth overall.

Ms Staniforth said students competing at the Gold Coast in Division One and Two are hoping to share the success but said there is so much more to UniSport Nationals than the competition.

“UniSport Nationals offers our student community an opportunity to come together and compete for the University at a national level,” she said.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to compete in the sport you love at a national event, representing your university, socialising with fellow students and students from universities across Australia.

“Sport unites people in a way that nothing else does.

“For our higher-level athletes, this national event offers opportunities for selection in national teams to compete at World Uni Games events, and also for selection in some national sporting organisations pathways.”

Bachelor of Podiatric
Medicine Ms Molly McCarty from Albury-Wodonga is competing in netball.

She competed at UniSport Nationals in Perth and finished 7th out of 36 teams and Ms McCarty said she hoped to do better this year.

“I have always been an avid sports person and when I found out that I could compete for Charles Sturt University, I thought why not give it a go,” she said.

“I am hoping for a few wins but also some friendly competition among the other unis.

“I think it is good to showcase the talents of individuals from all walks of life and especially being a university that has rural campuses, it is even better to highlight what the country has to offer because there are quite a lot of talented sports people in all forms of sports.”

Bathurst third-year Bachelor of Nursing student Ms Arielle Madew competed in her first UniSport Nationals in 2022 in women’s football (soccer). They came 7th out of 10 teams with girls that had little game time together but Ms Madew said she was confident in this year’s team.

“This year I think we have it in us to finish in the top five, as we have an incredibly talented team of girls,” she said.

“I also hope with the bigger Charles Sturt University group that we can have just as much fun and bring just as much spirit to this year’s competition as we have in previous years.”

Ms Madew said she thought it was important Charles Sturt students competed at UniSport Nationals to show the diversity of the University’s sporting talent from all its campuses.

Third-year Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary
Science student Mr Kooper Martin from Wagga Wagga will play mixed netball for Charles Sturt. He first competed in 2019 in Division One and Two mixed netball, where he was also the team captain. He competed at the Indigenous Games in 2019 for Western Sydney University and in the Indigenous Games this year for Charles Sturt.

“My aim is to have a friendly competition, network with fellow students all around the country and, of course, hopefully walk away with a win,” he said.

“Competing for Charles Sturt University at UniSport Nationals provides students with the ability to play a diverse range of sports while building important relationships with other students from different areas of Australia sharing similar interests.”

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