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ACU put on a deadly performance to claim 2021 Overall Champion title for Indigenous Nationals

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

Near and far, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student-athletes travelled from across Australia with Australian Catholic University (ACU) proving too strong for the competition by taking out Overall Champion for the 2021 Indigenous Nationals presented by bp.

Hosted by the event founders, the University of Newcastle and the Wollotuka Institute, over 300 university students representing 17 universities challenged each other in basketball, volleyball, netball and touch football across four days of competition.

This year marks the 25th edition of Indigenous Nationals, originally known as the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games (NITESG), which was formed in 1996 by 13 students enrolled in a Diploma of Aboriginal Studies at UON. Three of the founding students addressed the student cohort at the opening ceremony on the Sunday prior to competition.

Their reflections on the significance of the event to the lives of the emerging Indigenous leaders, reminded all of the importance the event plays in building connections and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

As the event kicked off, several university teams were joined on the ground by their Indigenous Pro-Vice Chancellors, showing senior leadership support of the event’s impact on the student experience.

indigenous nationals
The Opening Ceremony

Day one started with ACU leading the charge in the netball competition against a solid Macquarie University (MQU) side, taking out the overall pennant and improving their chances for the Overall Champion title.

Touch football presented a huge challenge for former touch champions of 2019, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) as they were out done by Southern Cross University (SCU) who claimed the 2021 touch football pennant in the grand final against the University of Queensland (UQ).

The third day of competition saw UQ gain the upper hand in consistency by finishing a close third to University of Sydney (USYD). But the westerners from Curtin University conquered the leader board and took out the volleyball pennant with a powerful grand final performance over USYD. Curtin University’s never-give-up attitude was admired by all, earning them the Spirit of the Games award presented at the closing ceremony.

touch indigenous nationals
In action on the touch field

On the final day, MQU challenged ACU in the basketball competition, but ACU prevailed claiming their second pennant of the event and enough to earn them the overall champions title.

While ACU shone through in the point score, credit must be given to several other universities who entered extremely strong teams and competed right to the very end.

Results and further information can be viewed here.

The UniSport Nationals continue in July, with Distance Running taking place on the Gold Coast from 3-4 July in conjunction with Gold Coast Marathon.

For more information, please contact:

Eloise Ayre

Sport & Operations Manager – Nationals Championships

P: 07 3054 4626


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