La Trobe Sport Senior Manager, Bronwyn Neeson, said the university was ‘delighted’ to be recognised with the award.
“It’s great for staff and students to be identified by other universities for a set of qualities that are befitting of the La Trobe brand,” said Neeson.
The accolade capped off a fantastic week for Team La Trobe, who secured two pennants in women’s volleyball and netball among twelve medals overall to finish fifth in the four day competition.
Over 160 La Trobe students participated across 13 sports, where La Trobe students embodied the values of the university against fourteen competitor Universities.
La Trobe team captain, John Tran, said the team’s success was a credit to the dedication shown in the lead-up to the games.
“It’s great to see our hard work pay off with the Spirit of the South Award and some great individual and team performances,” Tran said.
“The team is now turning its attention to achieving our goals at the Australian University Games later this year.”
La Trobe also announced a series of internal awards post-games to recognise standout efforts on and off-field. Netball was named La Trobe’s team of the games, while Emma Regan (volleyball) and Jake Smith (touch) were the male and female player of the games respectively.
In line with a change in direction from the University Games’ governing body, Australian University Sport (AUS), La Trobe implemented a new focus on responsibility, leadership and performance of the team in 2017.
This included the introduction of mandatory induction training sessions for all participants centred around being a positive influence on teammates, responsible behaviour and personal brand.
La Trobe Sport Development Manager Renee Frizzell said that the sessions, hosted in conjunction with AUS, have helped build a great foundation for future La Trobe teams.
“La Trobe Sport is committed to creating a safe and competitive environment for all students who want to compete at Australian University Sport events,” said Frizzell.
“I’m extremely proud of our Southern University Games team and am looking forward to our performance in the Gold Coast in September.”