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Uni Games abandoning party reputation, refocusing on sporting excellence

The university games on the Gold Coast are set to make major changes in its event structure for this year’s games, including a move away from its partying past.

Building 29, the home of UC Union Sport. Photo by Eamon Moore.

The organising body for the games, UniGames Australia are planning on abandoning the previous structure of Regional Games, instead having qualifying meets. Those qualifiers will then meet to compete for glory at the Nationals.

UC Union Sport Development Coordinator Tameka Collins believes that this will create better competition.

“The shift to a structure that refocuses on sporting success will have a positive impact on the culture at the events. From this year, there will be a renewed understanding from all competitors that their attendance at the events will contribute positively to their development in their chosen sport, as well enhance the overall team spirit that is at the forefront of the games,” Collins said.

Over recent years the University Games had earned a reputation as a ‘second schoolies’. An event utilised by students from across the nation to meet up and party while also enjoying some competitive sport.

This loose party attitude has led to many students injuring themselves and getting arrested during the weeks competition. An example of this was a student athlete falling into a coma after consuming copious amount of drugs and alcohol whilst at the Eastern Uni Games in Wagga Wagga.

Collins acknowledges that the games had strayed away from its original focus.

“There is no doubt that the Games have had a reputation for being an event that gathers students from around Australia for a party.  This has sometimes clouded the focus of the games and to what degree sporting excellence should be pursued,” Collins explained.

One key difference to the games this year is UniGames Australia are doing away with designated partying areas that previously had been a prominent socialising area. The goal is to remove the partying aspects from the games, releasing the festive students upon the Gold Coast.

The UC team are buying into this change. Collins is ensuring that the team is focused on success.

“We are committed to sending away teams that have a genuine interest in competing and have a genuine chance of success. We are refocusing the values of the UC team to ensure that everyone is focused on achieving at the highest level.”

The games are on from the 24th to the 29th of September 2018.

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