The 2015 Australian University Games, Australia’s largest annual multisport event, were officially launched this week at Bond University – the official Partner University for this year’s Games.
Held at the Bond University swimming pool on July 14, the launch featured a number of Australia’s leading student athlete swimmers in a 'dual in the pool' friendly match up, including Bond University student athletes and World Championship representatives Mel Wright (née Schlanger) and Alex Graham, and student athletes from Griffith University and University of the Sunshine Coast.
Set to bring more than 7,500 competitors to Queensland from September 27 to October 2, the event will be hosted by Bond University and feature 32 sports and student athletes from 42 universities.
Australian University Sport Chief Executive Officer, Don Knapp, believes this year’s event will be a once in a lifetime experience for all student athletes who attend.
“It is a great privilege to be able to play sport, and an even greater privilege to do so as a representative of your university whilst studying,” said Mr Knapp.
“Student athletes who come to the Gold Coast this year will get to experience the highest quality intervarsity competition available in Australia at some of the best sporting facilities in the country.
“Thanks to the support of the Australian Sports Commission, Tourism and Events Queensland, the City of Gold Coast and Bond University, Australian University Sport is excited to bring the Australian University Games back to the Gold Coast for an event that is sure to be memorable to all that attend."
The Australian University Games are held biennially on the Gold Coast under a partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland.
Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Kate Jones, welcomed the flagship event back to the Gold Coast.
“Events play an important role in promoting a destination, driving visitation, generating jobs and fostering community pride,” said Ms Jones.
“As we look forward to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, events like this continue to grow our reputation as a premier sporting events destination.”
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate is confident participants will enjoy their stay on the Gold Coast.
“We look forward to hosting athletes from across Australia at our city’s world class sporting facilities," said Mr Tate.
“I also encourage the athletes to take time out from competition to enjoy the region’s shopping, dining, entertainment and other attractions."
Bond University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Tim Brailsford said the Games would bring a significant economic benefit to the Gold Coast and it was a major coup to host the event on the Bond campus.
“We are excited to welcome student athletes from universities across Australia to Bond University, and urge Gold Coasters to get involved,” said Professor Brailsford.
“Not only are the Games a great opportunity for athletes, but they also allow students to expand their skill set by taking part in valuable, hands-on experience working on a major sporting event.”
Bond University’s recently appointed head coach of swimming and Australian team coach Richard Scarce acknowledged the event’s accessibility for all student athletes.
“The beauty of this event is that it caters for all levels of competitors, from the first year student athlete that loves to play social sport right through to the elite student athletes who want to give back to their university and play alongside their teammates in a high quality sporting event without the pressure or need for elite performance,” said Mr Scarce.
The Australian University Games is arguably the ‘best week’ of a student athlete's university life, combining competitive sporting competition with a comprehensive social program and the unique opportunity to represent their university and participate in a team tour at a national level.