Netballer Claire Lunsmann, 21, and Aussie rules player Morgan Hindry, 23, will be setting the standard at the University games.
Netballer Claire Lunsmann, 21, and Aussie rules player Morgan Hindry, 23, will be setting the standard at the University games. Jay Cronan

Fun and games

UNIVERSITY students from far and wide - offshore and mainland Australia - will converge on Lismore in July for the Northern University Games.

Last hosted by Lismore in 1995, the Northern University Games (NUG) will be held from July 1-5 with 1000 students from universities and TAFE institutions across Queensland, Northern NSW and Northern Territory to compete in 16 sports. Athletes from New Zealand are also expected to attend.

The Lismore event is one of three regional university Games to be held concurrently in July with the Southern University Games at Latrobe City in Victoria and Tamworth to stage the Eastern University Games.

To ensure the Games function smoothly around 40 more volunteers are needed for the five-day event.

Third year student Molly Kenwood has already put her hand up to help out with surfing at Lennox Head.

Kenwood is studying sport management at Southern Cross University at the Lismore Campus and said it was an easy fit to volunteer and garner experience that will stand her in good stead for her future.

"The experience will be invaluable and I really like surfing," she said.

"It will help with my career."

The logistics of running the surfing event, which doubles as the Australian Universities championships, required a full-time volunteer to assist event co-ordinator Matt Barlow who will oversee the running of the 16 sports over five days.

A hybrid of Aussie rules will be played at the tournament that will feature teams of nine players with the matches on rectangle fields as opposed to ovals.

"This region is primarily rugby league so any exposure Aussie rules can get is awesome I reckon," said Lismore Swans player Morgan Hindry, who will play for SCU at the Games.

"It is a good opportunity to participate in a sport I love.

"I've heard of rugby sevens but this (AFL 9s) is an awesome modification to the game and it will be a good test. It's a modified field, rectangular and it will be a case of how fit we are."

SCU should fair well in netball with numerous teams in the Lismore competition and with qualification for the Australian University Games in Adelaide later in the year the girls won't be making up the numbers.

"For SCU netball this will help build our club," Jessica Fraser said.

"And with qualification for the Adelaide Games we'll be out to win it."

Fraser has been to several Australian University Games - Perth, Gold Coast and Melbourne to name a few - but is committed to being in Adelaide.

Travel to major cities is a major drawcard for the athletes to qualify for the next level as well as meeting new friends.

"I have made life long friends by visiting those cities an opportunity I might not otherwise had," she said.

The Adelaide Games could be the last for the trainee PE Teacher.

More information at www.unigames.com.au



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