UniSport Media Release
For release: 8 March 2023
Former Olympic and seven-time Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) championship-winning coach and Basketball Australia Hall of Fame inductee Carrie Graf will lead the Australian Uniroos at the 31st FISU Summer World University Games in Chengdu, China in an announcement marking less than 150 days to go to the Games.
The World University Games will be held from the July 28 to August 8 and will feature 18 sports, 15,000 athletes and officials from more than 150 countries. It is expected that UniSport Australia will confirm a team of up to 150 student-athletes to represent Australia.
Currently Director of Sport at the University of Canberra, Graf has coached teams in the WNBL, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Australia's national team. Graf was an assistant coach for the national team that competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics, when the team won a bronze medal and when the team won a silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Graf became the coach of the Australia women's national basketball team in December 2008. In 2009, she coached the Australian side that won the FIBA Oceania Championship, and in 2010 led the team to a 5th place at the 2010 World Cup and a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
At the 2015 Australia Day Honours, Carrie was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to basketball, particularly as a coach, mentor and athlete, and to the community. She also awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 in recognition of her results at the 2000 Olympics.
Graf was Head Coach of the gold medal winning Women’s Basketball team at the World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand in 2007 and is now looking forward to leading the entire Australian delegation in Chengdu. Having played sport at the highest level whilst pursuing tertiary education, she understands the pressure the athletes are under and also the opportunity the games present for aspiring Paris Olympians.
“The World University Games is a great opportunity for student-athletes to compete at the elite level in a multi-sports event,” Graf said.
“The Games is a wonderful opportunity for student-athletes and in itself the world class quality of the competition is something that provides a real challenge for our athletes,” Graf added.
UniSport Australia CEO Mark Sinderberry said with less than 150 days to go to the Games the selection trials for many sports were about to commence.
“After two postponements due to the global pandemic it’s fantastic to see the return of the World University Games. The coming months will be a crucial time for athletes with their sights set on Chengdu with many sports conducting their national championships or selection trials during this time.”
About the World University Games
International university sport has witnessed the emergence of a huge number of Australian world championship, Commonwealth Games and Olympic champions including Matthew Denny (discus), Catriona Bissett (800m), Cate Campbell (swimming) Ralph Doubell (athletics), Brooke Hanson (swimming), Steve Hooker (pole vault), Steve Moneghetti (athletics), Jon Sieben (swimming) and Michelle Timms (basketball).
Australia first competed at a World University Games in Tokyo, Japan in 1967 and has been involved in every event since that year excluding 1975 in Rome, Italy. During that time Australian athletes have amassed a total of 186 medals (55 gold, 52 silver and 79 bronze). At the last edition in Naples, Italy in 2019, the Uniroos won 6 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze medals – the second highest result for UniRoos at a World University Games.
World University Games records in most sports, including track and field and swimming, surpass those of the Commonwealth Games, and provides the perfect development competition on the road to the Olympic Games. Coming just twelve months prior to the Paris Olympics, Chengdu will be an ideal stepping stone for Australia’s Paris aspirants.
To be eligible to participate in the World University Games, athletes should be undergraduate or graduate students between the ages of 17 and 25 or have graduated in the year immediately preceding the year of the event.
The Australian Uniroos will travel to Chengdu with the support of the national federations of the participating sports.
UniSport Australia (UniSport) is the peak body for university sport in Australia. 43 universities are members of UniSport, representing a population of over one million students. UniSport’s ambition is to become an integral partner to Australian universities and to deliver an outstanding student experience at our national intervarsity competitions.
More information on UniSport: www.unisport.com.au
For more information please contact:
Marketing and Communications Manager
Mobile: 0449 949 916