Griffith team heads for Indigenous Uni Games

A Griffith University team will take part in the annual Indigenous Uni Games in Brisbane.
A Griffith University team will take part in the annual Indigenous Uni Games in Brisbane.

The 21st staging of the Indigenous Uni Games will bring hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tertiary students to Brisbane this week, including a 30-strong group from Griffith University.

The annual national event opens with a welcome ceremony in Brisbane on Sunday (June 26), followed by four days of fun and games.

Two teams, sponsored by GUMURRII Student Support Unit, Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement) and a number of external supporters, will represent Griffith at the Brisbane campus of Australian Catholic University at the Games from Monday.

“The biggest focus of the Games is on participation,” Caleb Adams, a third-year student of environmental engineering, said.

“It’s a great way to meet other Indigenous students, to make connections and create new relationships in a social environment.”

Caleb is also secretary of the Griffith Indigenous Student Association (Nathan).

Competing teams will play one sport on each day with final scores tallied on Thursday before the awards presentation and closing ceremony.

Basketball will be first up on Monday, with volleyball (Tues), netball (Wed) and touch football (Thurs) to follow.

The National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games started in 1996 as a class project involving 13 students enrolled in a Diploma of Aboriginal in Newcastle. The first Games were attended by around 30 students.

The event has grown significantly since and was hosted by Griffith University’s GUMURRII Student Support Unit in 2006.

“The Indigenous Uni Games provide an excellent social platform to promote unity, fitness and good health among the students while also celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture,” Professor Martin Betts, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement), said.

Jane Ceolin, Director, First Peoples and Equity Pathways, Australian Catholic University, has promised a Games experience that will promote respect, fun and healthy activity.

“The 2016 Games will be a culturally affirming experience that celebrates the continuation of our living culture,” she said.