After four days of competition across four sports, The University of Queensland (UQ) has been crowned the winner of the UniSport 2023 Indigenous Nationals. Monash University hosted this year’s event, providing cultural experiences and superb sporting facilities for the 33 University teams competing. The UQ Sport team is proud to have been part of this achievement alongside the UQ ATSIS unit and the Goorie Berrimpa student collective.
UQ competed in four sports to emerge victorious as the overall sporting champions:
- Volleyball – Ranked 1st
- Netball – Ranked 2nd
- Touch Football – Ranked 4th
- Basketball – Ranked 10th
For the first time in the history of the competition, UQ has won the Indigenous Nationals title. UQ jumped ahead in the overall standings on the final day after a three-set blockbuster against Griffith University in the grand final of the volleyball competition. The team performed well throughout the week and also claimed a silver medal in the Netball competition.
Team captain Wonie Yusia commented that, “This is my fifth year and it’s been such a long journey to now, we are finally the champions after putting so much work into it. It makes me emotional that we finally made it.”
“One thing I’ve noticed about UniSport Indigenous Nationals is the vibe between all the Universities is just so welcoming. We all have the same idea about making connections and deepening that connection to our culture.”
Student-athlete Mitchell Gainsford had a similar experience saying, “It is important to have events like this because it brings together all youth Mob around Australia. We’re also studying at university and experiencing the same hardships. It’s just great to bond with Mob.”
The UQ team showed great resilience after losing a key player after the second game of day one. UQ Sport team manager Christian Pang said “To see these young athletes overcome such adversities and compete was truly an inspiring experience. We had injured players on the sideline cheering with all their heart to support the athletes on the field.”
Christian witnessed the development of this winning team as a UQ Sport team manager, supporting the student-athletes with coaching, equipment, training venues and organisational assistance in preparation for the event.
Student-athlete Lesley Scanlan shared, “I love representing my Mob, UQ and showing up with this UQ family.”
UniSport Australia CEO Mark Sinderberry said, “The unique nature of the event makes this one of the highlights of the UniSport calendar. It brings together students from around Australia to connect to their culture, the land, their university, and each other through sports, which we know enhances their university experience. The friends they make at this event will be friends well beyond their time at university.”
The University of Queensland respectfully acknowledges the people of the Kulin Nations, the traditional owners of the land on which the event took place and we pay our respects to Elders past and present.