Western Bulldogs

VU Chancellor George Pappas at VU Whitten Oval

VU Chancellor Mr George Pappas

VU has expanded its longstanding partnership with the Western Bulldogs Football Club. The further development of this strategic partnership builds on our reputation as a leading sport university. It also brings together two icons of Melbourne’s west.

From 2014, VU is proud to be the major partner of the new Western Bulldogs VFL Team, Footscray Bulldogs which will see them play at Victoria University Whitten Oval.

On this page

Training and research

Bulldogs training at EEL

Pre-season altitude training at VU

The new arrangements build on the use of cutting-edge sports science, training, research and world-class facilities. VU’s internationally renowned sport scientists work side by side with the Bulldogs' coaching, medical and performance teams to develop players’ skills and fitness in a structured research program. Sport science research staff have been appointed to work specifically on Bulldogs research projects.

The partnership gives the Bulldogs a unique opportunity to tap into world class sports science and elite sport best practice at home in the west to give them a winning edge.

Our sports science expertise will further help to develop the young VFL players in an ethical, moral and responsible manner.

VU staff benefit from access to professional athletes to help inform their research in human movement and sport science – rated well above world standard by the Australian Research Council.

Workplace learning

VU massage student at Whitten Oval

Massage student at VU Whitten Oval

As a leading Australian sport university, VU works closely with elite sporting organisations including the Bulldogs to deliver industry focused education.

Students have the opportunity to take up placements with the Bulldogs in areas including biomechanics, exercise physiology, remedial massage and exercise rehabilitation, making VU sport graduates among the most in demand across the industry.

Students in other disciplines, such as business, administration, event management, marketing, tourism and hospitality also have the opportunity for work placements at the Bulldogs.

Find out more about sport and exercise science placements available to our students.

Community programs

Bulldogs Friendly Schools Program

Bulldogs Friendly Schools program

Both VU and the Bulldogs have a shared commitment to the development of the western region through collaborative community building programs.

Bulldogs Friendly Schools (BFS) program

VU pre-service teachers help to facilitate the BFS ‘Footy in Schools’ program in over 40 primary schools in the west. Primary students gain leadership and teamwork skills on the field they can apply to all aspects of their lives. At the same time, pre-service teachers benefit from valuable communication, leadership and coaching experience.

The Whitten Project

A regional collaboration across organisations in Melbourne’s west, The Whitten Project aims to develop civic leadership and young leaders’ confidence to contribute to their community and local council.

Fresh Program

Together VU and the Bulldogs have developed the Fresh program, a community education service for young people who have experienced difficulties with mainstream education. It offers them the opportunity to complete senior secondary equivalent qualifications in a flexible and supportive environment.

VU Achievement Scholarships

The Bulldogs were among the first supporters of the VU Achievement Scholarships and donate $1 for every club member towards the scholarships.

Western Bulldogs PhD scholarships

VU in collaboration with the Western Bulldogs Australian Football League club have announced two PhD scholarships commencing in early 2015. 

Each scholarship will explore one of the following topics:

  • "sleep, training and recovery"
  • "the physiology of heat training"
  • "development of athlete tracking and monitoring tools."

Bulldogs at VU

Mitch Wallis at Vu

Bulldog and VU student, Mitch Wallis

The Bulldogs encourage their players to be well-rounded individuals, prepared for a career after football. VU’s Elite Athlete program helps support players balance study with training and competition demands. A number of current and former Bulldogs players and staff are studying at Victoria University or are VU Alumni.

Find out how VU is preparing Bulldog's midfielder Mitch Wallis for a future after football.

Contact us

To find out more about the partnership contact Rachelle Bramley at rachelle.bramley@vu.edu.au.
Or visit the Western Bulldogs for more information about the club.