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Bullsharks looking to make a splash at Australian University Games

A small, but perfectly formed team of Bond student-athletes will be heading to this year’s Australian University Games (AUG) which are being held in Perth from 25-30 September.

The Games is a six-day event with a total of 34 sports on offer, making it the largest university sporting event in Australia and attracting more than 5,600 student-athletes nationwide.

This year’s Bond Bullsharks team includes swimmers Maddie Groves, Amy Forrester, Sam Young, Alex Graham, Ella Bond and Solomon Wright; judo players Kristoffer Diocamp and Bowen Zhang; and golfer Sonal Narang.

Bond University Sport and Programs Manager Jackie Parra said she anticipated the Bullsharks would be in top form this Games, with some strong individual athlete performances.  

“We may not have the same size team we’ve had at previous Games, but the calibre and quality of this year’s athletes is exceptional,” she said.

“Although the focus of the Australian University Games is on participation, this year’s Bullsharks will - as always - be keenly competitive, especially in the pool with Olympic silver medallist Maddie Groves, co-captaining the team.”

Maddie put in a stunning performance at the recent Rio Olympics, swimming a personal best time and bagging the silver medal in the women’s 200 metre butterfly – just 0.03 seconds behind gold medalist Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain.

“I really enjoyed participating in the 2015 Australian University Games and it’s an honour to be captaining the Bullsharks with Alex this year,” Maddie said.

“It’s so much fun to compete for Bond alongside some great athletes and in a more relaxed atmosphere, where there’s less pressure to perform and you can just enjoy racing,” she said.

After competing for Bond at the AUG, Maddie will fly directly from Perth to Beijing for the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup 2016, where she will be swimming for Australia in the women’s 100m and 200 m butterfly events.

Australian University Sport CEO Don Knapp said the Games activated broader participation at both elite and social levels across its 42 member universities.

“Participants will experience the highest quality intervarsity competition available in Australia at some of the best sporting facilities in the country,” he said.

“Events such as the Australian University Games provide student-athletes with the opportunity to pursue a dual career education and sport pathway, in turn contributing to better retention and completion rates for today’s student-athletes enrolled in tertiary education.”

The Australian University Games, which is managed by Australian University Sport (AUS), is renowned for providing a friendly but competitive environment for Australian university athletes and is the flagship event on the national university sporting calendar.

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