Welcome to the 2023 Annual Report

At a Glance

681,093 total participation
Over 20,000 unique participants
4,206 student club members
8 National Titles
New events and pop-up activities activating our campuses
Supporting students in
financial hardship
Water Safety Program keeping students safe by our waterways
Australian Boat Race returns
to the Yarra River



2021 saw the inaugural UniSport Australia University Basketball League (UBL) season get underway after the planned 2020 season was scrapped amidst the pandemic. The national competition saw eight university teams from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia compete around the country over a six-week season.

Despite uncertainty surrounding thepandemic during the UBL season, Melbourne hosted several successful homegame-days at the Nona Lee Sports Centre, with reduced spectator limitscomplimented with a live broadcast of the games online. Unfortunately, thefinal round of the season and playoffs were cancelled due to a return ofCOVID-19 restrictions across the country.

The highlight of the season was Men’s Captain and Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Biology) student Joel Rimes being named joint league MVP after integral performances in every game. The University is set to compete in the 2022 UBL, with more Universities from around the country joining the league.
Congratulations to student-athlete Tom Sparrow (Science) and alum Tom McDonald (Commerce), who were part of the victorious Melbourne Demons team in the 2021 AFL Grand Final in Perth.

Student Aaron van den Berg (Commerce) was also a Demons' listed player in season 2021,while former MU Sport Board member Kate Roffey became only the second woman president of an AFL premiership club after the win at Optus Stadium.

The University was also well represented by the runner-up Western Bulldogs, which featured student-athlete Tim English (Commerce) and former students Alex Keath (Arts), Tom Liberatore (Arts) and Stefan Martin (Science). Patrick Lipinski(Community Access Program) was also a listed player in season 2021.
Former Dean of Medicine Dental and Health Services (MDHS) Professor James(Jim) Angus AO FAA recently stepped aside as the MU Sport Advisory Board chair after six years of exceptional leadership.

Professor Angus became chair in May 2015, shortly after completing a 10-year term as the MDHS Dean. Before becoming chair, Jim had a strong family connection to sportat the University. His son Damien received 13 Sporting Blues, a record number representing the University in Cross Country, Cycling, Duathlon, Marathon and Triathlon over seven years.

During his tenure as chair, Jim oversaw the adoption of the new Strategic Plan for Sport (Sport Matters at Melbourne – It Inspires, Connects and Leads), resulting in the introduction of a guaranteed entry scheme for elite student-athletes and a range of policies and programs to increase engagement and participation from underrepresented student groups. This included the Water Safety Program for international students and the Indigenous Sport, Pride in Sport and Strong Women programs, along with a significant increase in programs and services for students located at the University's smaller metro and regional campuses.

Oneof the highlights for Jim was MU Sport being awarded the Australian Sporting Organisation of the Year for Inclusion at the 2019 Pride in Sport Awards. FormerSenior Vice-Principal Ian Marshman AM has replaced Jim as chair.
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Sport Matters


Melbourne Men Crowned University Basketball League Champions

In the fourth season of the University Basketball League, the Melbourne men took out top honours for the first time while the women’s team had their best ever finish, making it to the semi-finals.

Activating the campus

A new pilot program, Active Campus, engaged over 10,000 students and staff in its inaugural year, providing more opportunities than ever for students and staff to participate in regular physical activity, both at the Parkville campus but also at smaller metropolitan and regional campuses.

Celebrating 140 years of Lacrosse

Saturday 13 May was a milestone evening for the Melbourne University Lacrosse Club, as around 100 club members, alumni and supporters gathered to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the Club at the Ernie Cropley Pavilion.


The link between regular physical activity and emotional wellbeing, as well as improved academic performance, are comprehensively documented. Regular physical activity improves student wellbeing and academic success through improvements to physical and mental health, confidence, self-esteem and reduced social isolation.
Giving back to the Water Safety Program

Our Water Safety Program has taught the basics of water safety to thousands of students since 2017, and for Bachelor of Biomedicine student Yuetong Wang it has been a chance to pass on her experiences to new students.

Improving gym accessibility for Women students

MU Sport launched new exclusive Women's only sessions in Semester 2, intended for students that did not feel comfortable working out in a regular fitness environment.

Sport by the Numbers

A broad range of programs and activities were conducted at the University in 2023. Over 20,000 students, staff, alumni and community members participated over 680,000 times, from our sporting clubs and fitness services to lunchtime sporting competitions and pop-up activities across our campus.


Sport provides the platform to showcase and develop exceptional leadership. Many student athletes and club members make rewarding contributions to our clubs, sporting teams and the broader community by becoming articulate and engaging advocates for the University. The Leadership pillar supports the development of leadership capabilities in our programs and clubs to enable students, staff and alumni to demonstrate leadership and active citizenship.
Recognising the contribution of our volunteers

2023 ended on a positive note with a vast network of stakeholders coming together at the annual Sport and Volunteer Celebration event to honour and commemorate volunteers from sporting clubs, advisory groups, and programs.

A 360° perspective into the Strong Women Network with Hannah Kuhar

The Strong Women Network mentorship program has not only won awards but has had a profound effect on the lives of both mentors and mentees. Now entering its fifth year, Hannah Kuhar, professional netballer and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Diploma of Music alum returns to reflect on her unique experience of coming full circle, having been both a mentee and mentor.

Soccer club leveling the playing field for all with All Gender Games

Since 2021, the Melbourne University Soccer Club has been championing diversity and inclusion in sport through its All Gender Games (AGGs) initiative. 2023 marked the year for the program's second iteration with the aim to level the playing field for all queer, gender diverse, black, indigenous, and other people of colour.


Sporting events and competitions bring the University community together and are opportunities for meaningful engagement with alumni, business, government and the wider community. Some of Australia’s most successful athletes have been students at the University and include Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallists, world champions and national representatives. We have celebrated their athletic triumphs as demonstrations of excellence, and follow them closely as many develop into significant community and industry leaders.
Grand year for elite student-athletes

A men's AFL Premiership captain, multiple medals and outstanding performances at World Championship events, and one of the first athletes to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, our elite student-athletes had an incredible year in 2023.

Winged Victory

528 student-athletes, 70 competitions, 9 national university titles and a comprehensive 13-9 victory in the Big Blue against Monash, it was a big year for our Winged Victory teams.

Students Honoured at Blues and Sport Awards

The University’s sporting achievements in 2023 were celebrated at the Annual Blues and Sports Awards. 119 student-athletes were awarded a University Blue while others were recognised for their incredible on-field performances.

Sporting Clubs


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Sporting Clubs

The Athletics Club performed strongly in its first full year of competition since the pandemic. At the Victorian Track and Field Championships 11 athletes ranked in the top eight, resulting in the Club earning fourth place in the HH Hunter Shield. In addition, 10 athletes attended the Australian Athletics Championships across 15 events, with nine top-ten placements. In the winter XCR season, the Women’s Premier team finished 4th whilst the Men’s finished 7th. Pleasingly, volunteer turnout for the winter season was the best in recent times. The club continues to reinvigorate its non-competition activities and welcome new members.
The Cheer and Dance Club has competed in Victorian State Competitions and the Australian All-Star Cheerleading Federation Nationals Competition in Gold Coast. The club has grown greatly this year and intends to continue this along with the creation of more teams in upcoming seasons. The Club engaged with artist Andy Butler to commission a work for the Ian Potter Museum to reflect on Empowerment in Sports that is currently being displayed in the Old Quad. The Cheer and Dance Club has increased its Committee size with the creation of two new members to help facilitate overall club growth.
The Dragon Boat Club welcomed a new Head Coach this year that led to big changes within the coaching program and promising improvements among the members, setting the club up well for upcoming state- and national-level competitions. Despite the lack of regattas due to flood warnings in the second half of this year, the club’s improvement has been evident through the increased number of our members being a part of the Victorian state and Australian national teams. It is an exciting period of growth and the club is looking forward to breaking personal best times at upcoming regattas!
The Women’s Football Club (MUWFC) had 109 players taking the field in the Black and Blue, some for their first time and others for their 50th. MUWFC congratulated 9 players who reached their 50 game milestone. MUWFC also recognised Cat O’Bryan’s 150th senior game, and acknowledged the massive contribution she has made to the club and to women’s football more broadly.Having been promoted back to VAFA Women’s Premier Division, the seniors and reserves did well to play finals, as did the thirds.Pride Round was another huge success this year with plenty of action on and off the field. All three teams donned Pride Jerseys and played at Melbourne University Home Oval. During the games a Pride Luncheon was organised, which was open to members of the public and included a panel discussion covering the topic of Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion in Sport. A fundraising raffle and bake sale held in conjunction with both events and all profits from the day were donated to Transgender Victoria, a total of $2500. A Gender Inclusion Policy was created and adopted by the club.First Nations Round was hosted the day before NAIDOC Week. As part of MUWFC strategy, two players, Lorraine and Madena Jaffer, designed the First Nations Jerseys. These jerseys were worn by the players from all three teams who all played on Melbourne University Home Oval. Aunty Katrina Amon assisted in the jumper reveal and provided an insightful and educational presentation about her family’s history, connection to culture and what this means for different people, her role in footy and the changes she is seeing.
Financial services are the economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses various businesses that manage money, including credit unions, banks, etc.

MU Sport Community