UNSW was strongly represented at both events and our team spirit was high as the athletes headed off to Perth and the Gold Coast respectively.

Indigenous Nationals was the first event, held in late June, the event is a week-long multisport competition for Indigenous student-athletes. The annual event aims to bring together student-athletes from universities across Australia to compete in a variety of sports and ultimately crown one university team the champion of the games. Indigenous Nationals is an amazing environment to not only celebrate the rich sporting culture of Indigenous Australia but to also acknowledge the heritage and history of the participating student-athletes.

Team UNSW competed across four sports - netball, touch football, volleyball and basketball and ranked 10th overall out of 28 competing universities. The team was most impressive in the volleyball and touch football competitions. In volleyball, they finished in third place - after a 2-0 win over the University of Newcastle in their quarter final they fell agonisingly short in the sem-final, losing to the University of Queensland 2-1 to miss out on a chance to contest the final. In touch football the team had a great win over James Cook University in the quarter final, defeating the Queenslanders 4-2, but lost 6-0 to eventual gold medallists UTS in the semi-final.

It was a gruelling week of competition where athletes needed to be flexible and multi-talented to compete across four sports and Team UNSW did us proud. Many of the student-athletes will be backing up for Division 1 Nationals in September and October, where they will focus on just one sport.

UNSW's Indigenous Nationals team after the volleyball competition.
UNSW's Indigenous Nationals team after the volleyball competition. Photo via Arc Sport

Meanwhile, at Nationals Division 2 in July, five UNSW teams represented the black and gold, competing in basketball, football, touch football and volleyball. The event consists of 13 different sport competitions contested across men's, women's, mixed and open categories and is an 'open entry' event. This means that any of UniSport Australia's 43 member universities can enter teams into the competitions if they have not already qualified for Division 1 in that sport. The top two ranked teams in each sport of the Division 2 competition will gain promotion into Division 1 the same year. 

Our mixed touch football team managed to do just that, coming away with a silver medal for their efforts. After defeating Southern Cross University 8-6 in their semi-final, the team went into the gold medal match with confidence. Unfortunately they had a heartbreaking one-point loss - going down to the University of Wollongong 9-8. Having already faced UOW during the pool rounds, where they lost 9-7, the team will at least take heart in their improvement across the tournament and will look forward to the opportunity to get revenge on their southern rivals at Nationals Division 1 later this year.

UNSW's mixed touch team celebrate their silver medal-winning performance.
UNSW's mixed touch team celebrate their silver medal-winning performance. Photo via Arc Sport

UNSW's women's basketball team came excrutiatingly close to their own promotion to Division 1, coming away with bronze in their competition. In a tight semi-final, they unfortunately couldn't pull out a win and went down 43-48 to Monash University. Despite the disappointment at missing promotion, the team fired up for their bronze medal match, defeating RMIT 59-40 in a dominant display of skill.

UNSW women's basketball team with their bronze medals.
UNSW women's basketball team with their bronze medals. Photo via Arc Sport

UNSW was also represented in men's basketball (14th), men's football (7th) and women's volleyball (11th) who all played admirably and competed with great spirit through the event.