The largest university sporting event to be held in Victoria this year, the 2017 Southern University Games, was launched today at the Waurn Ponds campus of Deakin University, marking 100 days until the event is officially opened.
Expected to attract more than 1,800 student-athletes from across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, the 2017 Southern University Games will be held from 2-6 July and will include 21 sports.
Additionally, Deakin University will also host the 2017 Indigenous University Games (25-29 June) immediately prior to the Southern University Games.
The Southern University Games is expected to generate more than $2 million in visitor expenditure and showcase the best of Geelong’s tourism and sporting facilities. The Games is supported by event patron and two-time Olympic silver medallist Josh Dunkley-Smith.
Australian University Sport CEO Don Knapp said Deakin University will host many of the sports being played.
“Deakin University has strong recreational and elite sport programs, with a number of scholarship students as well as state and national representatives in their respective sports,” Mr Knapp explained.
“Australian University Sport is proud to bring the Southern University Games back to Geelong.”
“Regional university sporting events provide student-athletes with the opportunity to pursue a dual education and sport pathway, with campus sporting programs proven to contribute toward higher levels of student recruitment, retention, completion and graduate employability,” Mr Knapp added.
Deakin University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander AO, said:
“Deakin University is very proud to be the host of the Indigenous Unigames and a partner university of the Southern University Games. We are passionate about sport because we know the important role sport plays in education and in ensuring our lives are balanced and healthy. Sport is a universal language that engages people and brings them together in a way few other activities do.”
“Deakin is delighted to host both of these elite sporting programs. We are very proud our global recognition for our courses and research and just as proud of our cutting edge facilities here on the Waurn Ponds campus. They offer everything an athlete needs to enhance their skills, all in the one space. We are looking forward to seeing it come alive at the Games and to witnessing the spirited competition of the Games, seeing and meeting some of the best athletes in Australia.”
City of Greater Geelong Chair Administrator Dr Kathy Alexander said the Council was proud Geelong has been chosen as the location of the Southern University Games and the Indigenous Unigames.
“Geelong is a perfect place to host these two fabulous events which will bring thousands of competitors, coaching staff and volunteers to our great city,” she said.
“These Games will bring economic benefit to our region and will put a spotlight on our wonderful city. We’re thrilled to be supporting this event that provides an opportunity for university students to get together and compete in a spirit of friendship, and also to make connections with students from other parts of Australia.”
The Southern University Games were last hosted in Geelong in 2011, while the Indigenous University Games makes its debut in the city.
The Southern University Games is one of four Regional University Games held simultaneously across Australia, with a range of sports serving as the qualifying competition for the 2017 Australian University Games (24-29 September) on the Gold Coast.
The Southern University Games is managed by Australian University Sport - the governing body of university sport in Australia - hosted by Partner University Deakin University and Major Events Partner City of Greater Geelong.
The Games relies on the participation of the local community to make up the Mainfreight Unigames volunteer contingent who assists organisers to run the Games. Australian University Sport encourages students looking for valuable experience or members of the Geelong community who want to be involved to visit http://www.southernunigames.com.au/volunteer for details.