With shades of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games branding peaking out around every corner as part of the ongoing legacy to the city, it was a brightly coloured affair - made even more so by the sporting action on show.

UNSW was well represented at the event, with our athletes competing across 24 sports. There was no shortage of team spirit on display as students rushed between venues to support and cheer for UNSW teams in other sports before enjoying the Gold Coast night life together with great camaraderie.

UNSW Men's Table Tennis team with their gold medals
UNSW Men's Table Tennis team with their gold medals

The men's table tennis team were sensational, bringing home the gold for their massive effort on the final day of competition. After an epic semi final that lasted more than five hours, UNSW defeated a gritty University of Queensland team to move immediately into their gold medal match. There was no sign of any physical or mental fatigue after such a long match however, with the team dominating their University of Melbourne opponents to take the win 6-0.

Earlier in the week, the men's judo team also took the gold after some excellent performances. Indra Sadeli received an individual gold, with Nicolas Le Borgne, Jacob McMullen and Thomas Azoury Bronze all claiming bronze in their events.

UNSW Men's and Women's Badminton teams with their silver and bronze medals
UNSW Men's and Women's Badminton teams with their silver and bronze medals

The men's badminton team fought hard in their final, but were unable to hold off a determined Monash outfit. The team held their heads high and finished with a silver medal for their excellent efforts. The women's team were fighting it out for bronze after losing a very tight semi final earlier that day. Despite injuries, the players worked their hardest and were ultimately rewarded with a bronze medal for their efforts.

The women's judo team also came away with a bronze medal, as well as individual gold to Nina Takenaka Gold and silver to Wanyu Lin in their events. The women's table tennis team secured their bronze medal beating Monash University in a dominant performance, while the handball team bounced back from a heartbreaking loss to UTS in their semi final to destroy the University of the Sunshine Coast 26-11 to take out the bronze medal match.

Matilda McDonell provided strength in defence to the UNSW women's netball team
Matilda McDonell provided strength in defence to the UNSW women's netball team

2019 Ben Lexcen scholar and Elite Athlete Program Matilda McDonell competed at her first ever Unisport Nationals as a very welcome addition to the women's netball team. Although the team were unable to finish on the podium, they had a strong tournament, finishing sixth overall. Their final game was a close and exciting one against the University of Newcastle, who had been slated to win the event. UNSW were incredibly strong in defence, limiting Newcastle's every opportunity but were unable to hang on in the end, losing by just four goals. McDonell has had an incredible year, making her Suncorp Super Netball debut at just 18 years old - the youngest contracted player in the league this season. She was also selected in the Australian 19 and Under team after a strong performance at 19 and Under National Championships, where her NSW team finished with a silver medal. McDonell's skill and experience was an excellent addition to the UNSW team and the team will be back bigger and better next year.

While it wasn't UNSW's most successful year on the medal table, it is an effort that all involved can be proud of. The mental strength shown by so many of the athletes when faced with adversity was tremendous and the team spirit was nothing short of sensational. 

Full results:

Men's AFL - 4th
Women's AFL - 9th
Men's Badminton - 2nd
Women's Badminton - 3rd
Men's Beach Volleyball - 16th
Women's Beach Volleyball - 12th
Mixed Beach Volleyball - 14th
Cycling - 17th
Fencing - 7th
Women's Football - 4th
Men's Futsal - 12th
Women's Futsal - 7th
Golf - Joe Falco 2nd in Div 2, Harrison Graham 14th in Div 1
Handball - 3rd
Men's Hockey - 8th
Men's Judo - 1st
Women's Judo - 3rd
Lawn Bowls - 6th
Women's Netball - 6th
Mixed Netball - 10th
Rowing - 11th
Women's Rugby 7s - 9th
Sailing - 6th
Mixed Squash - 7th
Men's Table Tennis - 1st
Women's Table Tennis - 3rd
Men's Tennis - 10th
Women's Tennis - 6th
Ten Pin Bowling - 4th
Women's Touch - 9th
Ultimate - 10th
Men's Volleyball - 7th
Men's Water Polo - 7th
Women's Water Polo - 5th