Comm Games campaign starts and ends with gold for UniSC | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Comm Games campaign starts and ends with gold for UniSC

The University of the Sunshine Coast is celebrating after a highly successful campaign at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, with 15 medal placings secured by the uni crew.

The Games assault ended in fitting fashion with UniSC athletes – Cara Koenan and Stephanie Wood (both Australia) – winning the gold medal netball match against Jamaica; with Kadie-Ann Dehaney winning silver playing for Jamaica.

Indeed, the Games opened with a gold and finished with gold for UniSC, following outstanding rides by Sophie Edwards, Maeve Plouffe and Chloe Moran in the women’s 4000m cycling team pursuit, twice setting a Games record.

Full UniSC results here.

UniSC Vice Chancellor and President Professor Helen Bartlett said the university community would be celebrating today, with the final netball gold bringing Australia’s all-time tally to 1000.

“Every competing athlete from the UniSC community has made us enormously proud and we look forward to welcoming them home,” Professor Bartlett said.

“As a university that supports students to compete at the highest level while also completing studies, I want to thank their coaches, teachers, families and supporters. This is the network and expertise that supports our athletes to succeed and will continue to be vital as we prepare for future events such as the 2032 Olympic Games in Queensland.”

High Performance Student Program Coordinator Tania Stevenson could barely contain her pride at the outstanding results.

“I think all of our athletes did extremely well,” Ms Stevenson said.

“There were challenges, triumphs, moments of heartbreak and stories of redemption. It’s what we love so much about sport.

“Our Spartans swim team brought home eight medals and the squad achieved finals representation in nearly all events, but I thought it was also significant our athletes shone outside the pool.

“To pick a few moments; Hannah Dodd played out of her skin in the 3-on-3 basketball, going undefeated until the gold medal match. It was Hannah’s first major international medal and she certainly deserves it after all the hard work and dedication she applies.

“The ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast women’s team are always impressive in the cycling events and their Games record and then another individual silver for Maeve Plouffe didn’t surprise me at all.

“Another to highlight was Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) student Katelyn Inch, who represented New Zealand in the ladies’ lawn bowl pairs and earnt bronze after some ups and downs in qualifying.”

The performance at the Commonwealth Games built on UniSC’s outstanding results at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics a year earlier, where more than 20 UniSC athletes competed.

One of the difficulties faced in Birmingham was the limited number of events for Para swimmers, meaning several had to compete in unfamiliar events and categories.

“For example, Braedon Jason and Jenna Jones are S12 vision impaired swimmers and had to compete in an S13 event, while Blake Cochrane is an SB7 breaststroker, but competed in SB8,” Ms Stevenson said.

“Ben Hance is another – his world record and Tokyo Paralympic Gold medal are in backstroke but he didn’t have the option of competing in his backstroke classification, so he swam the 200m freestyle instead.

“The fact these swimmers won medals outside of their comfort zone is simply fantastic.

“Another deserving of kudos was Jacob Templeton, who has missed a number of previous national teams by hundredths of a second, snatching the bronze in the 50m freestyle and swimming a personal best.”

A full list of UniSC results are available online.

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