ACU crowned 2021 Indigenous Nationals Champions in deadly performance

Fourteen students from across the ACU Campuses united to pull off a remarkable victory at the 2021 Indigenous Nationals in Newcastle, NSW.

Hosted by the event founders, The University of Newcastle (UON) and the Wollotuka Institute, over 300 university students representing 17 universities challenged each other in basketball, volleyball, netball and touch football across four days of competition.

This year also marked the 25th edition of Indigenous Nationals, originally known as the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games (NITESG),

“A C who...ACU! This theme embodied the ACU spirit of the Games. We were a strong collective community, we promoted opportunity, we contributed and had a strong sense of belonging. Self-determination was our key!” Leanne Long Indigenous Student Success Program Officer
ACU had a strong start to the tournament with a clean sweep of the pool matches before firing up for a dominant performance in the finals to claim the Netball Pennant over Macquarie University (MQU). This win put ACU at the top of the points table for overall winner.

Day two saw the ACU take on experienced teams in Touch Football. ACU narrowly missed out on finals, finishing the day with two out of three wins.
The team was still determined to put up a fight. A strong performance in Volleyball on day three saw ACU climb up the overall points tally, but not enough to advance past the first round of finals.

Heading into the final day of competition, ACU and Macquarie University (MQU) were sitting equal on points overall. The battle on the basketball court would soon determine the overall champion. After a strong performance in the pool rounds, ACU advanced to the finals where they would meet Macquarie University (MQU) in the grand final. The stage was set for an epic battle. In a fast-paced contest ACU rose to the challenge to beat MQU, taking home the Basketball Pennant. This win secured ACU at the top of the points table and they were crowed 2021 Indigenous Nationals Overall Champions.
After celebrating the week’s achievements with her teammates, ACU student Hayley Creed told ACU Sport “Being able to represent ACU and my people in the 2021 Indigenous Nationals games gave me the opportunity to learn, acknowledge and network with indigenous athletes from all over Australia. By playing the mix of different sports throughout the competition, everyone was able to showcase their deadly skills and athleticism making it easy for us to gel as a team. I was able to form strong connections and deepen my understandings of indigenous culture in which I believe will further help me throughout my degree. I can’t wait to see how much deadlier next year’s Nationals will be.”

Congratulations to all students and staff that were involved in this momentous win.

2021 Indigenous Nationals ACU team members

  • Hayley Creed - Strathfield (Yalbalinga)
  • Joel Hartgrove - Brisbane (Weemala)
  • Rachel Toy - North Sydney (Yalbalinga)
  • Hayden Atkins - North Sydney (Yalbalinga)
  • Lily Sarra - Brisbane (Weemala)
  • Lakeisha McLean - Canberra (Dhara Daramoolen)
  • Reegan Harty - Ballarat (Jim - baa – yer)
  • Lachlan Sibir - Strathfield (Yalbalinga)
  • Maddison Langman - Strathfield (Yalbalinga)
  • Stacey Markham - Brisbane (Weemala)
  • Cody Vigenser - Ballarat (Jim - baa – yer)
  • Jaimie Bryant - Brisbane (Weemala)
  • Turzah Donovan - Blacktown (Yalbalinga)
  • Zachary Chandler - Strathfield (Yalbalinga)

Final Sport Rankings
Netball: 1
Touch Football: 7
Volleyball: 5
Basketball: 1
Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards
Netball: Female ACU Stacey Markham
Basketball: Male ACU Hayden Atkins

Results and further information can be viewed here.

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