Would-be Uni Games participants from the uNiversity of Wollongong are struggling to raise the cash needed to take part in the July event.
Compared to other leading universities, UOW directs less of the Services & Amenities Fees (SAF) towards sport. It provides $357,222 for URAC membership subsidies and $10,000 for first aid training for sports clubs.
In comparison, the University of New South Wales puts $1.4 million towards sports and recreation, while the University of Sydney dished out over $4 million, including just under $170,000 solely for Uni Games.
UOW Registrar Megan Huisman has said SAF funds were distributed based on a prioroty list developed in consultation with students. She said sport subsidies were not ranked as priorities by the wider student body.
“Results of the SAF Funding Priorities survey, other student feedback, SRF [Student Representative Forum] recommendations, funding available and the University’s strategic priorities are all taken into consideration when determining SAF allocations,” she said.
According to the SAF Funding Priorities Survey for 2015, sporting and recreation activities ranked sixth out of a total of 19 possible priorities by UOW students, behind careers & employment, health and welfare, food and drink, study skills, and libraries and reading rooms.
Uni Games participants from UOW are required to pay $500 each to take part in the games, plus extra costs required for food during the event, as well as transport to and from the host city. Students have turned to fundraising to support their Uni Games endeavours.
“[We’re trying to raise] just as much as possible,” UOW women’s football team member Sally Lynch said. “Every extra bit we make is less that we’re having to pay.”