The largest university sporting event to be held in Melbourne this year, the 2016 Southern University Games, was launched today at the iconic Whitten Oval in conjunction with Partner University Victoria University and Major Event Partner Maribyrnong City Council.
Expected to attract more than 2,000 student-athletes from across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, the 2016 Southern University Games (SUG) will be held from 3-7 July and will include 20 sports.
The event is expected to generate more than $1.5 million in visitor expenditure and showcase the best of Footscray’s tourism and sporting facilities.
Australian University Sport CEO Don Knapp said Victoria University will host many of the sports being played.
“Victoria University has strong recreational and elite sport programs, with a number of scholarship students as well as state and national representatives in their respective sports,” Mr Knapp explained.
“Australian University Sport is proud to bring the Southern University Games to Footscray in conjunction with Victoria University’s 100th anniversary celebrations.”
“Regional university sporting events provide student-athletes with the opportunity to pursue a dual education and sport pathway, with sport programs on campus proven to contribute toward higher levels of student recruitment, retention, completion of study and graduate employability,” Mr Knapp added.
This is the first time Footscray, Victoria has hosted the Southern University Games.
Victoria University (VU) Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost Professor Kerri-Lee Krause said VU is thrilled to be the Partner University of the Southern University Games in 2016. This event will highlight its position as a leading Australian sport university.
“Our student-athletes always perform well in the University Games. As a first time host, VU students this year will be able to compete on home grounds with the support of the university community, their family and friends.”
The Games coincide with Victoria University’s centenary year, marking the 100th anniversary of the opening of the University’s founding institute, Footscray Technical School in 1916. The Games also connect with the Footscray University Town project’s aim to enhance the economic, social and cultural strength of the region through a broad range of activities with Games partner, Maribyrnong City Council.
The Mayor of the City of Maribyrnong, Cr Cameron McDonald, said:
“Maribyrnong City Council is very proud to be the Major Event Partner of the 2016 Southern University Games this July and we welcome each and every one of the 2,000 Games competitors and staff to our great city.”
“We pride ourselves as being the ‘Festival City’ and a proud, inner city gateway to Melbourne’s west. We offer a vibrant and active lifestyle, featuring excellent outdoor recreation spaces and state of the art community facilities.”
“Here in the City of Maribyrnong, we absolutely love our sport. This premiere national sporting event is the perfect complement to the City of Maribyrnong, as it showcases the best that this area of Victoria has to offer - both on and off the sports field.”
“Maribyrnong City Council, along with our community, is ready to welcome our visitors and enjoy the atmosphere and excitement that the 2016 Southern University Games will bring to our city.”
The Southern University Games is one of four regional Games held simultaneously across Australia, with a range of sports serving as the qualifying competition for the 2016 Australian University Games (25-30 September) in Perth.
The Southern University Games is managed by Australian University Sport (AUS), the governing body of university sport in Australia; hosted by principal partners Victoria University and Maribyrnong City Council
The Games relies on the participation of the local community to make up the Mainfreight Unigames volunteer workforce that assists organisers to run the Games. Australian University Sport encourage students looking for valuable experience or members of the Melbourne community who want to be involved to visit http://www.southernunigames.com.au/volunteer for details.