"WHAT a funky lane," an athlete from Bond University on the Gold Coast said as he wandered into Eggins Lane in Lismore towards where bacon was sizzling on a barbecue in the cold air of early Wednesday morning.
Eggins Lane really is funky with the graffiti wall art of its Back Alley Gallery. And it's the perfect spot to set up a free breakfast for the local and visiting young athletes of the Northern University Games.
More than 1100 athletes from universities and TAFE institutions are competing in the games which started on Monday and run through till Thursday.
With 13 sports being played (including basketball, baseball, soccer, golf, touch, tennis, water polo, rugby sevens, and surfing) and utilising many of Lismore's sporting fields and facilities (the surfing competition is being held at Lennox Head), this is a huge event.
"There are 1000 athletes visiting Lismore from universities in Queensland and Northern NSW, plus their support crews," Australian University Sport event coordinator Matthew Barlow told The Echo.
"We've booked just about every bed in Lismore and three motels in Ballina."
The Lismore Lions Club and Summerland Early Intervention provided the free breakfast which was organised by Lismore City Council.
"Lismore was chosen for the games this year because of the support of the Lismore City Council with events like this breakfast," Mr Barlow said.
"It gives the athletes a chance to get down into the CBD and see what makes Lismore different to other regional towns."
The last time Lismore hosted the annual Northern University Games was in 1995.