Triumph in the sunshine: RMIT Redbacks Bite Back at the 2023 UniSport Nationals

Triumph in the sunshine: RMIT Redbacks Bite Back at the 2023 UniSport Nationals

Our mighty team of RMIT Redbacks student-athletes ascended on the Gold Coast (Kombumerri) to battle it out for glory at the 2023 UniSport Nationals, 24-30 September.

The 2023 UniSport Nationals on the Gold Coast were nothing short of spectacular for the RMIT Redbacks.

Over the course of seven action-packed days, our 15 representative sport teams descended upon the 32-sporting battleground to go head-to-head with 41 universities from across Australia.

With unwavering pride and determination, our Redbacks proved their mettle, securing a treasure trove of medals and etching their names into the annals of university sports history.


Congratulations to our Redbacks who showcased their extraordinary talents at this years' UniSport Nationals.

Medal Highlights

🥉 Men's Beach Volleyball - Bronze
🥇 Tenpin Bowling - Gold (Cooper Hillyer, Cooper Hillyer & Kailani Hillyer, Team Gold)
🥈 Badminton Men's - Silver
🥈 Lacrosse Mixed - Silver
🥉 Men's Basketball - Bronze
🏆 Cycling - Overall Men's Pennant (Medals in all events except one bronze)
🥇 Taekwondo - 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze
🥇 Ultimate Frisbee Mixed - Gold (Division 2)
🥇 Fencing - Gold - Individual Mens Sabre (Tim Davis), Individual Men's Novice Foil (Kelvin Young) - 8 bronze medals (Tim Davis, Kelvin Young, Alister Hill, Dennis Wu)

Redbacks Pod now on Spotify

Check out the daily updates and pre-tournament interviews from the beaches and playing fields of the Gold Coast from throughout the competition via the all-new place for RMIT student athlete voice and insight, the Redbacks Pod.

UniNationals Daily Recaps

Be sure to listen to the Redbacks Pod for daily recaps and highlights from the Gold Coast.

Crowd of students celebrating at a sporting event. The 2023 UniSport Nationals took place between 24-30 September.

UniSport Nationals recap

134 RMIT student athletes represented the university across 15 sports teams, accompanied by 23 supporting staff including chief sport staff, coaches, media and medical experts.

With 42 other universities and tertiary institutions represented the competition was fierce.

Steph Calabrese, a third-year business student, Captain of the Redbacks and team manager of the mixed Netball team lead the entire Redbacks contingent for the first time. 

It's a privilege to be able to represent RMIT at Nationals.

- Steph Calabrese

The Redbacks delivered some spellbinding results including from our champion cycling men's team that continued their reign, securing the coveted pennant for the second year in a row. 

The RMIT Tenpin team delivered a stellar performance, missing out on the overall pennant by a whisker.

However, they managed to claim every gold medal possible in their respective events, a notable highlight was Cooper Hillyer, an Australian-level athlete, who shattered records by achieving the highest individual game score of 290 in his debut appearance for RMIT setting a UniNationals record.

In other notable results, the fencing team had the strongest representative in Redbacks history with three gold medals and eight bronzes led by inspirational team manager Tim Davis who claimed the lion's share of silverware for the tournament.

The mixed Lacrosse team brought home silver, narrowly missing out on a second consecutive gold medal by the slimmest of margins.

The men's badminton secured a well-deserved silver meanwhile taekwondo, ultimate frisbee and men’s basketball left the tournament with excellent results in performances will be remembered for years to come.

Ultimate frisbess player Nicholas Noordzy was thrilled with how the week went.

"The whole week was great, the RMIT Redbacks bonding together at team functions, and supporting each other during games just added so much to the enjoyment of the experience.”

Story: Thomas Colasante and Michael Serpell
Images: Ethan Cunningham, Sofia Ruggiero

04 October 2023


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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.