University of Wollongong students are likely to miss out in the annual Indigenous Games due to a lack of funding support from the university. according to would-be competitors.
Indigenous students from UOW have competed in the inter-university run competition for Indigenous students for numerous years. Hosted by the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane, this year’s games run over four days at the end of June.
In previous years, the games have been held close enough to avoid paying for flights, and the the students were able to raise the money through fundraising events. This year, the students will need to pay for flights and accommodation.
Student representatives Brooke Higgins and Kiara Small will rely on outside funding to attend the games.
“We don’t receive it (funding), we didn’t receive it last year where we weren’t even allowed to apply to get funding,” Higgins said.
“If we were to take a team of ten, $5,000 would be the minimum, the very minimum.”
Higgins and Small are trying to remain positive despite the heavy costs.
“Hopefully we can get some funding from somewhere, maybe a faculty or different people within the University that want to donate money. That would probably be the only way we could get there at this point,” Small said.
The students had previously received university funding unitl a few years ago when an ‘incident’ occurred. Since then, the games have had no financial support from the university.
“There was a chance, but we would have to sit down with a board from the university and have an interview with them in order to receive it (funding) and even then it’s unlikely,” Higgins said.
The University does provide funding for other Indigenous programs and activities, including the Woolyanguh Indigenous Centre.
The Indigenous games consist of four sports: volleyball, basketball, netball and touch football. The games are mixed-gender, played in a round-robin format, and have a day dedicated to each sport.