Let the games begin

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Avondale enters university games for first time

Josh Dye
Public relations intern
Avondale College of Higher Education
Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

Mark Tipple is captain of Avondale’s mixed touch team, having previously represented the Central Coast Dolphins and the Hunter Western Hornets. Credit: Alexandru Tibi Soare.

More than 40 students will be representing Avondale College of Higher Education in its first Eastern University Games appearance in Tamworth during the semester recess.

Organisers have granted Avondale free entry in expectation of it becoming a full member next year. “The annual fee is $5000, so we’ve been lucky,” says Mark Tipple, a third-year Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching student who helped organise Avondale’s participation.

Interest is high with Avondale entering four teams. This is despite many students having previously committed to serving on one of four mission trips, which are at the same time. Mark is captain of the mixed touch football team, while Carlos Vera (men’s basketball), Jess Laws (women’s basketball) and Hannah Purcell (women’s netball) are also taking leadership roles.

Conscious of the privilege of representing a Christian higher education institution, Mark sees participating in the games as an opportunity to witness. “We want to uphold Avondale’s values and set a good example on and off the field.” It will build a sense of community, too. “I’m looking forward to getting to know every team member, and I hope this is one of the highlights of their Avondale experience.”

Mark also hopes Avondale’s participation is ongoing: “We should invest in this event to give students an opportunity to compete against those from other universities.”

The games feature more than 2000 participants from 20 universities and TAFE institutions across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. It serves as a qualifier for the annual Australian University Games.

Eastern University Games, Tamworth, July 1-5, 2012