07 July 17Hope Terdich

Indigenous Games 2017

image006.jpgThe last week of June saw Deakin University in Geelong, bustling with the hosting duties for the 2017 Indigenous Uni Games.

The Indigenous Uni Games is an annual event, with Universities from around Australia sending their athletes to compete in a multi-sport mixed carnival. This year as hosts, Deakin & DUSA sent two teams of Deakin athletes to the games. The competition covered four days, with a round robin of a sport each day; volleyball, basketball, netball and touch football, with all finals played on the Thursday afternoon.

While some Universities engaged in training programs prior to the games, our Deakin athletes met each other for the first time on the Saturday and completed a single day of training prior to commencing competition on the Monday. Yet even with such short preparation, the bond and camaraderie between athletes was apparent to all.

Deakin University again won the basketball competition in 2017, over rivals Melbourne University. This is the third year in a row our Indigenous team has seen gold medal success in the basketball.

First year Deakin Student and athlete Jacinta Simpson, a Geelong native. Jacinta, a long-time netballer and touch footballer, is currently studying Bachelor of Social Work through Deakin’s Institute of Koorie Education (IKE), whilst also juggling being a mother of three to Schepelle (12), Decodia (10) and Draye (9). She chatted to us about her experiences at the event.

“Our team is like a community, a family that is united and has each other’s backs.” Explained Jacinta, “Throughout the games, you could turn to any one for support. The games are for anybody, and you do not need to be a super athlete to compete. Yet those more serious athletes, will still enjoy the skill level and competition at the games. It caters for everyone.”

“Our team was welcoming, everyone was always given a fair go. No one sat on the bench, everyone had an opportunity. I recommend any Indigenous Deakin Student to participate in the games, as it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The atmosphere is amazing, the friendships within your team and other universities is something to be cherished. I even had other university students signing my cast; that was how close we all became from our joint experiences.”

Jacinta gave us a few extra secrets before finishing up the week, with some sneaky facts about her team mates.

  • Loudest: Janice
  • Messiest: Mariah
  • Most Organised: Everyone!
  • Quietest: Ashley A
  • Funniest: Kieran S

And her own personal superstition – no odd socks!

“I am grateful and extremely happy to have an opportunity to compete with DUSA at the Indigenous Games this year.”

To follow our DUSA student athletes journey during Southern University Games or Australian University Games this year, visit the Deakin Dragons Facebook page here or follow DUSA here.