Connecting with culture, Indigenous University Games is more than a sporting event

The 2017 Indigenous University Games presents an opportunity for indigenous students from across Australia to come together and compete in a variety in sports.

An event which encompasses more than sport, however, there is a real focus around connecting with those from the same cultural background.

Team Organiser Robyn Oxley said, “the Indigenous University Games extend the strong cultural traditions of community gathering.”

“It enables a connection from the Yulendj Indigenous Engagement Unit with broader Universities around Australia.”

“It is an opportunity for Indigenous students to network with other Indigenous University students and staff while showcasing some of our sporting and social talents.”

“The Indigenous University Games is an inclusive event that captures the Indigenous cohort and being able to represent Yulendj and Monash University is an absolute privilege that will be preserved for many generations of Yulendj Indigenous students, to come.”

The 2016 team photo. Picture: TeamMONASH


Monash student and returning Indigenous Athlete Liam Ketchup is very passionate about the Indigenous University Games.

Liam identified the focal point of the event “it’s an opportunity to play sport and connect with my culture, people who have the same interests and beliefs as you.”

It is also an opportunity for those within the Monash team to grow together.

“Everyone in the team comes together, we have trained together and we have become closer,” said Liam.

“It is a chance to consolidate the relationships you’ve created, and surround yourself with people from the same culture, we all support and look out for each other.”

The Indigenous University Games will be held in Geelong, June 25 – 29.

Each university team will compete in a different sport each day, Basketball – Monday, Netball – Tuesday, Volleyball – Wednesday, and Touch – Thursday.

Monash University competing in the Netball at the 2016 Indigenous University Games.
Picutre: Australian University Sport.

Liam has outlined Monash’s ambitions.

“We are an all-round team, with lots of strong individuals with great athletic ability, said Liam.

“We’d love to take out a sport, in particular basketball, our team has a few very strong basketball players.”

Monash has made it a habit of improving their results each year, Liam highlighted the significance of improving on their overall finish from last year.

“It’s important that we improve on last year, maintain the trend, and continue to set a high standard to aim for each year.”

Monash University wishes the team heading to the Indigenous University Games all the best as they both compete in the sporting competitions and connect with other indigenous students from around Australia.

#bleedblue #teammonash

Gunning for gold, ultimate frisbee built for success

Monash University has a tradition of success in ultimate frisbee, one which will hopefully be continued at the 2017 Southern University Games.

Held in Geelong, from July 2 – 6, it is the perfect opportunity for student athletes to compete in a participation based event against like-minded students from across the south region: Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

The Games has built up a reputation as an event not to be missed, attracting over 1,800 competitors each year.

Monash University will send two Ultimate Frisbee teams to the competition.

Monash Ultimate Frisbee (MUF) Blue represents the pinnacle of Ultimate at Monash University.

Coming off a tough loss last year, losing the eventual winning team in the semis and coming third, MUF Blue is making a bid for the top spot in 2017.



A combined team photo with both the MUF blue team and the MUF white team.
Picture: Monash Ultimate Frisbee (MUF)


Boasting a strong roster of both veterans and rookies, the team fields 1 former national athlete, 6 current national squad members and 8 former state athletes.

In addition to local grown talent, the team has enlisted the help of two Monash Malaysia players - both who currently are part of the Malaysian national squad.

Not only does MUF blue have a wealth of experience, the team has also given 4 upcoming rookies the chance to prove themselves on the big stage.

Armed with athleticism, good fundamentals and a passion to improve, the new recruits look to make their mark.

Bringing up the vanguard, the club has signed on the help of past club member, former national athlete, 2-time University Games Gold medallist Declan Frey as the coach.

Under his leadership, the team seeks to implement high level strategy to defeat our main rivals this year at Melbourne and Deakin University.


MUF Blue team photo. Picture: Monash Ultimate Frisbee (MUF)

With this combination of talent, experience and good leadership, MUF Blue aims to put Monash University at the top and prove to be the best team at SUGs.

The second team Monash University will be sending to compete in the ultimate frisbee competition is the MUF White tea,.

They are Monash’s developing, mixed Ultimate Frisbee team, made up of up-and-coming players looking to make an impact at Southern University Games.

They may be young, but they are hoping to make heads turn and establish themselves as a team to look out for in future tournaments.

For many of the guys and gals, this will be their first frisbee tournament, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look out for Wes Flavell with some long throws and Stevie Thomas, quick on defence.


MUF white team photo. Picture: Monash Ultimate Frisbee (MUF)

What about the girls?

Many would have had at least their first Ultimate Frisbee experience at Australian University Games last year.

They faced some tough competition, but after a full women’s season over the summer they’re coming back strong, ready to lead MUF White into some more tough battles at SUGs.

It won’t be hard to spot Shannon Newn cutting through the end zone, or Miranda Cowley, new to the sport, but a natural on defence.

They’re a strong team on the rise so keep your eyes out for them, because according to team “we’re looking to impress.”


Good luck to both teams competing at Southern University Games, Go Monash!

#bleedblue #teammonash

Great Britain hits a Homerun with Monash University’s Ashleigh Carolan

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The significance of the local park is often forgotten, a magical place where legends are born, limited only by their imagination.

For Ashleigh Carolan, Jells Park, in Melbourne’s South East, holds a special place in her heart.

“A friend from school invited me down to the local association at Jells Park," said Ashleigh.

After my first season learning all of the basic skills: batting, throwing and catching, combined with the strategy involved, made me realise that softball was the sport for me.”

Jells Park was merely the beginning of Ashleigh’s journey.

2015 saw all her hard work and dedication pay off as she was selected in the Great Britain softball team.

Ashleigh batting against Brazil in the Youth World Champs, in America. Picture: Ashleigh Carolan

“Having grown up in England it was always my dream to one day play for my country, so when I was selected in the team I was overwhelmed with pride and joy.”

Ashleigh competed in the 2015 World Junior Softball Championships, an experience she described as no other.

“The experience of playing on the world stage is truly indescribable.”

The 2015 tournament laid down the foundation for Ashleigh to launch her Softball career.

Advance 2 years and Ashleigh has once again been selected in the Great Britain team competing at the XII Junior World Softball Championships, in Clearwater Florida 24th-31st July.


Ashleigh a the catch in the Youth World Champs. Picture: Ashleigh Carolan





























The 2017 Junior World Softball Championships presents Great Britain with an opportunity to 
improve on their 2015 tournament.

We are aiming to finish in the top 8 out of the 26 competing nations from all 5 Olympic regions.”

Whilst we are sure she’ll hit the winning Home run in the final, Ashleigh is not getting carried away.


“I am looking forward to playing my part for the team whether that is on or off the field.”


Her modesty will hold her in good stead as she looks to the future.

An action shot of Ashleigh batting at the Youth World Champs.
Picture: Ashleigh Carolan

The talented softball player “hopes to attend the Junior Softball European Championships in 2018, and help Great Britain defend their title after winning the tournament last year.”

Ashleigh is also looking forward to representing Monash at the Australian University Games. 


Currently undertaking a Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine, Ashleigh’s experience at the highest level will prove invaluable to a team chasing Gold.


This is all part of Ashleigh’s grand plan.

With Softball being added to the Japan 2020 Olympic program, Ashleigh has her eyes firmly set on helping Great Britain qualify for the Games, and “perhaps one day play at the Olympics.”

“The future really is limitless,” what started as a dream in the local park, could have endless possibilities, which is exciting for Ashleigh.

We at Monash University wish Ashleigh the best of luck with the Junior World Softball Championships, and all that the future holds for the talented Softball player.

Go get ‘em Ashleigh!

#bleedblue

The 2017 Varsity Challenge Review

The 2017 Varsity Challenge went down the wire. Monash had a point to prove after narrowly going down in 2016, the drive to regain our rightful trophy was clear to see.

Results

Cricket – Monash won by 65 runs

TeamMONASH reclaiming the overall 2017 Varsity Challenge
over the University of Melbourne. Picture:
Melbourne University Sport. 
Badminton women – Melbourne won 2 – 2

Badminton men – Monash won 2 – 1

Basketball women – Monash won 54 – 33

Basketball men – Monash won 69 – 65

Soccer women – Melbourne won 9 – 0

Soccer men – Melbourne won 2 - 1

Ultimate Frisbee – Monash won 13 – 8

Table tennis women – Monash won 2 – 1

Table tennis men – Monash won 3 – 0

Volleyball women – Melbourne won 2 – 1

Volleyball men – Melbourne won 3 – 0

Touch football – Melbourne won 6 – 5

Hockey women – Monash won 2 – 1

Hockey men – Melbourne won 2 – 1

Monash reclaimed the Varsity Challenge trophy, winning 8 – 7 overall.


Player Reflections

The 2017 Varsity Challenge proved to be a memorable one.

With Melbourne staging a late and dramatic comeback on the final day of competition, Monash held its nerve to bring home the overall trophy 8 wins to 7.

Monash started off strong with a convincing win in the cricket.

Monash’s cricket captain Sachin Varadarajan reviewed the match “I think we dominated right through. I was really happy with our opening total, 180 should win most T20 matches."

“We also backed up our total with brilliant bowling, taking 3 wickets in the first 2 overs.”

“It was a very enjoyable match to play, made better by the convincing win.”

The Monash University cricket team in the 2017 T20 Varsity Challenge cricket game. Picture: TeamMONASH

Olympian table tennis player and Monash’s very own Heming Hu competed in the Varsity challenge, helping Monash to take out the Men’s table tennis.

"The game was actually quite tough to start with, said Heming.

“I grew up playing a fair bit with my opponent from Melbourne who's a very talented player and has represented Victoria in many occasions at the junior and senior national championships.”

“I felt like I had to win that match because of expectations, the conditions were definitely interesting.”

Monash University's Heming Hu returning serve against his University of Melbourne opponent. Picture: Michael Hoang.

“It was loud, crowded and heated, which was fun but difficult to play in.”

“The first set Steven (University of Melbourne) came out swinging hard at me and I lost the first set quite easily and knew I had to fight hard to get through.

“I started to tighten my game up and grovelled through to get a comfortable 3-1 win after that.”

Monash’s table tennis squad was littered with high-class players, including Rossa To who will be competing for Australia at the World University Games later this year.

She commented on the quality of the competition saying that the “standard of talent was high.”

Rossa said she had connection to the competition as she “felt special to be part of a new history.”

Rossa To serving in the 2017 Varsity Challenge against University of Melbourne. Picture: Michael Hoang.

Monash’s men’s soccer team looked for revenge over a quality Melbourne side who beat them in the gold medal match in Perth.

Both Monash and Melbourne added several high-profile players, with Monash bringing in dominant midfielder Ryan Losty from NPL2 side Eastern Lions.

Ryan reviewed the game saying “We dominated possession, unlucky for us not to get the result. Looking to better them up on the Gold Coast.”

Ryan was unlucky not to score an unbelievable goal to seal a dramatic comeback, instead his shot, from well outside the box, hit the crossbar.

Midfield Thomas Lakic dribbling the ball in the Varsity Challenge against the University of Melbourne. Picture: TeamMONASH

Hockey produced two heart stopping results.

The men looked to have wrapped up the game, having lead for much of the game.

Veteran player Charles Norbury said the “Game was a typically tight affair, with Monash controlling the game for much of it.”

“As is often the case, Melbourne came back late and scored twice to clinch victory.”

The men unfortunately lost in the dying seconds.

However, it was the women’s hockey team who, against all odds, came away with an unlikely victory.

Charles reflected on the game for TeamMONASH and said, “Without a recognised keeper, Monash took the unusual step of playing without a goal keeper for the whole match.”

“To their credit, despite conceding an early goal the girls worked their way back into the game, scoring late to win 2-1.”

Despite the signs showing that Melbourne would make an improbable comeback, the win, by the girl’s hockey team, ensured that Monash would reclaim the Varsity Challenge trophy.

#bleedblue

#teammonash

Olympian Heming Hu dominating Australian table tennis


Monash University student and Olympian Heming Hu has had a brilliant start to the 2017 table tennis season.

It was never in doubt that Heming Hu, who’s studying science and education, would become a star in table tennis.

Heming started in the garage at age 6, playing with his family.

It did not take long for Heming to win his first singles title, winning the under 13 National Championship, which would prove to be the beginning of his rise in Australian table tennis.

In the following years, Heming won the Australian Under 15 boys singles title, catapulting him onto the world table tennis scene.

Heming went to represent Australia at the World Junior Championships from 2008 to 2012, which was a “huge dream come true,” said Heming.

“After my first World Junior Championships in 2008, I became literally obsessed and in love with the sport,” reviewed Heming.

A focused Heming Hu about to serve in the 2017 Varsity Challenge against University of Melbourne. Picture: Melbourne University Sports.

However, it was a disappointing qualification bid for the 2010 Youth Olympics which spurred Heming to work harder to achieve the success he desired.

“I missed out by one spot to represent Australia at the 2010 Youth Olympic games, despite being the 1st seed for the qualifying tournament.”

“This urged me on to want it more and more in the future and be hungrier for success.”

Heming Went on to qualify for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2016 Rio Olympic Games, representing Australia at both.


Australian table tennis player Heming Hu
 in full flight. Picture: Heming Hu.
Heming Hu serving in his doubles match
at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Picture: Heming Hu.


2017 has seen Heming dominate Australian table tennis.

Heming has won all 4 Men’s singles titles, winning the Croydon Open, the Mornington Open, the Dandenong Open, and the Australian Top 10 tournament.

The Australian Top 10 tournament was held over two days, May 6 and 7, consisting of the top 9 ranked Australian table tennis players, and one player who is given a wildcard.

Heming played in the final against fellow Australian Olympian Chris Yan, who was leading 3 sets to 0, and leading 10 – 8 in the fourth set, giving Yan 2 match points.

Heming saved both match points, in doing so he turned the game around to eventually beat Yan 4 sets to 3 and win the Australian Top 10 event.

Heming posing with the Monash University table tennis team after their win over the University of Melbourne in the 2017 Varsity Challenge. Picture: Melbourne University Sport.

“I have had an extremely wonderful start to the year, incorporated all my experience and skills into the tournaments in 2017,” said Heming.

With his great form, Heming is hoping to do “some extraordinary things at the upcoming World Individual Championships (Dusseldorf, Germany May 29-June 5), ITTF Platinum World Tour Australian Open (July 1-7), Victorian Open (July 24), and World University Games (August 19-30).”

Heming will look to take his great form with him into 2018, where he has one eye firmly focused on qualifying for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Monash University wish Heming all the best with his table tennis and will continue to support him with both his education and his sporting career. 

Elite Monash athlete - Rossa To

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Monash University table tennis player Rossa To will be competing for Australia at the 2017 World University Games in Taipei.

From the community centre in Springvale to playing table tennis in the garage, Rossa To, like most athletes, has humble beginnings.

Rossa credits Simon (her dad) for being the reason she started playing, despite being self-taught and having no trophies of real significance, Simon has always been her main coach and main source of wisdom.

“There was lots and lots of training, at some point I was training 7 days a week with dad in the garage, we didn’t really have a goal of going to compete at any level, the main goal was self-improvement,” said Rossa.

Simon saw something in his daughter from an early age, suggesting, after years of training, that she should start playing pennant at the Greater Dandenong Table Tennis Association.

Rossa warming up with Simon (her dad) before she played Melbourne University in the 2017 Varsity challenge. Picture: Melbourne University Sport.

It did not take long for Rossa to show her talent.

At the Victorian Open Junior Championships in 2009, Rossa’s first tournament, she finished runner-up.

She was then selected to represent Victoria at the National Junior Championships in Tasmania, where the team achieved a bronze medal.

Despite her early success, Rossa’s career was hindered by several personal difficulties, causing her to miss a string of National Championships and other key tournaments in the years to follow.

2010 - 2013 saw the talented table tennis player only play tournaments “here and there.”

2013 marked the turning point, as she received a wildcard to play in the Junior top 10 Championships.

“I was so nervous at the beginning of that tournament, because I hadn’t played in such a long time prior to that competition.”

Playing against the top 9 ranked junior players in Australia, Rossa beat the number 1 seed on her way to winning the tournament.

“I had played the top seed twice before and never beaten her, not even a chance, but somehow defeated her in five sets that day.”

“Winning top 10 was overwhelming, mum almost cried and dad was extremely proud, all he could do was smile.”

Rossa was then asked to join the Victorian team competing at the National Championships, the Victorian under 18 girls team won the gold medal.

In the following years VCE took precedence over Rossa’s sporting career.

Since Rossa started her Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Commerce at Monash University, she’s had more opportunities to further her table tennis career.

Rossa showing immense concentration as she serves in the 2017 Varsity Challenge against Melbourne University. Picture: Melbourne University Sport.

Rossa competed at the Victorian University Games in 2016, where she helped Monash achieve a bronze medal.

Her talents did not go unnoticed as she was asked to represent Australia at the 2017 World University Games in Taipei.

With support from Monash University, Rossa accepted the invitation.

After all her adversity, Rossa will proudly represent Australia at the Universiade.

As for Simon, he could not be more pleased with his daughter’s success.

“I am very happy that I have trained Rossa well enough to be recognised for her talents, and for her to be able to represent Monash at World Uni Games in this sport.”


Monash University would like to wish Rossa the best at the World University Games.

Monash University continues its League of Legend dominance



Monash dominates the University eSport League, winning gold and bronze in the League of Legends tournament.

Monash University has continued its great form in League of Legends, having one team win the grand final, in the University eSport League, and their second team finish third.

The tournament, run by GradConnection and ESL, has a total prize pool of $10,000, with the winner walking away with a cool $2000.

Starting early in semester 1, the tournament began with four qualifying cups (group stages), both Monash teams finished atop their group, staying undefeated.

After a series of knock-out games, the two Monash team’s found themselves playing each other for a spot in the grand final, guaranteeing Monash a chance at the gold medal.

The entire Monash team posing for a photo before their grand final match against UTS, including Andrew Hong, Tommy Trieu, Morgan Khuu, Daniel Wang, Harrison Nguyen, and Team Organiser Eric Lee. Picture: ESM


The Monash line-up for the grand final was - Andrew Hong (Business) – Top, Tommy Trieu (Busniess & Banking and Finance) – Jungle, Morgan Khuu (Busniess & Banking and Finance) – Mid, Daniel Wang (Computer Science and Commerce) – ADC, and Harrison Nguyen (Radiography and Medical Imaging) – Support.

The grand final was held on April 29, in Sydney, with Monash beating UTS 2 – 0.

Team Organiser Eric Lee (Business and Arts) reviewed the final “Game 1 was really close, Monash faced a massive deficit for much of the game, we essentially tried to stall the game and pick up little victories where we could, before we eventually came back to win.”

“In game 2 we got over our nerves and jitters, we played with confidence and ran away with a convincing win.”

The Monash League of Legends team collecting their cheque for $2000, after their emphatic win in the University eSport League. Picture: ESL Australia

Having won the inaugural League of Legends tournament at the 2016 Australian University Games (AUG) against QUT, Monash used the tournament to “scout out other universities, as well as send 2 teams to unearth talent,” said Eric.

Monash certainly unearthed some talent, having replaced 4 players from their winning AUG team.

With the 2017 Australian University Games drawing ever closer, Eric said “We’re confident in our ability, even though we replaced four players from a winning 2016 line-up.”

Monash sent an ominous warning to the rest of the competition, Monash is the team to beat.

Monash University congratulate the team on a great victory, and wish the team all the best heading into the 2017 AUG. 

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