2018 has been a year of change and expansion of the UniSA Sport service delivery. There was a significant focus early in the year on preparing for the opening of Pridham Hall, UniSA’s new purpose-built facility for sport, recreation and for students to celebrate University life, milestones and achievements. Pridham Hall has had a major positive impact for UniSA Sport noticeably increasing awareness of who we are and increasing our engagement with students and staff. We have been able to leverage off the profile of Pridham Hall to increase participation in the facilities on other campuses, our clubs and events.
At representative level, whilst we were unable to repeat our 2017 SA Challenge victory we did have greater participation numbers than our opponents reflecting our focus on student engagement. We also had a number of student-athletes compete in the inaugural UniSport Nationals Div 1 and Div 2 events. The model saw a much-improved level of competition across all sports as evidenced by a third of our Div 1 team being Elite Student-Athletes. Our students all performed to their best and as a group was able to bring home a total of 7 medals. The events also provided work experience opportunities for four students studying Sport & Recreation Management, Physiotherapy and Exercise Science.
2018 has been a year of major growth within UniSA Sport Clubs. We welcomed the UniSA Esports Club, UniSA Handball Club, UniSA Motorsport Club, UniSA Netball Club, and UniSA Swimming Club. In addition 12 of our clubs now call Pridham Hall home. Once again we delivered a hugely successful Club Conference in partnership with The University of Adelaide and Flinders University. With over 70 attendees, the conference and regular workshops throughout all aim to improve the quality of our clubs’ offerings to their members. It is also important to acknowledge the playing success of UniSA clubs in 2018 including the Ultimate Club, Handball Club and UniSA F.C. Under14 Boys all winning their respective winter competitions.
2018 also saw some outstanding performances from our Elite Athletes. In addition to those who represented Team UniSA at the UniSport Nationals we also allocated 8 Amateur Sports Grants to students selected to represent Australia at international competitions in their chosen sports. Furthermore, 3 students represented Australia at World University Championships each winning a medal.
My thanks go to those who have volunteered in any capacity throughout the year be it as a committee member, coach, or team manager. To the UniSA Sport Advisory Group; thank you for your time, guidance and support throughout 2018. Finally to the staff of UniSA Sport, 2018 has seen our staff team grow to in excess of 100. We have faced many challenges but continue to deliver an outstanding product to UniSA students, staff and the general community due to your unwavering commitment, energy, and enthusiasm.
Adrian George – UniSA Sport