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April 15, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Poor Sports

Victoria University will be poorly represented at the 2013 Uni Games, with the Ultimate Frisbee team the only group to take up the offer to compete.

This year’s University Games will be hosted by the University of Otago, and will run from 21 April to 24 April.

Victoria’s Associate Director of Campus Operations Rainsforth Dix told Salient the University had made contact with eligible sporting clubs in March, but that there seemed to be little interest in competing.

“Only two teams expressed interest, and from those two, the Ultimate Frisbee team was the only team that decided to compete this year,” she said.

This means Victoria teams who have seen previous success at the Uni Games will be unable to uphold their championship status.

The Victoria men’s basketball team is just one squad that will not be participating this year, preventing the team from defending the title it has won for the last three years.

One member of Victoria’s 2012 men’s basketball team was spoken to by Salient, and said he had heard nothing about this year’s Uni Games.

“I had no idea there would be no basketball team going this year,” he said.

“Quite frankly, I’m fucked off.”

Recent Uni Games have suffered from poor representation from campuses around the country as a result of high costs for both students and student associations.

The last time Auckland hosted the games two years ago, participation costs for Victoria’s athletes were set at $1000. Last year, the games were held in Wellington and cost $120 for each Victoria student participating.

Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA) has aimed to minimise costs for this year’s event, in an attempt to increase participation. OUSA Club Development Officer James Grubb has said that entry costs for students are set at $50 this year.

Grubb has also echoed OUSA’s objective to make sporting events the focal point of the Games, as opposed to the expensive social events that have been prominent in previous years.

”We’re fully focussing on sport,” he said.

However, attendees will still have to pay for extra costs. It is unclear at this stage how much the Ultimate Frisbee team will pay to attend
the Games, as Dix told Salient the University was still deciding how it would go about assisting members of the team financially.

“The level of funding support they might receive is currently being decided by the Student Clubs Council,” she said.

University Games have been held since 1902. The overall winner is awarded the Games Shield, a tradition since 1923. This year, 13 sports will be contested: badminton, basketball, Twenty20 cricket, debating, football, handball, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby sevens, touch, ultimate, and volleyball.

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