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April 24, 2006 | by  | in News |
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Sport the Winner on the Day – Athletes flock to Wellington for sport, drinking

Uni Games opened last Tuesday with a barrage of sporting cliches, boozing, and Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast patting herself on the back for the obviously positive economic impact of having 2000 students run amok in her city.

Twenty-eight different sports, from fencing to frisbee, were represented at last week’s Games, with seven new sports making an appearance. Beach volleyball, cross country and lawn bowls were just some of the first time sports.

Victoria fielded the largest team, of around 500 athletes, but for the first time in living memory at the time of writing it appears as though the host team will not win the competition.

Basketball

AUT has been dominating the basketball competition, leading both the men’s pool A and the women’s pool A. Victoria’s performance has been respectable, with the Victoria 1 men’s team currently coming first in pool B.

Canoe Polo

Massey – both Palmerston North and Wellington – have a three and six point lead respectively in the round robin mixed double competition. Victoria is following closely on ten points, followed by Canterbury and Auckland.

Cross Country

Victoria’s men’s team came second to Otago, with the women being beaten overall by both Waikato and Otago.

Debating

The Victoria debating teams, living up to their reputation, are on fire at their homeground. Victoria 1 is at the top of the debating table so far, having won four out of four debates. Their biggest competition going into the finals looks to be Otago 2, who have also had four wins. Victoria 2 and 3 are second and third on the table, both with three wins. Teams 4 and 5 are a little further down the table with two wins each.

Fencing

The finals of the epee saw the three big universities dominate, with Auckland and Victoria taking out first and second in the men’s and Victoria winning the women’s. In the sabre competition, Victoria took out most of the top ten placings.

Hockey

The South Island Universities proved they’ve got what it takes, taking out all three pools by an authoritative margin. Otago won the women’s competition, a good six points ahead of its closest rival. In the men’s pool Lincoln University, the darkhorse of any university games, caused a major upset by beating Otago by three points overall.

Rowing

Although Victoria won the coveted Hebberly Shield in the Men’s Championship Eights race, they failed to wrestle the Ashes from 2005 winners Otago, coming third equal overall with Waikato. Otago were not fazed by Victoria’s challenge, winning the remains of their old rowing clubhouse for another year by almost one hundred points. Once the serious competition was over, all the teams bar Waikato got drunk and rowed naked. Disciplinary hearings continue.

Rugby League

Victoria’s League team gave a strong performance, beating Auckland and Otago by large margins. However, they weren’t able to carry off the title after losing to competition favourites Canterbury by 20 points. Victoria came second overall.

Soccer

Victoria 2 made it into the finals against AUT after knocking out 2005 winners Auckland, top of men’s pool B, in the semi-final. Neither Victoria 1 nor the women’s team made it into the finals, after coming last in both their pools.

Sport Climbing

Victoria student Kate McKenzie came second in the Advanced Female pool of the sports climbing, held at the newly renovated Rec centre climbing wall. Massey Wellington and Palmerston North were strongly represented in the top spots, winning the Advanced Female section, the Novice Female section and coming second and third in the Advanced Male section.

Touch Rugby

Victoria and Canterbury came top of the men’s pool, winning all their games, but failed to dominate in the mixed pool, being thrashed by Waikato 11-4. However, they did manage to claw some points back with a two-point victory over Massey Wellington.

Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee is one of the stranger games of the University Games, and Victoria put in a strong showing, with Victoria 1 coming second in the mixed pool. Victoria 2 did not fare so well, coming bottom of the table along with AUT and Massey Albany. Victoria’s team included the games’ oldest competitor, Martin Wilson, who was also last year awarded an Order of Merit by New Zealand Ultimate Frisbee.

Volleyball

Victoria was the team to beat in volleyball, taking out the men’s pool A and women’s pool B as well as coming second in women’s pool B. The team included BCA student Silas Avery, who will be representing New Zealand at the World Beach Volleyball Championships in Cyprus later in the year.

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About the Author ()

Nicola Kean: feature writer, philanthropist, womanly woman. Nicola is the smallest member of the Salient team, but eats really large pieces of lasagne. Favourites include 80s music, the scent of fresh pine needles and long walks on the beach.

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