AUT Down Auckland University To Win O-Week Shield
By Nathan Limm
AUT has crushed Auckland University in five of six matches to win the O-Week shield for the first time since 2016.
Both of AUT’s volleyball sides claimed 2-0 victories, alongside both basketball teams who also secured comprehensive wins. While the men’s futsal side won 3-2, the women’s squad suffered a narrow loss, 2-3.
AUT Sport’s Megan Aikenhead, says AUT’s success at the event was a fantastic start to the sporting calendar.
“Leading into the tournament we were quietly confident of AUT’s ability to win at least four of the games and reclaim the O-Week Sports Challenge shield.
“[To win] five of the six games contested was a great result for AUT.”
An influx of new sporting talent was a welcome addition to AUT’s pool. Sides for the O-Week challenge are traditionally built upon players from the previous squads. However, Aikenhead says the influx of fresh sportspeople helped to strengthen the quality of AUT’s sides.
Also contributing to the O-Week success was the AUT Sport team, who are made up of staff and volunteers. Aikenhead says they have worked hard over the past two years to develop positive relationships with AUT coaches and athletes to help with retaining players.
“We have some great sportspeople currently studying at AUT due to the reputation of AUT’s Elite Athlete Support Programme.
“Decent numbers from 2019 teams [are] returning to study and wanting to continue playing for AUT at the event.”
AUT will look to carry this momentum into the various national tertiary competitions taking place throughout 2020.
“Going forward we will ensure we have a solid plan in place to provide the best support and resources to these teams in the build up towards the National Tertiary Tournaments,” says Aikenhead.
AUT will also compete nationally in rowing, 3x3 basketball, hockey, badminton, table tennis, and ultimate frisbee.