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The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review, June 1929

[Discussion of athletes trip to sydney]

On the 24th May, 1929, a team of athletes representative of the N.Z.U. left by the Marama for Sydney. It was a small band with a most important mission: the inception of athletic contests, similar to football, between the New Zealand and Australian Universities.

Before giving a detailed account, it is interesting to know the history leading up to this departure.

In 1926-7 V.U.C. was fortunate in having an ex-Olympic representative of Great Britain as honorary coach. Two N.Z.U. records, the mile and high jump, stand as monuments

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to his capabilities in this capacity. Mr. E. V. Dunbar was transferred, however, to a higher post in Sydney, and his fertile brain conceived the idea of inter-colonial contests. It took him a long time to interest Sydney, but success at last came, and Sydney issued an invitation to V.U.C.A.A.C. to send a team. As some of the star performers had either retired, married or were injured, the full strength of our team was so weakened as to necessitate communicating with other colleges. Only one had the courtesy to reply early—in February. The others were interviewed at Tournament and were keen. V.U.C.A.A.C. offered the control to N.U.S., thinking it would be but too pleased to show its worth. The offer was rejected on the plea of lack of time. V.U.C. went ahead with negotiations, definitely committing itself to see the trip through. Negotiations with the other colleges for equal financial support brought the knowledge that contributions would be forthcoming only if the N.U.S. was in control. One of its members, a very southern one, adopted a most unfortunate, and, in the face of V.U.C.'s hard toil of the last two years, a most ridiculous attitude. Fortunately it was quite unofficial, but he should have had more sense than to let it get in the, Press and tend to create a prejudice against the N.U.S. itself. Its other members, however, appreciated V.U.C.'s attitude and supported it. V.U.C. did the work on the understanding that N.U.S. looked after the finance, and we were a special committee- and thus after much useless correspondence came back to V.U.C.A.A.C.'s first offer, and all was well.

V.U.C. may feel proud of the fact that a contest of such importance had its origin in the work of some of its members and supporters. It is only fair to mention Mr. Dunbar's and Mr. McCormick's names in this connection.

An account of the trip, by one of the V.U.C. members, is here given.