Southern University Games (SUG) is the biggest university sport event on the calendar in July for Victoria, and there is plenty of action and partying happening all week.
University Games is not just about the sport; it is about the team spirit, meeting new players from other universities, and having a really good time.
It is going to get wet, and cold, but that is all forgotten in the heat of the moment; everyone encourages everyone else.
La Trobe university last took out the Southern University Games trophy in 2011, when the event was held at Geelong. In 2013, La Trobe is sending what I believe is a very strong cohort to the games.
I re-iterate the point that while on the field you strive to win, team bonding and playing your best game are also extremely important.
Having experienced SUG in 2012 with the ultimate frisbee team, there are so many things that I can talk about. Looking at some of the sports, and two of the strongest teams are our cheer squad and basketball team. The cheer squad placed second in 2012, behind Victoria University, while the men’s and women’s basketball teams placed fourth and second respectively.
There is a strong notion around most of the teams, especially frisbee, that team spirit sits just as high as wanting to win. While we were up against experienced sides with a new group of players last year, we continued to encourage each other on-field and have a good time.
Sport is one thing; but there’s also the off-field “action”. Each night of the games, all competitors come together to celebrate what has been a long day of sport, and party for the night. Granted, things get a bit messy, but it’s all part of the games. Loud music and ridiculously dressed up students are just part of the package. This is also where you meet the most people from all the different universities and sports teams.
Part two of the social side involves the team dinner(s). All teams from within the university you represent will get together for food, awards, speeches and celebrations. It is a fantastic night of fun, especially when representatives from each team are called up to give a run down of what has been happening so far, for whatever sport they are playing.
Mingling with the other teams can get a little boisterous, given the amount of people in the room. But you can swap stories with them and possibly make lifelong friends.
There is also the games you play as a team when not on-field, and not partying away at the social nights. Normally this involves drinking, card games, charades, or any other form of entertainment conceivable – but it is all in good fun, and another great way to create team cohesion.
What I have offered here is just a snapshot of the Southern University Games, as well as a brief look into the La Trobe team. I am heading down to the games, not as a player this time, but working as “media – the La Trobe journalist/photographer.
From July 7-11 I will bring you coverage of the sport and other happenings here, on Twitter and Facebook using the #SouthernUniGames hashtag. Keep an eye out. I am looking forward to the experience; and I know that preparation for the teams is progressing nicely.