Student team VU Vultures fly high at UniSport Nationals

The VU Vultures proudly represented VU at the 2023 UniSport Nationals.
Thursday 19 October 2023

A team of 65 students, led by Captains Rocco Papalia and Stella Rose Lay proudly represented our student team, the VU Vultures at the  2023 UniSport Nationals on the Gold Coast – showcasing incredible sporting prowess and team spirit. 

After a captivating Welcome Ceremony on Kombumerri Country, our teams took to the sand, courts, and fields with an unwavering competitive focus. 

The Vultures competed in women's taekwondo, men's and women's basketball, men's and mixed beach volleyball, men's football (soccer), and women's netball. 

Some of the team’s standout achievements include: 

  • Elite student athlete Sarah Upton won gold in taekwondo (poomsae) in the 30-40 age division. Sarah has represented Australia on nine occasions, balancing her sporting commitments alongside her teaching career and paramedicine course.  
  • The men’s football and basketball teams both secured silver medals.  
  • And, in the Division 1 Women’s Basketball, our team demonstrated remarkable tenacity, finishing in the top five. 

Julz Nannetti Sports Coordinator and University Team Manager said the football quarter-final, which equalised in the final minute during a heavy downpour, was a particular highlight:

As the game went into overtime, over 40 students were standing out there, soaked to the bone, not moving an inch. They knew their teammates needed their support to clinch the win. I felt so moved by their unwavering support of each other.

Captains Rocco and Stella also felt proud of the student athletes’ commitment to support each other:

This collective spirit not only set the tone for this tournament but also promises to be the foundation for many Nationals to come. 

We look forward to next year’s UniSport Nationals, which will be held in Canberra 7 – 14 September 2024.  

VU Vultures mixed volleyball team playing on the sand at the 2023 UniSport Nationals. Haans is about to serve the ball.
Perfect weather for mixed beach volleyball for the Vultures
The VU Vultures men's football team about to take the ground for the final.