JCU at Northern University Games

Northern University Games

Athletes from James Cook University are preparing to compete in men’s basketball, volleyball and mixed touch at the Northern University Games in July.

By Gabrielle Vacher

Students from JCU are spending five days of the mid-semester break contending against like-minded students from across the region in the Northern University Games on the Sunshine Coast.

The 35 JCU representatives will be competing in the men’s basketball, volleyball, and mixed touch with the anticipation of qualifying for the Australian University Games, to be held in Sydney from the 28th September to the 3rd October.

JCU Sport and Recreation Officer Renee Frizzell is in charge of the preparations for the Games.

“Northern University Games are quite different to the Australian University Games,” Renee says.

“The Northern, Southern and Eastern Games are regional and determine which universities will qualify for division 2 of the more popular sports at the Australian Games – netball, lawn bowls, tenpin bowling, mixed touch, men’s basketball, indoor volleyball, soccer, and hockey. The rest of division 2 is established by the teams that did well at the Australian Games the previous year.”

After placing third in division 2 at the Australian University Games grand final last year, the JCU mixed touch team automatically qualifies to compete in division 2 again in 2014.

“Despite the fact that we already qualify for the Australian Games, we’re sending a mixed touch team down with the aim of taking out the gold,” says Renee.

“Last year we lost in the Northern Games grand final against Griffith Gold Coast who along with the Queensland University of Technology will be our toughest competitors.

“Our team is stronger than last year – we have Betty Mareko who is an Australian touch representative and will be an outstanding addition.”

Although unsuccessful in 2013, Renee has high expectations for the JCU men’s basketball and volleyball team.

“We have so much new and competitive young sporting talent in the basketball team especially, I hope that the boys do well,” she says.

“Plus it really is fantastic to have a handful of athletes from Cairns competing in our volleyball team, unfortunately last year our representatives were from the Townsville campus only.”

The University Games have built an enormous reputation dubbed as one of the ‘best weeks’ of a student’s life, renowned for providing a friendly but competitive environment combining the perfect mix of athleticism, sportsmanship and opportunity to socialise with thousands of students from across Queensland and New South Wales.

Mixed touch team member Bri Rossato is thrilled to be competing in the Northern Games again.

“I went last year and had an amazing time,” Bri says.

“It’s quite similar to the Australian University Games, but with a more tight-knit group.

“It was such a great week, with decent competition and a decent bunch of people.”

For further information about the Northern University Games, visit: http://www.unisport.com.au/Pages/Home.aspx