University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has taken out the 2019 Indigenous Nationals presented by BP, beating rivals Australian Catholic University (ACU) by one point.
More than 400 Indigenous students and staff from 25 universities descended on The University of Western Australia (UWA) from 23-27 June to take part in the 24th annual event.
Indigenous Nationals, formally known as National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games (NITESG) began in 1996 as a joint class project between 13 students enrolled at The Wollotuka Institute at The University of Newcastle.
The annual event aims to bring together students and staff from universities across Australia to compete in a variety of sports whilst acknowledging and celebrating the heritage and history of the participating students.
UTS started the Indigenous Nationals slowly, failing to make it out of the pool stages in the netball competition on day 1.
However, the sleeping giant would be awakened on day 2, as UTS surged to an underdog win in the gold medal match of the touch football competition – beating defending champions Queensland University of Technology (QUT) 5 -2 in the final.
Day 3 saw the volleyball competition take place with UTS doing enough to earn a spot in the quarter finals after topping their pool after the round robin matches.
They would however lose their quarter final to eventual winners The University of Queensland (UQ).
Meanwhile ACU took out the netball competition on day 1, beating Macquarie University 19-7 in the gold medal match.
Following this, ACU backed up their day 1 efforts with a narrow 4-2 defeat to the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in the semi finals of the touch football competition.
ACU then failed to make it out of the pool stages in the volleyball on day 3, setting up a final day showdown with UTS.
Heading into the basketball on the final day, UTS needed to secure at least a third place finish to ensure the victory, following ACU bowing out of the basketball in the quarter finals.
UTS made it all the way to the semi finals before being beaten by eventual champions Swinburne University of Technology (SUT) doing enough in the process to ensure a third place finish and ultimate victory of the 2019 Indigenous Nationals.
Off the court, teams were welcomed to UWA with cultural activities including dancing, singing, a smoking ceremony, water blessing and sand mural.
The event concluded with a closing ceremony at Optus Stadium, which was illuminated in black, yellow and red to represent the Aboriginal flag.
Congratulations to UTS and to everyone who took part in the 24th annual Indigenous Nationals.
2020 will see the 25th edition of the Indigenous Nationals return to its birthplace of The Wollotuka Institute at The University of Newcastle.
Gold: Australian Catholic University (ACU)
Silver: Macquarie University (MQU)
Gold: University of Technology (UTS)
Silver: Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Gold: The University of Queensland (UQ)
Silver: Monash University (MON)
Gold: Swinburne University of Technology (SUT)
Silver: The University of Western Australia 2 (UWA)
Full rankings and most valuable player award recipients can be found at unisport.com.au/indigenous-nationals.