Victoria University today began the countdown to the 2016 Australian Southern University Games, which will draw thousands of student-athletes to Maribyrnong from across Australia from 3-7 July.
As host-university, VU – and event partner Maribyrnong City Council – will stage many of the sports in what will be one of the biggest sporting spectacles ever to take place in Melbourne’s west.
More than 2000 student-athletes from across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania will compete in traditional sports such as basketball, tennis, hockey, and netball, as well as more alternative activities, including ultimate Frisbee.
VU, a first-time host, will send 300 student-athletes, as well as dozens more officials and volunteers.
The 2016 Southern Uni Games are expected to generate some $1.5 million in visitor spending and showcase the best of Maribyrnong’s tourism and sporting facilities.
Today’s official launch was held at the iconic Victoria University Whitten Oval – home to the AFL Western Bulldogs club and several VU sport programs – highlighting the University’s role as a leading Australian sport university.
VU Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost Professor Kerri-Lee Krause said VU student-athletes always performed well in the University Games, and now would have a home advantage.
“We hope they’ll do even better with support of the university community, their family and friends.”
Australian University Sport CEO Don Knapp said organisers were proud to bring the Games to Footscray to coincide with VU’s 100th anniversary celebrations.
“University sporting events and campus sports are proven to contribute toward higher levels of student recruitment, retention, completion of study, and graduate employability,” he said.
The Southern University Games are one of four regional Games held simultaneously across Australia in the lead up to the Australian University Games. This year, they will be in Perth in September.