Monday, April 25, 2005

President's Column - Sporting Good Time

My high school testimonial says that I played for the Kaipara College First XI cricket team in 1995 and 1996. I even opened the batting line up several times in 1995. If this doesn’t impress you, then this will: 1995 was my first year at high school. Yes, THIRD FORM. I was the opening batsman for the Kaipara College First XI when I was thirteen. Not a word of this is incorrect. Didn’t expect that from me, did you? I believe that Martin Crowe achieved the same thing at Auckland Grammar.

What I fail to mention (well, on most occasions) is that there was only one cricket team at Kaipara College in 1995 – the third form team. I did open the batting, but apart from a well-timed boundary against Westlake Boys, there was very little to write home about. My high school principal (for some unknown reason) felt compelled to make me look a lot better than I actually am.

So, this is the “University Games Salient President’s Column” from your exceptionally un-athletic President. Read carefully as I pretend to know what I’m talking about…
As you read this issue of Salient, the 210-strong Team Vic will be competing at the 2005 New Zealand University Games on the North Shore in Auckland. This year’s competition is being hosted by the Auckland University Student Movement at AUT. Hopefully, all going according to plan, Victoria will be hosting the 2006 games.

Our rugby league, rock climbing, basketball and debating teams (to name but a few) will be competing with the best of them in Auckland. We have regularly punched above our weight at University Games: we came fourth in Dunedin in 2004 and third in Palmerston North in 2003. Not bad considering we are the fifth largest university (take that Auckland!).

University Games (or, as they used to be called “Easter Tourny”) are more than just drunken debauchery. At Dunedin a few years ago they also had a riot – fun times all round. No, but seriously; they are a chance for students to get away from their studies for a little while, and compete on the national stage with others from around the country. They are an opportunity for students to test their skills at one of the highest levels, while still in a good-natured environment – after all, chances are you will be having a beer with your opponent afterwards.

Last year, VUWSA established “Team Vic Ltd”, an entity created wholly to assist clubs (both sporting and cultural) with sponsorship and merchandise. VUWSA also employs a sponsorship and advertising manager who can assist with seeking external sponsorship. There; that’s my token VUWSA plug for the week.

If you ever get a chance to go to University Games, I recommend it. I attended the 2003 games in Palmerston North and had a great time. Not only is it one of the highest levels of sporting competition, but it’s also a change to meet and socialise with students from other universities from around the country.

Oh, and before you ask, I didn’t think debating was a sport either, but the powers-that-be [that’d be me – Ed.] ensure me it is. How about that, eh?
Listed on BlogShares