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October 7, 2011
University athletes behave like 'school leavers'

Silverton Apartments are now faced with a hefty damages bill after student athletes damaged their rooms. (Photo by Silverton Aparments)
by Dominick Czakilew, AIPS/FISU Young Reporter (Australia)

GOLD COAST, QUEENSLAND, October 7, 2011- Police have classed this year’s Australian University Games celebrations at the Gold Coast in Queensland as an event similar to schoolies. (school leaver celebrations at the end of final high school examinations).

An average of ten athletes were arrested each night during the five - day event for violent and drunken behaviour at organised parties after competition.

Sergeant R. Murdoch, from Queensland Police, says a number of serious assaults took place during the games.

The most horrific offence involved a female athlete who was king-hit by a male in the face, causing her to lose consciousness and to stop breathing.

“Police and ambulance were called to the scene to help her,” Sergeant Murdoch says.

‘Trashed Accommodation’

Accommodation providers were also left with damage bills to pay after students had trashed apartment rooms and left without notifying premises managers of the damage.

Shane Aberoi, from Silverton-Apartments, says rooms were left with holes punched into walls and items being broken.

“Some things, appear to have been purposely put back together, to look as if they weren’t broken,” Mr Aberoi said.

Silverton Apartments are now faced with a damage bill totalling 1000 dollars which neither event organisers nor team managers will cover.

“At this stage we are not interested in hosting any Uni-Game teams again, team managers were just not honest with us,“ he says.

‘Rapid intoxication is the cause’

Police blame rapid intoxication for this destructive and violent behaviour, which is caused through excessive drinking before athletes reach the licensed premises.

“At the venue, they continue to drink even though the full effects of the intoxication have not come apparent yet. That’s when they lose control,” Sergeant Murdoch says.

However both, Police and accommodation providers, note the majority of athletes were well behaved and say it’s a case of the minorities behaviour reflecting upon everyone else’s.

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