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10 December 2019 | in CUSF News, NUSF News

FISU Oceania welcomes new President and looks back on successful year

As the year 2019 hurtles towards a close, FISU’s continental member federation FISU Oceania looks back on a successful year of robust participation in the Universiades and other FISU events.


The 2019 FISU Oceania General Assembly was held in November in Turin Italy, where David Schmude from UniSport Australia was elected as President, replacing outgoing President Martin Doulton who stepped down after the completion of his term.


“It is an honour to be elected as the new president for FISU Oceania and I look forward to working with and representing all the nations in our region to further advance university sport” said Schmude. 


David Schmude is also the Chair of UniSport Australia and Director of UNE Life at the University of New England in New South Wales. “Whilst Oceania is a small Continental Federation, we are distinctive in what we can offer," he said.


"There are exciting opportunities that we can be involved in and working together and collaboratively will allow a united voice from our region,” added Schmude. 


The Executive Committee was also finalised with Nicola Claydon from University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand being voted as Vice President and Alifereti Cawanibuka from Fiji, Michael White from Northern Mariana Islands and Amy Sasser from Marshall Islands being appointed to the three Executive Committee roles.  


The appointment of Donna Spethman to the position of Secretary General was also confirmed, and Spethman will continue in this position after fulfilling the role since the start of 2019.


Spethman commented on the recent success of the University of Wollongong team that reached the men’s final at the inaugural FISU University World Cup - Football held in Jinjiang, China.


“Of course, having an Australian team reach the final was awesome,” she said. “Next time we’ll go one better!”


The result comes on the back of Australia’s strong participation in FISU events in 2019, including a contingent of 167 athletes at the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade. UniSport Australia was also active as ever in celebrating the International Day of University Sport (IDUS) on 20 September.


Over in New Zealand, IDUS was also celebrated with much fanfare with the support of FISU Oceania. It was a busy year in University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand (UTSNZ) with the annual university and tertiary sport championship shield held for an impressive fourth year in a row.


UTSNZ's National Tertiary ChampionshipThe University of Auckland once again reigned supreme, being named the overall university and tertiary sport champion. The shield, which is in its 96thyear, is awarded to the tertiary institution with the highest number of competition points gained across performances in UTSNZ’s ten national tertiary championship events throughout the year, culminating in 2019 with the National Tertiary Netball Championship.


For the University of Auckland, the title of Overall National Tertiary Champion came as a result of championship titles in five sports; including Futsal, Table Tennis, Ultimate, 5x5 Basketball and Netball, as well as runner up titles in 3x3 Basketball, Hockey and Volleyball.


The UTSNZ National Tertiary Championship events programme continues to attract not just those that want to participate, but those who wish to excel and advance in national and international environments making for highly contested and competitive programme of events.


The value of alignment between campus-based sport and the national inter-tertiary programme of events is acknowledged by UTSNZ Executive Director, Sarah Anderson.


“Through the re-establishment of the national inter-tertiary competition and universities going head to head more regularly, rivalry between institutions is building and events are now providing a competitive environment for a wider group of student athletes whose pinnacle will be the tertiary championship,” said Anderson.


The UTSNZ Shield“Evidence shows the national events programme is adding value to campus-based initiatives through the provision of an aspirational pathway, by providing a catalyst for the re-invigoration of clubs and through the opportunity for students to either reconnect with their sport or to try new one,” she added.


It is not only student athletes that are getting involved. From livestreaming to photography, event management to journalism, engagement of students at UTSNZ is extending beyond the court with opportunities for a wider student group to be involved in the championship programme in a variety of ways.