The largest university sporting event to be held in Wollongong this year, the 2016 Eastern University Games, was launched today at the University of Wollongong (UOW).
Expected to attract more than 3,000 student-athletes from across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, the 2016 Eastern University Games (EUG) will be held from 3-7 July and will include 19 sports.
Australian University Sport CEO Don Knapp is pleased the competition is being held in Wollongong.
“Regional university sporting events provide student-athletes with the opportunity to pursue a dual education and sport pathway, which results in both tertiary qualifications and sport participation at all levels of sport across Australia,” Mr Knapp said.
“Sport programs on campus are proven to contribute toward higher levels of student recruitment, retention, completion of study and employability,” Mr Knapp added.
Parliamentary Secretary for Illawarra and the South Coast Gareth Ward said the Eastern University Games were expected to generate more than $2 million in visitor expenditure and showcase the best of Wollongong’s tourism and sporting facilities.
“The NSW Government is proud to have secured this event for Regional NSW, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. I encourage student athletes to start planning their visit to Wollongong now to take advantage of the region’s superb beaches, fantastic cafes and restaurants and array of local attractions,” Mr Ward said.
City of Wollongong Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery OAM said: “I’m really excited to see the Eastern University Games return to Wollongong in July. It was a really popular event when it was last held here in 2013, and I expect it’ll be the same this time around.
“The Games brings together student-athletes from across New South Wales and the ACT and provides an opportunity for young people to hone their sporting skills, and build positive relationships with their team mates and fellow competitors. It’s also an opportunity for our city to showcase all it has to offer to as many as 3,000 university and TAFE students across the four days.”
Vice Chancellor of the University of Wollongong, Professor Paul Wellings, CBE, said the University and the broader community of Wollongong were honoured to have been selected again as hosts for the Eastern University Games.
“Socially and financially these Games will prove a significant boost to the region as was the case in 2004 and 2013 when we last hosted the Games.
“We are extremely proud of the sporting facilities we have on offer at UOW including our recently revamped University Recreation and Aquatic Centre. UOW is well suited to hold this winter time, multisport event with our mild temperatures and ample accommodation for visitors.
“I wish the several thousand athletes who will be converging on our university all the very best . . . though I must admit I hope the home ground advantage gives our students that little edge,” Professor Wellings said.
The event launch was held in conjunction with the University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University “Clash of Sports” day, comprising seven sports.
The 2016 Eastern University Games is one of four regional Games held simultaneously across Australia, with a range of sports serving as the qualifying competition for the 2016 Australian University Games (25-30 September) in Perth.
The Eastern University Games is managed by Australian University Sport (AUS), the governing body of university sport in Australia, and hosted by the University of Wollongong in partnership with the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agencies Destination NSW, Destination Wollongong and the Wollongong City Council.
The Games relies on the participation of the local community to make up the Mainfreight Unigames volunteer workforce that assists organisers to run the Games. Australian University Sport encourages students looking for valuable experience or members of the Wollongong community who want to be involved to visit http://www.easternunigames.com.au/volunteer for details.