More than 600 student-athletes will represent The University of Queensland as it defends its UniSport Nationals championship this year.
The University won the inaugural Nationals Div 1 title, collecting champion university pennants in nine sports.
This year, UQ students will compete in a number of Nationals Div 1 events, including Athletics, Taekwondo, Marathon, and League of Legends competitions.
UQ Sport Chief Executive Officer Bryan Pryde said the University was confident of defending its Nationals championship from the 42 challengers.
“UQ is extremely proud to be Australia’s top-ranked sporting university, and we’re aiming to build on what was a magnificent achievement in 2018,” Mr Pryde said.
“Following our Nationals title win, we’ve experienced an upswing in students interested in competing for UQ and becoming part of our growing intervarsity sport program.”
UQ athletes will contest the upcoming Nationals Athletics competition at Sydney Olympic Park from Thursday 11 April.
UQ claimed champion honours in both Men’s and Women’s Athletics in 2018 with a combined 21 medals.
Team captain and 400m runner Daniel Parnell said UQ would again be represented by several top-level competitors.
“This year’s Athletics team features Australian representatives Liam Adcock, Jonty Flottmann and Callum Davies, as well as 2018 medal winners Sachini Godamunne and Ryan Neale,” he said.
“We have a great mix of new faces and veterans, demonstrating the success of our continued recruitment efforts, as well as the dedication and energy the team has shown to come back and defend the title.”
At the Nationals Triathlon event - held as part of the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival in March - 14 students Camilla Williams was the University’s best-performed of 14 athletes, finishing ninth in the Individual Women’s Triathlon.
UQ student-athletes will head to the Nationals Swimming event next month, to be staged as part of the 2019 Sydney Open Meet.
UQ Sport Head Aquatics Coach David Heyden said the new format at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre would aid the development of the team.
“It’s a wonderful initiative from UniSport, Swimming Australia and Swimming New South Wales, and one that will deliver exciting and close racing,” Mr Heyden said.
“UQ’s squad features a large group of elite-level swimmers, with our group looking forward to competing against some of the best swimmers in the country, and building on our team culture.”
Athletes from UQ are also eligible to compete at standalone UniSport events including the Indigenous Nationals (23-27 June), Nationals Div 2 (8-11 July) and Nationals Snow (25-29 August).
UQ students interested in competing at 2019 UniSport Nationals events are encouraged to register their interest by emailing TeamUQ [at] uqsport.com (p) au