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Patrick Rebakis
Oct 9, 2017

Team ACU Get Gold on the Coast

Oct 9, 2017 by Patrick Rebakis

Over 210 ACU students from various campuses travelled across the country to sunny Surfers Paradise to compete at the 25th annual Australian University Games (AUG) in the last week of September. The week saw over 9,000 students come together from 42 member universities for a week of fierce competition in hot and gritty conditions. ACU sent its most competitive teams to compete in 17 different sports, and came away with some pleasing results. Team ACU finished with a total of 13 medals overall: one Gold in Men’s Judo, four Silver and eight Bronze as well as 19 Green and Gold recipients.

Tamarah Knox, Manager of National Programs for Health, Sport and Wellbeing “Team ACU had a great week at AUGs with some excellent results with many teams being in medal contention or winning medals. This puts us in a great position for 2018 to keep building on our recent success and have more teams that are highly competitive in their respective competitions”.

The Green and Gold merit teams are selected to acknowledge, recognise and reward outstanding performances at Australian University Sport’s national events. ACU had a total of 19 Green and Gold recipients this year, three more than 2016 and seven more than 2015. The numbers of these merit teams reflect ACU’s commitment to improving the team culture and quality of sport at the games, as well as the success of the Elite Athlete and Performer Program (EAPP).

This year ACU sent its largest cohort of 28 EAPP students, who contributed to the on-field successes, seven more students than last year. Members of the EAPP compete at either a state or national level whilst also completing their studies at ACU. Ceran Nilsen, ACU’s EAPP Officer said “it’s a great opportunity for these athletes to feel involved in the ACU sport community and to gain a valuable university experience which will stay with them for life. Being elite athletes, the week provided them a chance to develop leadership skills by supporting other members of the ACU teams.”

On the first day of competition, Cameron Leishman kick started ACU’s medal chase, claiming the Judo Gold medal in the U81 Kg category. Cameron had a strong fight against University of Technology Sydney which also resulted in him being awarded Green and Gold honours.

As the week progressed, many of ACU’s teams advanced through to finals and individuals’ sport made it through with strong qualifying times. In the pool, Cameron Preval made it through to the Men’s 50M and 100M butterfly final and secured Bronze medals in both events while Will Seebohm also claimed Bronze 100M backstroke. 

On Thursday night the team headed to Carrara Leisure Centre, which has been recently renovated to make way for the Commonwealth Games, to watch ACU’s five separate cheerleading teams. The Brisbane level 1/2 co-ed stunt group came away with a Silver medal while the Melbourne co-ed level 1 and All Girl level 1/2 group stunt routines secured Bronze medals. These teams all train twice a week for hours on end to come together and perform for no longer than three minutes at these events. Coming away from the cheer competition with an additional three medals to add to ACU’s tally was a great achievement.

It was then back to the water, where Team ACU’s rowers, Serena Cox and Lauren Fornasaro, made the finals of their two events. Serena and Lauren took out Silver in the Women’s Rowing Pair and Bronze in the Women’s Rowing Double Skull to break ACU’s three year podium drought in rowing. A fantastic effort from our rowers!

All attention turned to the final day as teams played off in their most important games. Softball was still undefeated, women’s and men’s futsal were in strong positions, men’s and women’s AFL were looking for medals, beach volleyball was in contention and women’s netball was chasing the silverware.

As it turned out, the women’s softball team lost their only match of the tournament in the gold medal match against Macquarie University. It was a great tournament for the softball squad, with many athletes having not played the game before, but all gelling as a team by the end of the week. The team were unfortunate to lose in the final innings of the tournament but finished with an honourable Silver and two Green and Gold recipients.

Women’s futsal won their division one Bronze medal match, while the men’s team secured Silver in division two. Both the men’s and women’s AFL teams suffered from injuries and narrowly missed out on Bronze medals. It was a more successful ending on the sand, with ACU’s women’s beach volleyball pair, Claudia Marshall and Michaela Levy, securing both Bronze and Green and Gold medals. The women’s netball missed out on Gold medal contention after a nail biting match against Bond University but went on to win the division two Bronze medal.

A total of nine ACU teams made it through to division one in the 2018 National Championships, as Australian University Sport looks to change the structure of the competition next year. Overall, it was a great week on the Gold Coast that brought together ACU students who formed lifelong friendships and competed on the national stage. We would like to thank all the staff, coaches, our alumni physiotherapist, James Newbury, sports trainers and all the students involved for contributing to Team ACU’s sporting success!

Outstanding Team and Individual Achievements

- 13 Medals in total: 1 Gold, 4 silvers and 8 bronze medals
- Overall ACU ranked 21st out of the 42 universities
- 19 Green and Gold recipients


Gold in Men’s Judo (U81 kg) - Cam Leishman
Silver in Women’s Rowing Pair- Serena Cox and Lauren Fornasaro
Silver in Women’s Softball (Div 1)
Silver in Men’s Futsal (Div 2)
Silver in Cheer level Co-ed level 1/2 Group stunt (Brisbane) Div 2
Bronze in Women’s Rowing Double Skull- Serena Cox and Lauren Fornasaro
Bronze in Women’s Beach Volleyball- Claudia Marshall & Michaela Levy   
Bronze in Women’s Netball (Div 2)
Bronze in Women’s Futsal (Div 1)
Bronze in Swimming 50 & 100M Butterfly- Cameron Preval
Bronze in Swimming 100M Backstroke- Will Seebohm
Bronze in Cheer Co-ed level 1 Team (Melb) Div 2
Bronze in Cheer All Girl level 1/2 Group Stunt (Melb) Div 2

Full Green and Gold List

Australian Rules - Female Jas Rolland
Australian Rules - Female Alexa Madden
Australian Rules - Female Lucy Thompson
Australian Rules - Male Daniel Kavanagh
Australian Rules - Male Adam Abboud
Beach Volleyball - Female Pairs Michaela Levy
Beach Volleyball - Female Pairs Claudia Marshall
Futsal - Male Jonathan Barzel
Futsal - Male Marino Trimboli
Judo- Male Cameron Leishman
Netball - Female Jessica Price
Rugby 7s - Male Brett Kelly-Wirth
Rugby 7s - Male Luke Casey
Softball- Breanne Honeybrook
Softball- Brianna Trim F ACU
Touch - Mixed Mitchell De Rossi
Touch - Mixed Georgia McGuiness
Touch - Mixed Corbin Wheate
Water Polo - Female Brooke McClean