There are many women working in university sport in the Oceania region. Fulfilling roles of sports administrator, competition manager, official, volunteer, coach, team manager, educator, mentor or physio (and many other roles), women who work in university sport have a passion for sport and helping to enhance the university sport experience for students.
We spoke to six women who are working in university sport in the Oceania region and we showcase their stories as we celebrate International Women’s Day in 2022.
Papua New Guinea
Administration Officer | Papua New Guinea University of Technology
Veronica has been involved in sport for many years in Papua New Guinea. Her passion is coaching and mentoring the next generation, especially in the sport of basketball. We asked Veronica a few questions about why she loves being involved in university sport.
FISU Oceania: Why do you love the world of university sport?
Veronica: I love involving myself in University Sports because it so interesting and exciting. As long as I’ve been involved in University Sports, there has never been a dull moment. Intervarsity Games are our top competitions. You get to meet the staff and students from other universities, and visit their campus, and there’s that sense of ‘in the right place”.
FO: Is university sport competitive in Papua New Guinea?
Veronica: Different sports become highly competitive when staff and students put out their best and play their hearts out for their Universities or academies if it is a competition is within the University campus.
FO: What does it mean to you to be a coach and mentor to university students?
Veronica: As a coach and mentor, there is never a better position/place for me than at the sideline of a court or field. I love every moment of coaching. The best times are at grand finals. I coach student teams within the university sports and the local association competitions during the season and they are so much fun to coach, and easy to teach because they are fast learners. One other exciting and fulfilling achievements is to see a freshman who is not so good at the beginning but goes out four years later playing like a pro and a degree in their hand. The most determined and committed proceed on to making into our national teams.
FO: You speak with such passion and pride when you talk about coaching.
Veronica: My satisfaction and pride is when I see our student athletes making it into national teams and gracing the sports pages while having full time paid jobs, building dual careers. They are then the ones who end up mentoring others in their communities and taking up important leadership and responsibility roles. Taking time to teach them not only to develop sports skills and talent but to mentor them to be responsible and self-disciplined young men and women means they then become role models in their future communities. It is a wonderful feeling to see this progression of a young person.
Assistant Lecturer in Education & Sports Education | Fiji National University
As a sports and physical education teacher, driving student involvement in sports has become an integral part of what Varanisese does at her university. She has established her role on campus as a student sports life adviser and supporter as well as a staff representative and coordinator in the health and wellness programs on her campus.
When we asked Varanisese why she loved being involved in university sport we received the most wonderful reply:
“University sports have evolved into one of the most exciting opportunities for bringing our student body together. No other university activity can bring so many students together, like university sports. I love being actively involved in our campus sports build-ups to our university games and supporting students’ participation in local club competitions. Student participation in sports activities contributes positively to their school life, and I’m always happy to help in that area of their growth. It’s impossible to learn without having fun. University sports encourage and rekindle lifetime sports participation for a healthier future for our people”.
2nd year Student | University of Guam
Some students take embrace opportunities whilst they are studying and Rozanna is one of these students. Currently hosting the University of Guam Triton Athletics podcast, Rozanna is sharing her joy of sport to a wide audience. As a basketball player, Rozanna loves competing in different teams which gives her the opportunity to identify how she can further improve her skills.
Rozanna is has also been selected as the FISU Oceania representative to the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy in 2022.
Executive Director | University Tertiary Sport New Zealand
A strong believer in the value of sport and it’s contribution to the overall well-being and achievement of young people, Sarah is leading the way to help shape an exciting new era of tertiary sport in New Zealand. When we asked Sarah what she loved about working in university sport she replied:
“ My satisfaction comes from the knowledge that we are helping to create positive university sport experiences, which in turn can help shape identity, instil confidence and create memories that will be with our students for life.”
General Manager International Programs & National Leagues | UniSport Australia
One of the most experienced university sport administrators in the region, Siobhan has attended over 20 World University Games events in her time working with the Australian UniRoos representative team. Providing competitive sporting opportunities to students within Australia has seen Siobhan manage the newly launched University Basketball League which is attracting a great deal of attention in the country.
National Events Manager – Sport | UniSport Australia
Eloise is an experienced sports manager and will be working to deliver a full calendar of Nationals events in Australia this year. Eloise is responsible for ensuring all sport components of UniSport’s events come together for a seamless sport experience for the students who attend. Eloise is particularly passionate about contributing to student experiences that create long lasting members and friends whilst those students are at university.
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