Avondale’s Eagles not just players but peers
Avondale’s Eagles are flying again. A team of 37 travelled to Perth for UniSport Nationals (September 24-30) and returned with a silver medal and an enhanced reputation for sportsmanship.
The medal came in division two of men’s basketball, an achievement considering the size of other universities. After a slow start—third place in pool play—the Eagles won their round of eight, quarterfinal and semi-final games. But they fell short in the final, losing 92-75 to the University of Wollongong.
With Avondale not sending teams to UniSport Nationals in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic, the competition in Perth was basketball captain Brady Boehm’s first experience as an Eagle. He describes the games as “intense.” Also memorable: bonding with the other students. Brady and his teammates took to the court for the final with a large contingent of support. The presence of all the Eagles supporting each other where possible showed Avondale to be more than just a collection of players but peers.
The division one mixed touch team started pool play with two losses and a draw. But four consecutive wins led to a third-place finish. A loss in the quarterfinals saw the team play for, and win, seventh.
The men’s rugby 7s team closed its competition strongly, with wins in the final pool game and the playoff for fifth. While more wins in playoff rather than pool games helped the women’s basketball team finish sixth in division two.
Avondale may not have won a gold medal at these games but stood out from the rest of the 39 higher education providers as students prayed over opposing teams—which has become a tradition—and portrayed a competitive but Christ-like attitude.
The Eagles landed at Fremantle Seventh-day Adventist Church on the first Saturday of the trip. An alumnus preached the sermon with support from the students. Carmel Adventist College hosted the students, who returned the favour on the second Saturday by leading worship at the church on campus.
UniSport Nationals moves back to the east coast—in Melbourne—next year.