Griffith University has bid farewell and wished the very best to a contingent of students, alumni and staff who will compete at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Ian O’Connor AC, has congratulated the group on an “exceptional performance” in being selected to compete at the Games.
At a farewell ceremony at Griffith’s Gold Coast campus, Professor O’Connor also paid tribute to the work of the Griffith Sports College in supporting students who are elite athletes, drawing special attention to the “high level of individual care” it gives to students who are involved in high-performance sport.
“University is about the formation of the total person and sport is obviously part of that,” Professor O’Connor said. “I congratulate Duncan Free (OAM, Director of Griffith Sports College) and all the academic staff at Griffith for creating an environment which is welcoming and supportive of students who want to be the best they can be.”
Team Griffith is made up of 24 current students, 12 alumni, two members of staff and three from the Griffith swim club that is coached by Michael Bohl.
Griffith has an impressive record in supporting athletes going to major sporting events, which includes 55 Olympians and 30 Commonwealth Games competitors to date.
The class of 2018 will go to the ‘home Games’ hopeful of repeating or even eclipsing the medal haul at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where 10 gold, five silver and seven bronze medals were won by athletes who were studying or had graduated from Griffith University.
The farewell ceremony was attended by athletes from a range of sports including athletics, swimming, weightlifting and lawn bowls. Public Health student and defending swimming gold medalist Emma McKeon spoke about her expectations ahead of competing at a major event in Australia.
“I’m excited about performing in front of a home crowd. I haven’t done that before,” she said. “Last year at the world championships in Budapest we could hear the home crowd cheering the locals. It got me thinking about what it might be like here at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.”
Griffith at the Games
Current Students: Matthew Hauser (triathlon), Madison de Rozario (wheelchair athletics), Domonic Bedggood (diving), Tejaswinin Williamson (diving), Jesse Wagstaf (basketball), Brandon Wakeling (weightlifting), Stephanie Morton (cycling), Sara Tait (para triathlon), Jessica Ashwood (swimming), Georgia Bohl (swimming), Shayna Jack (swimming), Cameron McEvoy (swimming), Emma McKeon (swimming), Kiah Melverton (swimming), Leiston Pickett (swimming), Zac Stubblety-Cook (swimming), Matthew Denny (athletics), Riley Day (athletics), Liam Hunter (swimming), Skye Nicolson (boxing), John Lane (decathlon), Kelsey Cottrell (lawn bowls), Paul Adams (shooting), Georgina Friedrichs (rugby sevens).
Alumni: Michael Shelley (marathon), Shannon Parry (rugby sevens), Ash Gentle (triathlon), Deborah Acason (weightlifting), Katrin Garfoot (cycling), Chloe Hosking (cycling), Jake Fehlberg (lawn bowls, vision impaired), Tegan Napper (weightlifting), Murray Goodwin (athletics), Jordyn Holzberger (hockey), Sam Seghers (swimming), Michael Hosking (athletics).
Staff: Andrea Hams (weightlifting), Michael Bohl (swimming, coach).
Griffith Swimming Club: Madeline Groves, Grant Irvine, David McKeon.