Sport at the University of Adelaide

Sport at the University of Adelaide is primarily organised by the Adelaide University Sports Association. Other bodies affiliated to the University of Adelaide providing sport include the various sports clubs forming part of the residential colleges and the Roseworthy Agricultural Campus Student Union Council.

Adelaide University Sports AssociationEdit

Adelaide University Lacrosse Club. 1896 premiership team

The Adelaide University Sports Association was founded in 1896 by the Adelaide University Boat, Tennis and Lacrosse Clubs.[1] The Association was, until 1 January 2010, affiliated to the Adelaide University Union.[2] They are now affiliated directly to the University of Adelaide.

In 2006 funding for the association was dramatically reduced by the implementation of the Australian Government's Voluntary Student Unionism legislation.[3] Until this point in time it had received an annual grant of approximately A$500,000 from the university. Since the beginning of 2007, the University has provided a membership-proportional level of financial support, with the association largely relying on fundraising events and fees, much like other University of Adelaide clubs.

It supports 37 sporting clubs, providing a diverse range of sporting opportunities to University's students. It is a major stakeholder in the Adelaide University's North Terrace Campus-based Sports Hub fitness centre[4] and the North Adelaide-based university playing fields. Although holding numerous independent sporting facilities, it is also permitted to use government owned and regulated sporting facilities, operated by the City of Adelaide to occupy sporting fields in the Adelaide Parklands. The university has private buildings at many of these sites.

The association is incorporated in South Australia as a not-for-profit society under the Associations Incorporation Act 1985. The association is administered by an executive officer and assisted by an administrative and projects officer. Governance is through an elected board of management including an annually elected executive committee comprising: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, 6 two-year-term general board members and a University nominee. Constituent clubs elect 3 general board members at the annual general meeting. The executive members are elected by general student franchise.

Founding sporting clubsEdit

Adelaide University Boat ClubEdit

The Adelaide University Boat Club was founded in 1881 and is one of South Australia's premier rowing clubs. It is a member club of Rowing SA (South Australian Rowing Association) and operates from the Torrens River in the Adelaide city centre, and from West Lakes in the suburb of West Lakes. The city boathouse was donated by Robert Barr Smith in 1909. The West Lakes Boathouse is shared with the other South Australian rowing clubs and is administered by Rowing SA.

The main focus of the club is to provide rowing for the students of the University of Adelaide. Each year the club competes in the Rowing Intervarsity and local and national regattas. The premier event is the Oxford and Cambridge Cup (a silver cup similar in style to the America's Cup) for Men's Eights. The cup was donated by Old Blues of Oxford and Cambridge Universities in the 1890s.

Past members have included Olympians Kate Slatter (Women's Pair Gold and Silver medallist), Jaime Fernandez (Men's Eight Silver), Tim Willoughby (Men's Eight Bronze) and Amber Halliday (Lightweight).

Adelaide University Tennis ClubEdit

The Adelaide University Tennis Club was founded in 1885 and is a lawn tennis club. It was instrumental in the founding of the Adelaide University Sports Association. Dr Albert Curtis came to Adelaide in 1903 having been at the University of Sydney. He had won the 1896 Queensland Doubles Champion[5] and the 1897 NSW Singles Championship.[6] In 1905 he was runner-up in the singles final of the inaugural Australian Open[7] and graduated in medicine.

Adelaide University Lacrosse ClubEdit

The Adelaide University Lacrosse Club was founded in 1889 by Nobel Prize winning Professor William Henry Bragg.[8] It is one of the oldest lacrosse clubs in Australia and is a founding member of the AUSA.[1] The AULC takes part in an annual competition against the Melbourne University Lacrosse Club that was first contested in 1905[9] and competes locally in the Lacrosse South Australia competition.[8] Club membership is focused on University of Adelaide students and graduates. Other non students are also members. The club trains on the University of Adelaide's Park 10 sports fields in the parklands between the University campus and North Adelaide.

Seven Rhodes Scholars have been members:[10]

University bluesEdit

A University sporting blue is awarded for excellence in a particular sport. The awarding of a Blue is usually for competing in a state or national team. The AULC has 134 full Blues awarded to members since 1908. Many more half blues and club letters have also been awarded.[17]

A Grade PremiershipsEdit

The club has won 11 men's and 1 women's A grade premierships since 1893.

Other sporting clubsEdit

Adelaide University Gliding ClubEdit

Adelaide University Gliding Club was formed in 1976,[18] and operates a fleet of gliders that includes a pair of two-seat training aircraft, a motor glider and several single-seat gliders. Launches are provided by a winch. The club shares an airfield at Stonefield in the Riverland with the Barossa Valley Gliding Club and Fly Down Under, a commercial gliding operation. It is heavily involved in flying training, which is carried out in the two-seat sailplanes under the guidance of club instructors and has trained many pilots from ab initio (complete novice) level through to cross-country, national and international (as members of the Australian Gliding Team[19]) competition. Several AUGC pilots have gone on to a career in aviation, as RAAF pilots, commercial helicopter pilots and flying for Qantas. Three club members have received University Blues.

Adelaide University Football ClubEdit

The Adelaide University Football Club was officially formed on 26 March 1906 and became affiliated with the Sports Association two weeks later on 9 April 1906. Prior to this time, there was no University Football team competing in a regular competition; however games were arranged on an irregular basis.

The earliest reference to football at University was found in a PAC School Chronicle of 1885. The report stated that Adelaide University could not organize a full side for a Saturday game; however there were enough available for a mid-week game. This was arranged for Wednesday 19 June 1885 and several League players and old scholars from PAC comprised the side. University lost this encounter 4.11 to 1.1.

The Blacks were successful in winning the A Grade Premiership in the years 1911–12, 1920–22, 1926, 1929, 1932, 1951–52, 1954–55, 1960–62, 1965, 1968–69, 1974–75, 1986, 1996, and 1999. In 2006 the Blacks were runners-up to Goodwood Saints 10.12 72 – 18.11 119.

Adelaide University Touch ClubEdit

Touch Football is a game derived from rugby league, where tackling and kicking are outlawed. The Adelaide University Touch Club was formed in 1983 and joined the Sports Association in 1985. It is the largest touch football club in South Australia. The club has players ranging from complete beginners to players who have represented Australia and England at international tournaments. The club enters teams in the local park touch competition in both single sex grades and mixed grades in both summer and winter competitions. During summer the club runs a mixed competition at the Waite Campus of the University.

Adelaide University Athletics ClubEdit

Established in 1906, the Athletics Club has a participatory focus and competes in events such as the City-Bay Fun Run. Notable past members include Olympian and eight-time Australian champion David Fitzsimons (Blue recipient 1970), as well as scientist Henry Brose (secretary 1910–11, Blue recipient 1910), former Attorney-General of South Australia Trevor Griffin (Half Blue recipient 1962, Club Letter recipient 1959), former Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia the Honourable Timothy Anderson (Blue recipient 1966), and current Judge of the District Court of South Australia, Peter Brebner (treasurer 1977–80). Since the Club's establishment, forty-seven club members have been awarded a University Blue.

In the early 1980s, the Murrell brothers, State triple jump champion, 1984 Rhodes Scholar and medical student George A.C. Murrell as President and 1982 Australian Junior Hammer Throw Champion[20] and State Junior Record Holder[21] and agricultural science student, Thomas A.C. Murrell, as Honorary Secretary switched from the highly successful St Peters College Athletics Club to rebuild the Club.[22]

Membership doubled from 27 registered athletes in 1982/83 to 53 in 1983/84, the Club hosted the National Intervarsity Championships in 1983,[23] made the finals in both Men's A and D grades and won the D grade Interclub premiership, the club's first in six years.

Three-time Intervarsity Hammer Throw Champion and University Blue Thomas Murrell of Adelaide University Athletics Club

Thomas Murrell was National Men's Hammer Throw Champion and Club Captain[24] at the Intervarsity Games of 1983,[25] 1984[26] and 1985 (representing the University of New England), was President of the Club in 1984/85 and in 1984 was awarded the Patron's Trophy for outstanding services to the Club. In 1984 he was awarded a Full Blue in Athletics and at the time had the longest hammer throw by an athlete ever to attend Adelaide University, was ranked fifth in the South Australian all-time senior listings and represented South Australia in the national competition for senior men's hammer throw.

Adelaide University Sailing ClubEdit

The oldest university sailing club in Australia, it was established in 1959 and hosted the first intervarsity competitions in 1960 and onward. Always a power of Australian university sailing, it maintains a fleet of boats at Henley Beach for novices and has many state, national, and international representatives.

Adelaide University Rugby Union Football ClubEdit

Adelaide University Rugby Union Football Club
UnionSouth Australia Rugby Union
Ground(s)Waite Oval
PresidentMatt Mooney
Team kit
First match
AURUFC 15 – 15 Royal Australian Navy Reserve 16 July 1932 [28][29]
Official website

The Adelaide University Rugby Union Football Club affectionately known as the ‘Uni Blacks’, is a rugby union club based in Adelaide, South Australia. Established on 14 July 1932, the AURUFC is the oldest rugby union club in South Australia and the only surviving foundation club in the South Australia Rugby Union competition.[30][31]

The club's home ground is located in the eastern suburbs of Adelaide at Waite Oval and is presently home to three senior men's teams and junior teams from under 7s to under 16s.[27][32][33] It is one of many clubs that represent The University of Adelaide and is open to public membership.

Roseworthy campusEdit

Roseworthy Agricultural Campus Student Union Council is an affiliate of the Adelaide University Union. It represents the interests of students at Roseworthy Campus and runs activities including orientation, sports and other social events. Up until the 1980s, sport at Roseworthy was organised by the Roseworthy Agricultural College Sports Union, founded in 1927.[34] Sports included athletics, cricket, football, golf, judo, rifle shooting, rugby union,[35] swimming, table tennis, tennis, and water polo.

Intercollegiate Sport – High Table CupEdit

There have been two cups awarded for the Intercollegiate Sport championship between Adelaide University Colleges, both with the generic title of High Table Cup. The College Cup was donated by the High Table of St. Mark's College in the 1950s, and remained in use until 1995 when the Douglas Irving Cup was donated. Current participants are the College Clubs of Aquinas College, Flinders University Hall, Lincoln College, St. Ann's College and St Mark's College.

While the majority of participants are from the University of Adelaide, most residential colleges also accept students from other South Australian Universities and technical colleges, who are also able to participate in the competition. There are 11 sports in the championship. They are (in chronological order) tennis, swimming (mixed), basketball, debating (mixed), Australian Rules Football, netball, soccer, table tennis, field hockey, volleyball and athletics (mixed).

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b The Blacks, Adelaide University Sports Association.
  2. ^ "Your life on campus" Archived 15 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Home page, Adelaide University Union.
  3. ^ Uni and union forge the way ahead, Media release, 14 December 2005,
  4. ^ Students win in Sports Hub expansion, Media release, 9 Jan 2006,
  5. ^ "Lawn Tennis Tournament". Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald & General Advertiser. 1 September 1896. p. 4. Retrieved 18 April 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "Mr. A. Curtis (the Lawn Tennis Champion)". Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser. 31 July 1897. p. 233. Retrieved 18 April 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "LAWN TENNIS. The Late Dr. A. C. Curtis". The Sydney Morning Herald. 15 September 1933. p. 15. Retrieved 18 April 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ a b Adelaide University Lacrosse Club[permanent dead link],
  9. ^ "LACROSSE". The Argus. Melbourne. 12 August 1905. p. 19. Retrieved 4 October 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ a b c List of South Australian Rhodes Scholars,
  11. ^ Philip Jones, 'Fry, Henry Kenneth (1886 - 1959)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 14, Melbourne University Press, 1996, pp 230-231.
  12. ^ E. T. Williams, 'Cairns, Sir Hugh William Bell (1896 - 1952)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7, Melbourne University Press, 1979, pp 524-525.
  13. ^ Obituaries Archived 27 December 2004 at the Wayback Machine, 17 March 1994, Oxford Gazette.
  14. ^ Brigadier Myles Landseer Formby,
  15. ^ Alasdair Sutherland, A Highland Chindit, BBC – WW2 People's War
  16. ^ a b c Rhodes Scholars[permanent dead link], The Blacks – University of Adelaide Sports Association
  17. ^ Blues[permanent dead link], The Blacks – University of Adelaide Sports Association.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Tutor and pupil earn gold". The Advertiser. 20 March 1982.
  21. ^ Haynes, Peter (25 March 1982). "SA athletics set for golden era". The Advertiser.
  22. ^ Symon, Andrew (22 October 1983). "A hop, step and jump gets George to Oxford". Adelaide Advertiser.
  23. ^ "Sport: Inter Varsity Athletic Championships, Adelaide 1983". On Dit. 4 July 1983.
  24. ^ "Throw-away title". OFFSET. June 1983.
  25. ^ "SA varsity pair shows class". The Advertiser. 18 May 1983.
  26. ^ "Blacks on the track". On Dit. 9 July 1984.
  27. ^ a b "Adelaide University Rugby Union Football Club | AU Sport". Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  28. ^ "lumen - Lumen Winter 2007 contents". Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  29. ^ [1]
  30. ^ "History". SA Rugby. 28 July 1932. Archived from the original on 13 May 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  31. ^ [2]
  32. ^ [3]
  33. ^ [4]
  34. ^ Roseworthy Agricultural College Sports Union Papers,
  35. ^ Recent history of the Barossa Rams