© Len Kenna and Crystal Jordan 2017

The first match of Men’s Inter-Varsity Hockey was played at the Melbourne University Oval in 1909. The hockey team from Sydney University competed against Melbourne University with Melbourne being the victors. Hockey Teams from Universities in Brisbane Queensland, Adelaide South Australia, Perth Western Australia and Hobart Tasmania later joined the Inter-Varsity Competitions.

Syme Cup

The Syme Cup was donated by George Adlington Syme, the President of Melbourne University Hockey Club and was first presented to the Melbourne University Hockey Team in 1925.

Sikhs and Indians were well represented in the University Hockey Teams in Australia, some were from Malaya and Singapore.  W. Kamaruddin, Abdul Karim, L. Kulasingham, Path Malinga, Badhesha Jugdev Singh, R. Narinder Singh, Jagir Singh, Thanwant Singh and H. S. Sidhu, Adelaide University. Inder Singh (centre forward), Santokh Singh (centre half), Perth University. Inder and Santokh were described in the Advertiser Adelaide Newspaper in 1954 as “the two tall Sikhs” and were reported as the best players on the ground.  Abdul Karim starred in May 1951 when he scored his winning teams’s two goals.[1] In June 1954 when the Combined Australian Inter-Varsity Team with Sikh players Inder, Jagir and Narinder Singh defeated the South Australian Colts with one Sikh player, S. Singh, at Adelaide University Oval; Ray Rankin said, “For years the question had been asked how a team with all players playing the Indian type of game would fare against the Australian style and today it was beyond doubt,” and “Inder and Jagir Singh cut hole through the South Australian defence and no defence could have held them and they were ably backed by a fast, hard tackling back line with Narinder Singh who played an outstanding game.”[2]

Jagdev Singh is Dr Badhesha Jagdev Singh MBBS (Adel) DPH, DIH, CAvMed, MFOM (UK), MCGP (Mal), DR of Tech (Hon), FFOM (Aust) St Mark’s College: 1952-56 was awarded an Alumni Fellow of the University of Adelaide in 2013.[3]

The Age Melbourne Vic. July 1954

The Age Melbourne August 1953

Inter Varsity Hockey 1952 Back: D.Gulland, J.Claridge(?), L.J.McPheat, R.Rowe, G.R.Melvin. Middle: N.Meaney, N.Singh, M.Meaney, A.J.Tracey, R.M.Clark, B.H.Jeanes, B.J.Singh. Front: B.D.Ellis (vice capt), A.Karim, J.F.Nation (mngr-coach), J.W.Smith (capt), I.F.Gulland. Held in WA, won by Adelaide. Courtesy of Adelaide University

Adelaide University Hockey Team Inter Varsity 1955 – Source: Adelaide Uni Back row: L.Coats, J.H.Beare, M.B.Weir, P.E.Brummitt, G.M.Chambers, C.J.Wilson, I.F.Gulland. Front row: J.W.M.Yuen, D.L.Gulland, N.K.Meaney, Narinder Singh, D.J.Mercer, L.Kulasingham. Hobart 1956

S.A. Hockey Association Colts team, taken in 1954. Back row, left to right: A. Cock, D. Homes, D. Earl, F. Errington, E. Sherlock, D. Sheffield, Pathmalingham, J. Beasley. Middle row, left to right: J. Venn, G. Ballantyne (Coach), R. Clark (Captain), W. Letcher (Manager), Jagir Singh (Vice Captain), P. Heyen. Front row, left to right: G. Moss, R. Dunk, R. Bishop, J. Ransom. Courtesy of State Library S.A.


[1]Still on top in Hockey.  The Mail Ade. SA. Sat 26 May 1951, p. 5.
Varsity Side Gives a Hockey Lesson. Ray Rankin. The Mail Adelaide SA Jun. 1954, p. 41.
[3] St Mark’s College News, Issue November 2016.



©Len Kenna & Crystal Jordan 2017