Winter is coming, and so is Olympian Brodie Summers

Winter Olympian and current Monash University Student Brodie Summers is one of Australia’s finest skiers. Hailing from Perth, Brodie is a real medal chance for the upcoming 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in the moguls discipline.
I know what you’re thinking, yes, mogul skiing is as gruelling as it looks, and no, I have no idea how Brodie still has functioning knees. However, despite being a physically taxing sport, you can feel the passion and the desire burning inside Brodie.
Brodie tearing up the moguls. photo: brodiesummers Instagram
Nevertheless, when talking to Brodie, through that passion and will to push himself to new limits, there is also another side of Brodie. He is a genuinely good bloke. There are few people as humble and down the earth as the Australian athlete.
To say he’s ‘one of the nice guys’ does not acknowledge the extremely tight-knit and respectful community which is mogul skiing. Brodie could not have spoken more highly of those within the sport.
From the world number 1 Mikael Kingsbury, who he has likened to the dominating force of Tiger Woods or Usain Bolt, to each and every athlete who competes in the moguls, there is an underlying respect for one another.
In addition, the comradery within the Australian mogul team is unparalleled. Brodie’s team mates, Matt Graham and Britt Cox, are his second family, who he spends a lot of the year with.
“It’s a very tough sport, and we all know what it’s like to be away from home for so long, so it really helps to have such great people around me. I look forward to travelling, training and competing with Britt and Matty.”


Catching some air with an amazing background seems like a normal day for Brodie Summers. Photo: brodiesummers Instagram
However, despite his love of travel, Brodie professed that leaving behind his terrier cross miniature poodle is one of, if not, the hardest thing he does every time he leaves.
Upon his return from training or competition, Brodie’s routine religiously consists of “getting breakfast and taking a very happy pup to the beach.”
Brodie’s genuine and passionate character is exemplified in his skiing. His desire to push himself to the limit and improve, regardless of the obstacles, has left him in good stead for the Olympics.
After missing the entire 2014/15 season due to a back injury, Brodie has gone from strength to strength since his recovery. Despite being admittedly hesitant when he returned to the competition, Brodie was able to regain his confidence in the 2016/17 season just passed.
Brodie solidified his good form by taking home the silver medal in the 2017 World Cup event in Thaiwoo Park, China. The performance proved, to not only Brodie but to the rest of the competition, that Brodie Summers is a real threat.

Brodie on the Podium after winning silver at the 2017 World Cup event in Thaiwoo park, China. Photo: brodiesummers Instagram
“On my day, I know I can match it with the best.”
Brodie’s grit and determination will prove to be his greatest asset as he looks to leave nothing to chance in his preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics. He is poised to have his best season yet and it couldn’t have come at a better time with the 2018 Winter Olympics drawing ever closer.
Whilst competing at the highest level, Brodie is also completing a Bachelor of Business Specialist (Banking and Finance) at Monash University. Brodie emphasised the value of university, and discovered his interest in banking and finance through his course and internships.
“I wanted to continue with higher education because I know the importance of life after sport.”
Monash University is proud to support and facilitate Brodie’s learning.
We at Monash University wish Brodie all the best heading into the Winter Olympics.

Elite Monash Player Profile – Stefan Uzelac

The Men's 2016 Australian University Games basketball posing for a team photo.
Current Monash University mechanical engineering and biomedical student Stefan Uzelac is seen as one of the best university basketball players in Australia. He currently plies his trade with the Sandringham Sabres who play in the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL). Only Australia’s premier basketball league, the National Basketball League, is considered better than the SEABL.

Stefan’s commitments with the Sabres and finishing his degree means that the semesters can become busy.

“It gets pretty full on, especially during semester one when the bulk of the season is played. So basically the two are my life for the best part of the year.”

Stefan dribbling the ball for the Sandrimgham Sabre's.
Stefan was part of the Monash Men’s Basketball team which competed at the 2016 Australian University Games (AUG) in Perth. He was integral to Monash’s medal push at the Games.

Stefan’s talents were on display as the Monash team took the group stage by storm finishing on top of the ladder. Stefan asserted that they played really well throughout the tournament.

However, a tough semi-final against the University of Western Australia saw the team fall short by a few points. The team looked to bounce back after an agonising loss, however, the loss to UWA was still being felt by Monash.

“I think we played our worst game fighting for bronze, felt a little disheartened from the loss in the semi’s earlier that day.”

Unfortunately, Monash narrowly missed out on the bronze medal.

Stefan’s experience playing in the SEABL proved invaluable for the Monash basketball team. He was rewarded for his excellent tournament with a Green & Gold medal, which is awarded to the best Basketball players at the Games.

Whilst the tournament did not end with the planned outcome, the week was still one to remember.

Stefan is appearing to fly towards the basket,
playing for the Sabre's.
“I really enjoyed it! The standard of play was quite good this year and venues were awesome.”

“Being able to meet all of the other student-athletes was definitely a great experience too.”

Stefan will be one of several basketball players who will have graduated before AUG17. Despite the loss of players, Stefan is confident that the younger guys will step up and take responsibility for the team.

With the 2017 Australian University Games drawing ever closer, Stefan peered into the future to give his prediction.

“I honestly don’t have a clue,” he joked, “but you never know what can happen. A big part of why we were relatively good as a team last year was because we worked out how to play together and win games.”

Whilst it will naturally be difficult to replace a talent like Stefan, having a team which knows how to win will hold them in good stead for AUG17.

As for Stefan’s Sabres, they have an exciting team this season. His plan is to stay focused, push for a play-offs spot and go from there.

We wish Stefan all the best with the remainder of his studies this semester, and the season ahead with the Sabres.

T20 Cricket - Varsity Challenge

The Monash University Cricket team posing for a team photo before they take on The University of Melbourne in the 2017 T20 Varsity Challenge cricket game.
Monash University and The University of Melbourne played off in the highly anticipated T20 cricket match as part of the 2017 Varsity challenge.

Having won the toss, Monash decided to bat first and put on a classy display.

Monash’s Captain and current Arts student Sachin Varadarajan starred with the bat, hitting the Melbourne bowlers all over the park, including four big sixes, en route to scoring 66 runs.

Varadarajan gave an insight into his thought process while at the crease.

Victorious Monash captain Varadarajan
collecting the Varsity Challenge trophy.
“The other opener and the number 3, James Wiseman, and Jarrod Munday respectively, I had great partnerships with both of them. And the majority of what we were saying together was get a boundary an over, limit risks and get the team close to 150 if possible."

"As soon as Jarrod came to the crease, he started hitting boundaries regularly, so the pressure was equally distributed, he played brilliantly. We both just tried to limit risks and push the pace of the game to where we were happy it being, and then maintain that.”

Monash built their innings around Varadarajan, with Jarrod Munday scoring an impressive 39. James Wiseman and Rupert O’Toole chipped in with handy scores of 16 and 18 respectively, and bringing the innings home was Adi Narayana and Hayden Rayner, both scoring 10.

Varadarajan reflected on the batting performance of his team.

“We dominated right through. We set a massive total through mainly the top order, lots of boundaries and hard running.”

Monash were unrelenting on their way to an impressive 4/180 off their 20 overs.
After a superb effort with the bat, and an imposing total to work with, Monash put on a bowling clinic.

The Monash’s bowlers were hungry for wickets, Rishabh Nagpal lead the bowling with the figures of 3/25, taking two of the top four Melbourne batsmen. Nagpal combined with Luke Shimmin, who took 3/38, to terrorise the Melbourne batsmen.

In addition, Rayner, who took a wicket with the first ball of the innings, finished with a tidy 1/11. Thomas Leatham also chipped in taking 1/14. Varadarajan, showed that he is also handy with the ball, bowling a maiden from his one over.

Varadarajan praised the opening bowlers for getting on top of the Melbourne batsmen early.

“We bowled brilliantly, with a wicket with the first ball of our bowling innings and 3 wickets in the first 2 overs.”

The Monash University team during the
after match presentation.
Monash were able to put the game away early and wrapped up the game with several overs left.

Melbourne were bowled out for 115, with Yaksender the highlight of the Melbourne innings scoring 56.

Monash convincingly took out this year’s T20 cricket Varsity Challenge by 65 runs.

The victory combined with their bronze medal at the Australian University games in 2016, holds the team in good stead for 2017.

Well done to all involved for put on a great game to watch.

For more information about TeamMONASH and the Varsity Challenge visit:

Tom Lakic - Player Profile

Monash University Football Team celebrating with goalscorer Thomas Lakic after an exquisite goal at the 2016 Australian University Games. Final Score Mon 3 - UTS 2. Picture: Australian University Sports

Current Monash student Thomas Lakic was one of the key players for the Monash 2016 AUG Men’s Football team.

The talented midfielder was one of the driving forces behind the team’s success, bringing his skills and experience to a relatively new side.

Thomas currently plays for Box Hill United SC in the National Premier League 2 (Victoria-East), having previously been part of the Melbourne Victory youth system during 2015-16. His experience at the top level of Australian football proved invaluable as he showed his class game after game during the gruelling tournament.

Box Hill United's Tom Lakic on the ball,
in the National Premier League (Victoria)
The 2016 AUG Men’s Football team had its best finish in several years, achieving a hard fought silver medal.

The team fell cruelly short of a dream Gold medal, falling at the final hurdle to a strong University of Melbourne team who won the tournament.

Thomas reflected on his time at the recent tournament.

The week for me was an absolute blast, and was definitely something I had never really experienced before. Playing 10 games in 5 days was intense but also so rewarding.”

“The week away brings together a team like nothing else really can, we became a tight nit group both on and off the field. The fact we achieved a silver medal was even better, hopefully we can go one better in 2017.”

His outstanding tournament also saw him receive a Green & Gold medal as one of the best player in the tournament.

 Personally the Green & Gold medal meant a lot as I felt I gave everything I could for the team and being rewarded with the medal was an exciting end to it.”

“However as a team I thought we had a great week and each and every one of us contributed so much in so many ways. In truth I really couldn't have done it without them or Chris our coach either.”
Tom Lakic plying his trade
with Melbourne Victory

Thomas will be part of Football team which will compete at the 2017 Australian University Games in Gold Coast and he outlined what excites him the most about going forward

Obviously the attraction to success is something that drives me to continue to put my hand up and represent Monash. We will definitely push for the Gold this year!”

“The opportunity to potentially represent Monash on an international scale would be amazing and the bond with the boys is like nothing else.  I'm sure we will achieve great things both nationally and internationally given the chance.”

Monash University provides an excellent opportunity to play against the best of the best.

For More information visit:

Monash students forging a path in new AFL Women’s competition

Monash University will be well represented in the inaugural AFL Women’s league with six current students or alumni playing in the new competition. The competition represents the first opportunity for women to play the sport of Australian Rules Football professionally.  

Current PhD student and alumna Kate Gillespie-Jones was selected with the 14th pick in the recent national draft and will represent Carlton when the league kicks off this Friday night.

Gillespie-Jones has been playing senior football for five years for the Seaford Tigerettes after falling in love with the sport when she was young.

“It's pretty exciting that there's going to be a national competition and it was pretty exciting getting picked for Carlton because I was really hoping to go there,” said Gillespie-Jones.

“I was happy to get picked really high up, but it was really nerve-racking on the day to see some of my friends waiting to get picked that got picked a little further down, so my nerves didn't really go away until the end of the draft.”

Bachelor of Arts student Pepa Randall was selected by the Melbourne Demons with pick number 121 after just two years playing women’s AFL.

Randall said that while getting to play alongside stars like Daisy Pearce and Mel Hickey was a great opportunity, it is the level of coaching that has been the best part of the experience so far.

“What's been most amazing has been the quality of coaches that we've had. That's been a huge difference and it’s really helpful.

“It's a way of going about things that most of us have never experienced before and it's awesome.”

Randall converted to playing women’s AFL from her athletics background and found immediate success. She was selected to play for the Western Bulldogs in 2015 after just over a year in the sport and encourages others who are playing different sports to give footy a go.

“Athletics gave me a really good background and has been a huge asset for me in footy. Obviously the AFL is pulling a lot of girls from different sports and I would encourage all girls to try out.

“I think it's especially good for girls who maybe aren't super passionate about the sport they're playing. Most people say it's like no other sport they've ever played, it's very different and there's a really great community.”

While playing AFL isn’t the typical job for a university student, both are excited to be part of the first ever professional AFL Women’s league.

“It still feels a little bit unbelievable. I didn't really think we'd ever have this opportunity especially when at 14 I was told I wasn't allowed to play anymore because girls couldn't play with boys,” said Gillespie-Jones.

Randall said that having a pathway to play professionally will encourage young girls to stay with the sport.

“Most girls kick the footy around when they were younger and didn't get the chance to keep going with it. With footy it was always just a hobby if you were a girl, something you did maybe with your brother, or whatever.

“But if they have a way to actually see that they could be professional footballers I think it would be really good in pushing those girls to pursue the sport all the way through high school to the senior level.”

Kate Gillespie-Jones will be in action in the opening match of the competition when Carlton face Collingwood on Friday February 3 and Pepa Randall will debut for Melbourne when they take on the Brisbane Lions on Sunday February 5. All games will be nationally televised, check your local guides for broadcast information.

Chinese Taipei National University Women’s Basketball Camp

For the past week and a half Monash University proudly hosted the Chinese Taipei National University Women’s Basketball Camp on its Clayton Campus. The camp consisted of a rigorous training program in addition to playing against local association clubs.

The highlight of their camp was the showdown against the Monash University All-Stars team on the 23rd January. The much anticipated game did not disappoint as the Chinese Taipei girl put on an unbelievable 3-point shooting display. Despite the Monash All-Stars’ best efforts, the Chinese Taipei team were unrelenting and ran away with a 91-50 win. Their efforts during the camp clearly paid dividends with such a dominant performance as they led from beginning to end.

After the conclusion of the match, Monash hosted a function where the CEO of Australian University Sports (AUS) Don Knapp and TeamMONASH Director Martin Doulton thanked the teams for playing a basketball match of the highest order in such hot conditions and applauded Monash for organising such a great event.

In conjunction with AUS, Monash University was pleased to assist the newly formed partnership between AUS and the Chinese Taipei University Sports Federation. With the World Summer University Games to be held in Taipei later this year, AUS and the Chinese Taipei University Sports Federation formed an agreement to further the cultural exchange between the two in the lead up to the games. As such, the Chinese Taipei team were given the opportunity to use Monash University’s great facilities and sporting programs.
Monash University hopes the relationship with the Chinese Taipei University Sports Federation will allow for further opportunities for students to experience the cultural and sporting diversity on offer.


Goolagong National Development Camp 2017

This week Monash University is again hosting the Goolagong National Development camp for the 7th year running, aiding the Evonne Goolagong Foundation to provide opportunities for young indigenous tennis players.
The Clayton Campus is delighted to have the incredibly talented tennis players using our facilities, under the tutelage of the great Evonne Goolagong.  The partnership with Monash University is not only designed to improve their athletic ability but to identify a pathway to tertiary education and support the students through their education. 
The tennis camp is the culmination of a yearlong process encouraging active participation in sport, promoting a healthy lifestyle and most importantly providing an avenue within the education system to achieve success off the court.  Whilst their athletic ability is naturally taken into consideration, the defining criteria for the camp is personal development and academic participation.  To succeed in the program you must “Dream – Believe – Learn – Achieve,” and for the participants to be “willing to improve themselves given half a chance,” in every facet of their life.
 One such athlete is Jesse who has used the development camp to change his life for the better.  Jesse reflected on his years attending the camp stating “that it has been an amazing experience,” teaching you to “change yourself as a person, rather than just improving on the court.” The program also helped him progress through the education system, giving him the tools to improve his grades. As a result, Jesse has started university in Australia and plans to ply his trade as a talented tennis player in America through the college system. 
Roger Cawley thanked TeamMONASH for the positive impact the camp has on the 28 kids who are selected to participate in the camp but also the many hundreds of kids who attend the ‘come and try days’.  Parents had been noting that their kids’ behaviour and attitude were positively influence by what they had learnt. The program is setting up kids for success, regardless of whether they are selected to attend the Goolagong Development camp at Monash University Clayton Campus.

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