AUT Sports students recently joined more than 7,300 athletes from 134 countries to compete in The World University Games - a major international sporting event held every two years for student athletes from around the world. This year’s Games - also known as the Universiade – were held in Taipei from 19-30 August.
Six AUT students joined a total of 63 students from other kiwi Universities to represent New Zealand in Athletics, Waterpolo, Swimming and Table Tennis. The student cohort were joined by coaches, managers and a team of eight physiotherapists and support staff – four of which are AUT students or alumni.
School of Sport and Recreation student Michael Mincham competed in five swimming events, coming first in his heat for the Men’s 400m Freestyle event.
School of Design student Victor Ma represented New Zealand in Table Tennis, making New Zealand men’s highest placing in an international competition of top 16 in doubles and winning two of his three individual matches to make to top 64 out of 145 competitors.
School of Sport and Recreation student Zoe Hobbs competed in the 100m and 200m Women’s Sprint events, making it to the semi-finals of the 100m and was unlucky not to qualify for the 200m semi-final with a quick heat time faster than several who did qualify in different heats.
Three AUT students – Ricci Fergio, Jess Millicich and Emily Nicholson – formed part of the New Zealand Women’s Waterpolo team, which ranked 11th overall.
School of Sport and Recreation student Jess Millicich found training and competing in the Universiade to be an incredible experience.
“Our training schedule was extremely full-on – we were training twice a day, on top of our National League training and centralised training camps during weekends.” Jess said.
“But being part of such a massive event was just unbelievable. It was hugely encouraging for the future – especially as the team works towards the 2020 Olympics.”