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Why Uni Games is special

Brent Hayward



First of all I would like to thank each competitor, team manager, team official, and team supporter for their dedication and contribution to Team Vic’s shield defence at Uni Games ‘07. I hold strong admiration to each of you who made sacrifices to support your team mates. As you may or may not be aware, Team Vic was unsuccessful in creating history in defending the Uni Games Shield in Canterbury. However we made a damn good fist of it.

We were up against the two major players in university sport in Canterbury and Otago. Canterbury, who had the home advantage as well as a team of 600, won the competition, gaining a total of 285 Shield points. Otago, who have won the Shield 35 times, almost three times as many as any other uni, came in second with 220 points.
Team Vic managed a credible 3rd with 208 Shield points. I say a credible 3rd as we produced 52 more shield points than the second placed team in 2006. Consequently I applaud the team’s achievement as we were clearly a force even though the odds were stacked against us. The other seven university campuses were never really in the running for the top spot.
Victoria University, which is probably not the first uni that comes to mind for its sporting prowess, has become the most consistent performer in the Uni Games scene since 2005. Team Vic placed 3rd overall in Auckland 2005, 1st in 2006, and 3rd in 2007, making us the number one University Games team in the country in recent years. Brilliant.
There are a few important people I would like to thank for their outstanding contributions behind the scenes. Silas Avery who was the Assistant Team Manager did a fantastic job juggling work I threw at him as well as organising both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams. Jon McQueen, the VUWSA Sponsorship and Advertising Manager, was invaluable in attaining sponsorship for the team. Chris (Dusty) McLoughlin the VUWSA Activities Coordinator was the key person in organising the successful pre-games fundraiser at The Establishment. Melissa Barnard the VUWSA Clubs Officer and Geoff Hayward the VUWSA President supported both Silas and I at every opportunity.
On behalf of VUWSA and the Team Vic contingent, I would like to thank our sponsors. First of all to Andrew Gibson and The Establishment team, your generosity and dedication to Team Vic is unbeatable and held in very high regard. Secondly, to Victoria University of Wellington, thank you for your support in 2007, I hope with your continued support we can further assist our athletes competing on the national stage. Finally to Interislander, Intercity, and Piggy Packers, you have each been brilliant in accommodating our team’s travel requirements.
The Team Vic Uni Games Team ‘07 have produced some quality results and have a lot to be proud of and deserve a pat on the back when you see them round campus in their spiffy new hoodies. For more info about the games including results, tournament teams, and news coverage visit www.universitysport.org.nz
For all those wanting to be involved in Uni Games ’08, pencil in April 14 – 19. It is likely to be in Auckland and gives Team Vic another chance to retain the shield away from home. Cheers.
Well Done Those Players
Victoria picked up a number of medals for aquathon, including women’s gold and silver to Charlotte Wainwright and Vansa Chatikavaij and the men’s silver to Shaun Michael Kavanagh.
Vic’s two badminton teams returned an impressive result, with the men’s team taking home gold and the women’s team silver – placing second to a Waikato team full of NZ reps. Karl Downland, Madeleine White and Letisha Tan were all named in tournament teams.
Three Vic teams competed in the basketball, with the men’s A team eventually taking out the silver medal, the men’s B placing 5th and the women’s team placing 6th. The Vic-Canterbury final was neck and neck all the way to the finish, with the final score 60-51.
Our cross country team’s title was defended this year by a small contingent of 6 men and 1 woman. Matt Singleton won the men’s silver, helping the guys bring home third overall.
Now unbeaten for first place in Uni Games debating for nine years, Victoria took out 1st, 2nd, 5th and 7th. In an all-Vic Grand Final, Victoria 1 (Stephen Whittington and Yogesh Patel) beat Victoria 2 (Polly Higbee and Clodagh O’Connor-McKenna) by a 6-1 margin. Polly was named in the tournament team and Stephen was named as the 2nd reserve. Vic also took out the best adjudicator cup (Joe Connell) and the David Beattie Cup for public speaking (Richard D’Ath).
The mighty Victoria fencing squad that conquered last year’s Uni Games competition was sadly depleted this year by other commitments, leaving the small but select team of three to fight on. Callum Cuncannon was the standout performer, coming 3rd in the men’s foil competition and 6th in epée, while James McNamara placed 6th and 7th and Ben Drayton came 9th and 13th, good results in a large field of around 30. In the teams matches, Vic placed 3rd in foil and epée.
Vic’s golfers battled their way through the golf tournament, with the men’s team once again claiming the bronze medal.
The Karate team exceeded expectations, returning home with six medals this year. Yuri Tamashiro won a gold medal, Sanae Nakai won a silver and two browns, Marama Broughton won a silver medal and John Zhao won two gold medals.
Vic fielded the smallest travelling lawn bowls team of all the major universities, with only two teams of pairs. Vic 1 claimed the silver and lawn bowler extraordinaire Ben Wakely was named in the tournament team.
Vic won third place overall, with the women’s team taking the gold and the men’s team finishing third. The mountain bikers got 4 medals – Kathryn Campbell won the women’s cross country, Connor Power won the men’s cross country and Rita Langley took home the silver for cross country and bronze for downhill.
Following a last-minute formation, the netballers placed 8th out of nine teams – ditching their high expectations in the pursuit of a fun tournament. Their highlight was a huge 57-20 win over home side Canterbury.
Consistency over the last few years has paid off for Victoria University Rowing Club with a second place overall for the Rowing competition at this year’s Uni Games. Big congratulations to James Ashley and Kevin Simpson for making the 2007 NZ Uni squad to take on the Aussies in the Trans-Tasman test series later in the year.
Finishing 5th out of seven teams, Vic’s league team managed to rack up two wins and a draw. Team captain Hone Patrick was the team’s standout player, and was selected as the sole Vic rep in the NZ Universities side to play NZ Tertiary in August.
Vic’s shooters managed to bring home the bronze medal, but were outmatched by home side Canterbury and Shield runners-up Otago.
Vic’s soccer teams carved up the Games’ field, with the men taking home gold and the women’s team the bronze. Women’s top scorer Patrice Bourke, who managed to score 5 goals in one game despite still being drunk, was named in the tournament team. After a freezing cold final match, the Vic boys beat Auckland 2-1, with Dylan Hall, Tyrone Peterson, Matt Adams, Andrew Torrance and Thomas Kelly all named in the tournament team.
Vic’s men came 3rd out of five teams, and the women placed 2nd out of three, with Naomi Crum finishing second in women’s shortboard.
Our squash players made an incredible effort, with Mike Pittams coming home with gold (despite getting food poisoning on the first night), and Jess Wilson coming back with silver. Both the men’s and women’s teams came third overall.
Doubles team Stephan Gerschewski and Zhao Ming brought home a bronze for Vic, also winning third place in the singles.
Vic’s tennis team won the bronze medals for both men and women’s teams, along with a men’s singles bronze for Sam Vinton Boot and a men’s doubles bronze for Sam Vinton Boot and Jacob Emery.
A tight Touch team placed 5th out of eight teams, with a 14-4 win over home side Canterbury, eventually beating Massey Albany 8-1 in their final match.
Our Ultimate girls and boys whizzed to first place, beating Auckland 10-9 in the final and getting huge 15-3 wins over both AUT and Massey Albany. Rene McLoughlin, Nick Panna, Andrew Neal and Bronwyn Hughes were all named in the tournament team.
Vic had high hopes for its two men’s and one women’s volleyball teams this year. Our ladies brought home the gold and Cat Foley, Tuau Pritchard and Zara Morrison were named in the tournament team. After knocking out Vic 2 (“The Wildcats”), Vic 1 went down 3-1 in a tightly contested bronze medal playoff against Canterbury. Danny Smith and Silas Avery made the men’s tournament team.
Vic’s boys’ and girls’ teams both picked up silver medals. The men were narrowly beaten 15-13 in the final by Auckland, and the women 8-4 by Canterbury. Mark Ryan, Cameron Rob, Charlotte Wainwright, Victoria Bex and Jessie Barwick were all named in the tournament teams.