University of Canterbury Triumphs in 2023 National Tertiary Championship Series, Secures Historic Shield

University of Canterbury Triumphs in 2023 National Tertiary Championship Series, Secures Historic Shield

In a historic triumph, the University of Canterbury has emerged as the victors of the 2023 National Tertiary Championship Series, marking a milestone in New Zealand tertiary sport. This resounding victory not only clinched them the coveted championship series title but also secured the prestigious 100-year-old Shield, a symbol of sporting excellence and tradition, previously held by the University of Auckland. Remarkably, this win represents the first time the Shield has changed hands since the inception of the National Tertiary Championship Series in 2016.

The National Tertiary Championship Series, an annual sporting event that sees the best university teams in the country battling it out for national supremacy, unfolds between April and September each year. Consisting of 17 days of competition across eight sports including 3x3, Rowing, Badminton, Futsal, Ultimate, 5x5 Basketball, Volleyball and Netball, the Championship events are delivered by University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand in partnership with relevant New Zealand National Sporting Organisations.

In addition to claiming the 2023 National Tertiary Championship Series title and the centenary Shield, the University of Canterbury has also taken out the prestigious National Tertiary Spirit Champion award, as determined by participant vote across all UTSNZ National Tertiary Championships throughout the year. Spirit award criteria is based on three ‘Pou’ including Kotahitanga - the ability to create a sense of unity within the team and wider institution group, Manaakitanga - showing respect, care, and generosity towards others and Rangatiratanga - the exhibiting of strong personal and interpersonal leadership. This accolade acknowledges the university's commitment to not only excelling in sport but also promoting the values of teamwork, camaraderie, and sportsmanship among its students. This remarkable feat cements the University of Canterbury's status as a powerhouse in both sport and sportsmanship, as they become the first university to capture both titles in a single year.

Professor Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canterbury, expressed immense pride in the university's athletes, coaches, and supporters, stating, "This extraordinary achievement embodies the values of excellence, perseverance, and unity that define the University of Canterbury sports programme. We are not only champions on the field but also champions of the spirit of sport. This victory is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes and the entire university community."

The 2023 National Tertiary Championship Series has been a monumental journey for the University of Canterbury, marked by unforgettable moments and exceptional performances. Championship titles in the Netball, men’s 3x3, Futsal and Basketball, Runner’s Up in the Rowing and Badminton Championships and Bronze medals in Ultimate and women’s Futsal to secure the overall title. The victory also bittersweet given teams went tantalisingly close to ending the University of Auckland’s winning reign in 2022 securing four championship titles, but ultimately falling slightly short in the year-end rankings. However, this year, the University of Canterbury can finally celebrate this momentous win alongside its students, staff, faculty, alumni, and supporters.

Posted: Tue 26 Sep 2023