A key component for many students as part of their University experience, La Trobe University has 27 affiliated sports clubs. Many of the clubs are run by students (with the support of La Trobe Sport) and provide something for all levels of experience skill, ranging from social competitions and trip-based experiences that focus on participation and fun, through to more competitive seasonal competitions and tournaments.
As of the start of October, La Trobe affiliated sports clubs had brought home six premierships to headline a mostly successful winter sport season.
La Trobe University Football Club’s Senior Men’s team was one of the clubs to achieve the ultimate success this season, winning the club’s first Senior Men’s premiership since 2010 in stunning fashion.
After going through the season losing just one game on the way to the Grand Final, the Trobers found themselves 17 points down and in unfamiliar territory at three-quarter time of the premiership decider, before staging a remarkable comeback in the final quarter to defeat Swinburne University by 15 points.
Riley Alexander was one of the key contributors to the Trobers’ success this season, finishing as the top goalkicker in the VAFA Division 4 Senior Men’s competition with a total of 77 goals while also finishing third in the competition’s Best & Fairest count. Capping off an extraordinary year, Alexander was also named as the captain of the VAFA Division 4 Men’s Senior team of the year, which included fellow La Trobe University players Andy Castles, Ben Vicary, Tate Spiteri and Bryce Dowler, while the club’s Senior Men’s coach Ricky Nolan was named as the competition’s Coach of the Year.
Elsewhere at the La Trobe University Football Club, the Reserve Men’s side also had a strong season but fell short in the Grand Final against Albert Park, losing narrowly by eight points. Jordy O’Brien finished as the number one goalkicker in the competition with 73 goals throughout the year.
The club’s Senior Women’s team finished seventh on the ladder this year and unfortunately missed finals, however the two wins they did secure were big ones. They defeated Canterbury by 45 points in Round 2 and Power House by 50 points in Round 12, and will be looking to use these victories as a springboard for an improved season in 2023. Kate Bond and Teresa D’Angelo were the standouts for the season, finishing fifth and tenth respectively in the VAFA Senior Women’s Division 2 competition Best & Fairest.
The La Trobe University Hockey Club had a huge season, bringing home three premierships to KP Hardiman Reserve. The Gunners took home the top prize in the Men’s Open North-West, Women’s 3’s B North-West and Men’s Metro 2 North-East competitions.
Playing against Greensborough in the Open Men’s North West grade Grand Final, it was a tight game with the Gunners down 1-2 at half time. But La Trobe rose to the occasion when it mattered most to slot three goals in the second half to secure the title.
Founded in 1967, La Trobe University Hockey Club is the premier hockey club in the northern suburbs of Melbourne with 21 teams for all ages and skill levels. The club now boasts more than 320 playing members and according to club member and Women’s hockey player, Jess Stenhouse, is one of the leading La Trobe-affiliated clubs when it comes to active involvement in a range of community and social initiatives.
“We have lots of social events, but we also get involved with [a lot of] inclusive and diversity-type events as well,” Stenhouse said.
“We have our Pride Round, and we get involved in the Fair Go Round as well.
“We also have Women's rounds and Men's rounds, and that just makes sure everyone [can get] involved and is included.”
It was an equally impressive season for the La Trobe University Volleyball Club, with some wonderful results across its 12 teams. The Men’s Reserves Division 2 Red team finished the season as premiers, winning the Grand Final against top side Dandenong in straight sets. The Men’s Reserves Division 1 team developed terrifically throughout the year, only losing to the eventual premiers Oakleigh in the elimination final.
The Junior Boys 2 team had a remarkable season to finish undefeated on the way to winning the premiership, while the Junior Boys 1 team also had an improved season but lost in the elimination final.
For the Women’s division the Reserves 2 team had an amazing year in what was the first season for many who were involved. The team made it to a preliminary final, although they were unfortunately knocked out by the Volleyball Institute of Performance.
The Women’s Reserves 3 team were also solid playing in the same league but were knocked out in the semi-final by the second team itself. The Womens 1 team had a great season, making it to the finals before losing in the elimination final to the International Volleyball Club. Meanwhile, the club’s Women’s Reserves 4 team started the season 0-4 but developed terrifically throughout the campaign to finish with a 7-7 record.
Shavir Nand, a volleyballer from La Trobe’s Men’s Reserves 1 team, spoke about how tight knit the volleyball club at La Trobe is.
“A lot of people love us at La Trobe because we have a really nice culture, we have great people around us, and it’s really fun to be at the club as well as being competitive in volleyball,” he explained.
The La Trobe University Netball Club were also very solid throughout the year. La Trobe 1 finished first during the regular season, but unfortunately fell short in the Grand Final in a 28-31 loss against Diamond Creek.
La Trobe 2 also had a strong regular season finish, coming in at second place, before losing in a preliminary final 20-24 to Kilmore. La Trobe 3 were also decent throughout the year, finishing fourth out of eight teams in Section 11.
The La Trobe University Baseball Club’s B Grade and EE Grade teams both had solid seasons. The B Grade team finished fifth on the ladder before being knocked out in round one of finals, while the EE Grade team finished very well by claiming third spot, before also being eliminated in round one of finals.
It was a successful year for the La Trobe University Soccer Club as they navigated the through shift from a pandemic disrupted past few years. There was great growth for the women’s teams, increasing from three teams to four and being promoted to play in State League 1 (WSL1), the first time ever for the club.
The growth of the club was a priority and will continue to be in the near future as it grows its junior ranks by accommodating for an Under 7’s team in 2023, along with plans to add another team next year as well. The culture of LUSC has become even stronger in the past year, as they continue to play great soccer and accomplish amazing things.
The La Trobe Badminton Club also had a brilliant year, achieving some impressive results in their graded events. This year, their members became champions in A Grade Mixed Doubles, A Grade Women’s Doubles, E Grade Mixed Doubles, E Grade Women’s Doubles, and E Grade Women’s Singles events. They also had members finish as the runner up in D Grade Women’s Doubles and E Grade Mixed Doubles events.
La Trobe University Elite Athlete Program (LEAP) member Marcus Kong also participated in the 2022 Yonex Australian National Individual Championships, as well as the 2022 Yonex Sydney International and the 2022 Yonex Bendigo International. Other members also competed in the Veteran Tournaments which were held all around Regional Victoria.
La Trobe University’s affiliated sports clubs are proudly supported by Polaris 3083, the inner-north's largest master-planned precinct. For more information on Polaris 3083, its special discount offers for La Trobe affiliated club members and how it supports Team La Trobe and La Trobe’s affiliated sports clubs, head to the La Trobe Sport website.