MEDIA STATEMENT 16 September 2014
RECORD TURNOUT OF INDIGENOUS STUDENTS FOR NATIONAL GAMES
More than 350 Indigenous tertiary students from 21 universities around Australia will be welcomed to The University of Western Australia on Sunday 21 September when UWA hosts the 19th annual National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games (NITESG).
The Games are a unique opportunity to enable students to participate and compete at a national level in mixed sports – netball, basketball, volleyball and touch football as well as a traditional Noongar game, fly. The students will also celebrate Indigenous cultures, with dance groups performing at the opening ceremony.
It will be the third time UWA has hosted the Games, an honour earned when the University’s team, the Western Waagyls, were crowned overall winners at NITESG in Penrith last year.
The Western Waagyls will again be a force to be reckoned with, having won the championship six times and been runner-up five times in their 12-year involvement in the Games. 2014 is expected to be another huge showdown.
NITESG began in 1996 as the class project of 13 students enrolled in a Diploma of Aboriginal Studies (Community Recreation) at the then Wollotuka School for Aboriginal Studies at the University of Newcastle. The first Games were attended by around 30 students, and have since grown, in a sign that more Indigenous Australians are participating in tertiary education.
NITESG 2014 General Project Manager, UWA’s Brendon DeGois, said he looks forward to the Games every year. “It’s a great opportunity for Indigenous students to create and strengthen their friendships and networks throughout Australia.”
Rhianna Couzens, a student at UWA, will be competing in her second Games this year, having been part of the victorious 2013 team. “I made so many great friends at last year’s Games, so I can’t wait to see some of them again on our home turf, showing off our solid skills, and having the most amazing time. I love the energy and excitement of competing as a team, especially when we are representing our University. I’ve been looking forward to the Games all year!”
The Games will run from 21 – 25 September and have been organised jointly by the UWA School of Indigenous Studies, UWA Sports and Australian University Sport. There has been wide support from the local community and the private sector, including generous sponsorship from Perpetual, Newmont Asia Pacific and PWC.
Brendon DeGois (UWA School of Indigenous Studies) +61(08) 6488 3847
Sean McMahon-MacRae (UWA Sports Marketing) +61(08) 6488 1640/ 0424 448 062
David Stacey (UWA Media Manager) +61 (08) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716