Summer Universiade

kiah cropped
Denny cropped
Jenneke cropped

Australia at the 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan

Over 180 Australian student athletes and future sporting stars are expected to wear the green and gold for Australia at the 29th Summer Universiade to taking place in Taipei, Taiwan, the largest ever Australian team to compete at the World University Games.

The 2017 Australian Uniroos team includes Commonwealth Games swimming gold medallists Leiston Pickett and Ben Treffers, Olympians Michelle Jenneke (100m hurdles), Brittany O’Brien (Diving), Heming Hu (table tennis), as well as two-time World University Games bronze medallist Kiah Melverton (swimming).

The 2017 Australian Uniroos will feature a strong men’s gymnastics team led by Michael Merceica. In the basketball, the Emerging Boomers and the Emerging Opals, are full of young guns as they take this important step in developing on the world stage, while the men’s and women’s water polo teams and men’s volleyball team get set to take a big step in their sporting careers at the Games.

Heading the Australian Uniroos in 2017 is Sydney Olympian Liz Brett who will lead the team as the Chef de Mission after relishing in the role two years ago in Gwangju. Using her wealth of experience having also been a member of team management in Kazan and Russia, Brett will be accompanied by experienced senior sports administrators Kitty Chiller and Deidre Anderson.

Chiller, a former student athlete at the University of Melbourne, competed at the Sydney Olympics in the modern pentathlon will be an official ambassador for the team supporting athletes and officials. Chiller is a well-respected leader and most notably known as Chef de Mission for the Australian team at the Rio Olympic Games.

The team will also be aided by the services of the president and chair of Australian University Sport, Deidre Anderson, who has been confirmed as the Australian University Sport delegate to the FISU General Assembly.

Australia at Taipei 2017 - Sports

Artistic Gymnastics
Rhythmic Gymnastics
Table Tennis
Water Polo

What is the Summer Universiade?

2011 opening ceremony
2013 swim team

The Summer Universiade (also known as the World University Games) is the world's second largest international athletic event, double the size of the Winter Olympics and bigger than the Commonwealth Games.

The word ‘universiade’ comes from the words, university and Olympiad and means Olympic Games for students.

Staged every two years under the governance of the International University Sports Federation (FISU). FISU’s aim for the Universiade is to promote international peace and cultural exchange among young people through sport.

Numerous Olympic athletes have participated in Universiades and the events share much in common – the communal village, a mascot, sporting conferences and cultural festivals that take place while the games are in progress. The protocol systems for the Olympics and Universiades are similar and both events share an Opening and Closing Ceremony.

The Universiade features more than 20,000 athletes from 170 countries and for many the University Games are a crucial stepping stone for emerging young stars striving for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games or the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

To be eligible to participate in the Universiade, athletes should be undergraduate or graduate students between the ages of 17 and 28 (basketball is under 24) or have graduated in the year immediately preceding the year of the event.

Australia at the Summer Universiade - History

Catherine Skinner
Brooke Hanson
Steve hooker

Australia first competed at a Summer Universiade in Tokyo, Japan in 1967 and has been involved all but one event since. During that time, Australian athletes have amassed a total of 159 medals (45 gold, 44 silver and 70 bronze).

See the full list of Summer Universiade medallists here.

See Australia's performance at the Summer Universiade including team sizes and flagbearers here.

At the last edition in Gwangju, South Korea, the Uniroos won a record-breaking 19 medals that included four gold, three silver and twelve bronze medals.

Trap shooter and 2013 World University Games champion Catherine Skinner led the Uniroos into the opening ceremony two years ago and then went on to win two bronze, first in the individual trap event where she came close to defending her title, and then as the leader of the women’s team. In 2016, Skinner won Olympic gold in Rio in the women’s trap.

In Gwangju, race walker Dane Bird-Smith battled through rainy conditions to win gold in the 20km event before winning a bronze medal at his maiden Olympic Games in Rio.

Elsewhere in Rio, 2015 Uniroo Anabelle Smith competed alongside student-athlete Maddison Keeney in synchronised diving and took home a bronze medal.

Read a final wrap from the Uniroos’ performance in 2015 here.

Over the years International university sport has witnessed the emergence of a huge number of Australian world championship, Commonwealth Games and Olympic champions including Cate Campbell (swimming), Steve Hooker (athletics), Brooke Hanson (swimming), Steve Moneghetti (athletics), Ralph Doubell (athletics), Jon Sieben (swimming) and Michelle Timms (basketball).


  • AIS
  • AUS
  • Kukri