The largest university sporting event to be held in Wollongong this year, the 2016 Eastern University Games, will kick off next week attracting more than 3,000 student-athletes from across NSW and the ACT to Wollongong.
Held from 3 – 7 July and hosted by the University of Wollongong, the 2016 Eastern University Games (EUG) is one of four Regional Unigames held simultaneously across Australia, with many of the 19 sports serving as the qualifying competition for the 2016 Australian University Games (25-30 September) in Perth.
Australian University Sport CEO Don Knapp is excited to see the competition 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.
“Student experience can be greatly enhanced through participation in sporting activities while studying. This type of engagement in turn contributes to better retention and completion rates for today’s student-athletes enrolled in tertiary education.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast Gareth Ward said the NSW Government is proud to have secured this event for Regional NSW through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
“The 2016 Eastern Unigames is expected to generate more than $2 million in visitor expenditure and showcase the best of Wollongong’s tourism and sporting facilities. We look forward to welcoming students to this wonderful region next week and wish all competitors the best of luck in this exciting multi-sport competition,” 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. 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 NSW 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 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 again host the EUG.
“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.
“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 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.