In a massive year of UniSport Nationals, The University of Sydney (USYD) have been crowned Overall Champions after winning 11 pennants of a possible 75 Nationals Div 1 contested competitions in 2019. This number is poised to increase to 12 if USYD win the final Nationals event for the year – the T20 Cricket finals in Adelaide tomorrow.
USYD started their campaign early in the year claiming both the men’s and women’s pennants at Nationals Athletics in their home city in April. Their lead extended just a month later with the League of Legends pennant in May.
Strong performances at Nationals Snow in Thredbo in August rewarded USYD with another pennant in women’s cross-country skiing. Their early lead was short-lived when University of New South Wales (UNSW) picked up five pennants in a matter of two weeks securing Nationals Snow and then Nationals Taekwondo championships in early September.
Going into Nationals Div 1 on the Gold Coast in September, USYD knew they had to come out fighting, and fight they did with early pennants in both men’s and women’s kendo on the opening weekend.
Their winning spirit continued with victories in the men’s beach volleyball, women’s hockey, women’s rowing, mixed ultimate and women’s football pennants (who remarkably won their ninth straight title).
The University of Queensland (UQ) were knocking on USYD’s door in second place after winning an incredible 10 pennants to rival USYD’s 11 at Nationals Div 1, having started the week on zero. This meant that the remaining marathon and T20 cricket competitions would be influential in crowning the overall champions for 2019.
USYD did enough to pick up a third place at Nationals Marathon which meant that UQ would have to win T20 cricket and USYD finish fourth or lower in order for UQ to secure consecutive overall titles.
Unfortunately for UQ they missed out on T20 Cricket semi-finals with a loss to UTS this morning, confirming the championship for USYD. If that wasn’t enough, USYD is also well placed to secure a fifth T20 Cricket pennant after beating UNSW in their quarter final this morning.
USYD’s victory is their first of the new UniSport Nationals format and their first overall championship since winning the then Australian University Games in 2015. Rob Smithies, Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness Executive Director said:
“Sydney Uni is thrilled to be the Overall Champions for 2019. The move to the Nationals model has been a huge success and a terrific strategic initiative by UniSport. We are delighted to be crowned Champions in only the second year under this new model.
A huge congratulations to all of the competing Universities and I would also like to congratulate all of the wonderful Sydney Uni student-athletes who achieved the results that led to this title.”
Mark Sinderberry, CEO of UniSport added:
“Congratulations to The University of Sydney on becoming the Overall 2019 Nationals Champions. This has been a hard-fought win, coming down to the wire with the T20 Cricket. USYD has shown their dominance in a wide range of sports – from athletics to League of Legends to kendo.
Since implementing our change strategy UniSport has seen a significant increase in the standard of all sport as well as a cultural shift in behaviour at events. We acknowledge that we couldn’t have made this change without the enthusiasm and commitment of our members and students.”
UniSport wishes to congratulate and thank all university students, staff members, officials and volunteers for their efforts in making the 2019 Nationals a great success. We look forward to another big year in 2020 as the Nationals Div 1 and Div 2 presented by UniBank heads to Perth.