When the Bull Sharks basketball side touches down in Perth on Sunday after an almost six-hour flight from Brisbane, the captain’s first priority will be finding a barbecue chicken pizza.
Eating that specific dish has become a team ritual the night before a match, and the UniSport Nationals are no exception.
“I have been on the lookout, there is a place called Three B’s in Perth which is near our accommodation,” said skipper Aidan Kitchin, 20.
Their food choice must be paying off. The Bull Sharks are fresh from a nine-point win over Griffith University in last Friday’s ‘Rival Night’ at Bond which was watched by 500 spectators.
They are now hoping to defeat Griffith on the national stage along with fellow threats the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney, who they battle first on Monday.
The Bull Sharks team, which has players from South Sudan and Uganda, are keen to show off their energy and athleticism.
“We’ve got a great mix of players from all different backgrounds, and we’ve come together as a group to be able to go over to Perth. The dynamic is really good and it’s working for us,” said Kitchin, a small forward.
“We’re fortunate to have a slightly younger team this year that’s been training consistently throughout the year.
“We have some great 3-point shooters, and we have players that can dunk as well,”
Kitchin, who’s studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science/Bachelor of Laws on a Vice Chancellor’s Elite Scholarship, was part of the Bond team which finished fifth out of 14 teams at a Queensland Uni competition last year.
“That was slightly disappointing for us but we’re ready to hit back to see how we stack up against other universities from across the country,” he said.
128 Bond students will represent the university in Western Australia across nine sports: basketball, netball, touch football, futsal, golf, tennis, rowing, swimming, and water polo.
In total the Nationals are expected to attract more than 6500 students from Australia’s 43 universities.