Liz Brett to lead Uniroos with 150 days to Taipei

Liz Brett will be concentrating on encouraging development and personal bests at the 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei after she was re-appointed as the Australian Uniroos chef de mission.

Having played sport at the highest level whilst pursuing tertiary education and representing Australia in volleyball at the Sydney Olympics she is a natural choice to support the student-athletes going to Taipei.

 “I’m very excited, this is my third University Games,” Brett explained.

“Korea was a very successful outing, we were very privileged to have a number of Olympic and world championship athletes joining us.

“It was the most number of medals we’ve won, but in terms of the effort from all of our fantastic student-athletes, it was absolutely second to none.

“I also must commend the increase in support we’re receiving from the national sporting organisations across Australia because they recognise this is such an important competition for their elite athletes.”

The 29th Summer Universiade (Olympic Games for students) will be held from August 19 to 30 and features 21 sports with 12,000 athletes and officials from 140 countries – Australian University Sport will confirm a team once the qualification periods have ended.

In total, there will be 79 venues (38 competition venues and 41 training venues) required with the opening and closing ceremony to be held at the Taipei Stadium.

“It’s a wonderful experience for those student-athletes just on the cusp of being world-class, the Summer Universiade is second only to the Olympic Games and is a true multi-sport event,” Brett added.

“It’s significantly different to a world championships for those who have aspirations of going to the Olympics this competition is critical to give them that multi-sport experience because the distractions and pressure is very different.”

Student-athletes were responsible for 61 per cent of the total medals won by Australians across 10 sports at the Rio Olympics - representing the majority of medallists.

It was one of the most successful Olympics for student-athletes in recent history, only outdone by London 2012 in which 63 per cent of the medals distributed were won by student-athletes.

Of the 42 student-athlete medallists, seven were former Australian Uniroos, and three competed most recently in the 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade – including flag-bearer Catherine Skinner, Dane Bird-Smith and Anabelle Smith.

“We’re always our own harshest critics and put the most pressure on ourselves, certainly we’ll be hoping for another step up again,” Brett said.

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