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A 402-strong team of student-athletes will defend The University of Queensland’s UniSport Nationals Div 1 championship on the Gold Coast this week.

More than 5,300 student-athletes from 43 universities will compete at the multi-sport competition, which runs from 28 September to 3 October.

Team UQ won nine pennants at last year’s event to be crowned inaugural Nationals Div 1 champions.

Tyson Rech & Rebekah Thornton
Team UQ Nationals captains Tyson Rech (Basketball) & Rebekah Thornton (Cheer & Dance).

UQ will compete in 24 sports – including Fencing, Judo, Rowing, and Sailing – and be captained by Rebekah Thornton (Cheer & Dance) & Tyson Rech (Basketball).

Ms Thornton, a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) student, said UQ was confident of a strong showing.

“I was lucky enough to be a part of UQ’s title-winning squad in 2018, and I’ve seen first-hand that the hard work and time that our athletes put in is worth it,” Ms Thornton said.

“It is great to see that we have such a strong squad going to Nationals Div 1 again this year, and I’m very excited to see our teams compete against Australia’s best university teams.”

Cheer & Dance is UQ’s most-represented sport with 82 competitors, while 38 students will represent the University in Touch Football.

Ms. Thornton said UQ’s Cheer & Dance squad was the largest it had assembled for a UniSport Nationals event.

“Our athletes work tirelessly week in, week out, and have been preparing their routines for this competition since semester one,” she said.

“Many of our teams placed top-three last year and we’re very excited to see what they can achieve with some extra experience under their belt.”

UQ’s Mixed Touch team will chase a fourth-straight UniSport gold medal after winning last year’s inaugural Nationals Div 1 event, as well as the preceding Australian Uni Games competitions in 2017 and 2016.

The University’s Men’s Hockey side has won gold at the past two UniSport events, and has medalled at all sanctioned competitions dating back to 2013.

Team UQ will also contest Men’s Lawn Bowls and Women’s Water Polo for the first time at a UniSport event since 2013.

UQ’s Women’s Water Polo team will compete at Div 2 level, with the top two-ranked teams earning promotion to next year’s Nationals Div 1 event.

2019 UniSport Nationals Div 1 – UQ teams:

Badminton (Men & Women)
Baseball (Open)
Basketball (Men & Women)
Beach Volleyball (Men’s Pairs, Women’s Pairs & Mixed Fours)
Cheer & Dance (Women & Co-ed)
Cycling (Men & Women)
Fencing (Men & Women)
Futsal (Men)
Golf (Men)
Handball (Mixed)
Hockey (Men)
Judo (Men & Women)
Kendo (Men & Women)
Lawn Bowls (Men)
Rowing (Men & Women)
Rugby 7s (Men)
Sailing (Open)
Squash (Men, Women & Mixed)
Table Tennis (Men)
Tennis (Men & Women)
Touch Football (Men, Women & Mixed)
Ultimate (Mixed)
Volleyball (Men & Women)
Water Polo (Men – Div 1; Women – Div 2)

Media: Jamie Mitchell, UQ Sport, JamieM@uqsport.com.au, 0423 785 752.