Let the Games begin!
Friday, 4 July 2003
Around 2000 athletes will converge on Adelaide next week to take part in the 2003 Southern University Games.
Adelaide is playing host to the four-day multi-sport event beginning on Monday, July 7. Games organisers were expecting 1200 competitors, but the number of registered athletes has jumped considerably.
"These are exciting times for the Southern University Games; we have far exceeded the registrations expected, almost doubling the number of students at this year's Games," says Project Manager Sue Wells.
"It would be safe to say that the success of last year's Australian University Games, which were also held in Adelaide, has contributed to the increased registrations," she says.
Such an influx of students is good news for Adelaide with accommodation providers, food and beverage operators, retailers and tourist operators set to be among the greatest beneficiaries from the Games.
"Based on previous year's events, it is anticipated that the Games will have a significant impact on the local economy, injecting approximately $1 million over the four days of competition," Ms Wells says.
"We are expecting a high level of competition with some outstanding athletes to represent their universities showcasing the talent available both locally and interstate."
Students from 16 university campuses from Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria will participate in the Games sporting program, which features 13 team and individual sports.
Among those athletes competing are state and national representatives as well as those selected in the Australian teams for the 2003 World University Games.
Ms Wells says it is also important to acknowledge the role of volunteers in the hosting of the Games.
"Following the Year of the Volunteer, the Southern University Games offers opportunities to nearly 200 volunteers and welcomes and values the input that these people bring to the Games."
The Games serve as a qualifier for the 2003 Australian University Games, held in Newcastle from September 28.
The sports to be contested are: AFL, badminton, baseball, basketball, hockey, netball, rugby union 7s, soccer, softball, touch, table tennis, ultimate frisbee and volleyball.
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