Swinburne Indigenous students compete in national university sporting comp

Thursday 20 June 2019

The 2019 Swinburne University team with the uniforms

The Swinburne University team (9 of 12 players pictured with their new uniforms) will compete at the 2019 Indigenous Nationals

In summary

  • A team of 12 Swinburne Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students will participate in the Indigenous Nationals in Perth
  • Swinburne athletes will compete in touch football, basketball, netball and volleyball
  • The Indigenous Nationals are a celebration of the rich sporting culture of Indigenous Australia

A sporting team of Swinburne University of Technology Indigenous students is heading to Perth to compete against 450 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students for the title of ‘Indigenous Nationals’ champions.

The 12 student athletes will go head to head with 32 teams from 30 universities across four competitions: touch football, basketball, netball and volleyball at the 25th Indigenous Nationals. The University of Western Australia hosts the games from June 23 - 27 and the Swinburne team will compete in all sports, with one sport a day.

The 2019 Swinburne Indigenous Nationals team

The Diploma in Sport Development is co-delivered in partnership with the Richmond Institute of Sports Leadership

This is the third year Swinburne is sending a team to the games and team captains Connor Bowden and Katie Bugden, who both competed in 2018, say the Swinburne team is made up of hard working, top level competitors who are looking forward to meeting amazing people from across Australia.

Katie, who won the 2018 Most Valuable Player for basketball, says she is proud to be representing a university that she has come to love.

“The Indigenous Nationals for me is all about the relationships I get to make. Last year I met some amazing people from across Australia, and I can't wait to see them again this year.”

Katie also jokes that she’d love to be awarded the Basketball MVP again.

“[The MVP] wasn't something I cared about last year but I'm a very competitive person so I'd love to take it out again.”

The team were given an encouraging send-off at the uniform launch at Swinburne’s Hawthorn Campus. Moondani Toombadool Centre Senior Indigenous Student Advisor Joel Boojers and Student Life Clubs & Sports Officer Regan Longfield gave the team their matching playing uniforms.

Emily Gittins accepts her 2019 Indigenous Nationals uniform

Regan (left) and Joel (middle) present Emily Griffin with her 2019 Indigenous Nationals uniform

The 2019 team uniforms (shirts, shorts, singlets, and skirts for the four respective sports) feature the new Moondani Toombadool Centre logo that Pathways and Vocational Education (PAVE) student Rachel Lloyd-Owens designed.

Joel Boojers says that captains Katie and Conor will bring sand from the local area to Perth where it will be used in the opening ceremony.

“Along with fellow team mates Dylan and Cheyene, they will also participate in a traditional dance during the ceremony as a symbolic celebration of sharing Indigenous culture.”

Regan Longfield says Student Life is committed to offering opportunities for students to get involved in sport at all levels of competition.

“We’re so proud to support the Indigenous Nationals Team as they compete against other universities from across Australia, and we wish them the best of luck!”

Indigenous Student Adviser Cyan Earnshaw says the games are a great way to celebrate the rich sporting culture of indigenous Australia.

“Having our students compete at the Indigenous Nationals is an important reflection of the work that the centre does. The centre is vital to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students no matter their gender or age are afforded support measures to allow them to complete their chosen field of study successfully.”

The Indigenous Nationals have come a long way since kicking off in 1996 as the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games. The games were a joint class project by 13 students from the Diploma of Aboriginal Studies (Community Recreation) at the then Wollotuka School of Aboriginal Studies at The University of Newcastle in New South Wales.

Keep updated with results

Last year Swinburne (in a combined team with Victoria University) placed 24th overall with The University of Melbourne winning the competition.

The Swinburne team will post regular updates on the Swinburne social media accounts during the Indigenous Nationals. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook page or Razor the Razorback.