Students of the University of Newcastle returned from their East Coast Challenge campaign with four medals from six sports.
The event, hosted by Macquarie University, attracted more than 1,200 students from New South Wales and Queensland competing in 10 sports.
With three silver medals and a bronze, students from The University of Newcastle performed exceptionally well over the three days of competition.
Women's Soccer - SILVER - A few late withdrawals saw the team compete with only nine players, but a 7-0 victory in the first round against the University of Technology, Sydney, set the scene for an amazing campaign. Making their way through the pool games with only one goal conceded in four matches, the girls played a hard-fought 1-0 victory in the semi-final against Sydney University (Cumberland). Up against 2007 champions, the University of NSW, the girls fought hard to send the final into golden-goal extra time (courtesy of an amazing free kick from midfielder Belinda Murray). UNSW's advantage in numbers proved the difference though, eventually settling the match 2-1.
Men's Touch Football - SILVER - This was each team member's first University Games. The team performed incredibly well, defeating more experienced teams from Sydney and Canberra on their way to the Gold Medal match. Up against Sydney University (Cumberland), the team found themselves down 3-0 at half time. The second half was a different story, with Newcastle fighting back to level at 3-3, until the final minute when USYD managed a lucky try to take it out 4-3.
Men's Hockey - SILVER - It was a long three days for the hockey team, with the draw having them play early and late games each day. Undefeated all the way through until the Gold Medal match, the University of Newcastle's Men's Hockey team was confident coming up against host side Macquarie University. In what proved to be another thrilling match, the home side, bolstered by strong crowd support, eventually ensured another silver medal for Newcastle, eventually getting up 4-3.
Women's Basketball - BRONZE - In what was an extremely close competition, Newcastle's girls played some great basketball. With two wins and two losses after the first day's play, the girls rallied on Tuesday to defeat more fancied opponents Macquarie and UTS. A further victory in the final pool game on Wednesday had the team eagerly awaiting the result of Macquarie vs. UTS - a game which would decide if the girls would be playing for Gold or Bronze. Just missing out on the Gold Medal match on points difference, Newcastle played an excellent game to defeat hosts Macquarie University, 52-30, to claim third place.
In the remaining sports that The University of Newcastle competed, the women's hockey team placed 5th and Ultimate Frisbee team placed 4th.