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University of Canterbury wins 2023 Tertiary Championship, secures historic shield

25 September 2023

In a historic win, the University of Canterbury team emerged as victors of the 2023 National Tertiary Championship Series, marking a milestone in Aotearoa New Zealand tertiary sport.


The 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 is an annual sporting event that sees the best university teams in the country battling it out for national supremacy between April and September each year. Consisting of 17 days of competition across eight sports, including 3x3 Basketball, 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. This award acknowledges the University’s commitment to excelling in sport but also promoting the values of teamwork, camaraderie, and sportsmanship among its students. This accolade cements the University of Canterbury’s status as a powerhouse in both sport and sporting spirit, as it is the first university to capture both titles in a single year.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey shard her immense pride in the UC athletes, coaches, and supporters.

“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.”

About the Shield

In 2023, the overall University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand (UTSNZ) National Tertiary Championship Shield – “The Shield” as it is colloquially known – celebrates its 100th year.

Winning the National Tertiary Championship Series in 2023 sees the University of Canterbury awarded the Shield for the 15th time in its 100-year-old history, the last time being in 2007.

Unveiled in 1923, the Shield’s first winner was the University of Otago. Otago has gone on to hold the Shield aloft 36 times, more than any other university in New Zealand.

Up until 2022, the University of Auckland has won the Shield 20 times, the University of Canterbury 14 and ten titles for Victoria University of Wellington. The University of Waikato and Massey University have won it three and two respectively and AUT once.

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