The Western Bulldogs and Victoria University have today announced an AFL first, with VU becoming the branded partner for the Bulldogs’ high performance team.
Led by VU alumni and Bulldogs’ Physical Performance Manager Dr Mathew Inness, the Club’s high performance team contains many who have graduated from the university, or are currently studying.
As of 2017, the team added two PHDs to its credentials with Dr Alice Sweeting and Dr Inness both submitting thesis to finalise doctorates exploring various aspects of athlete performance and data applications.
Dr Inness and his team is responsible for the overall physical performance of the players, which is achieved through strength and conditioning, sport science, and nutrition.
The program is further supported by Dr Sweeting, Dr Sam Robertson and five PHD candidate students through the VU Sport Science partnership.
“I am incredibly proud that the strong connection between Victoria University and the Western Bulldogs will be reinforced through this AFL first,” said Victoria University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Peter Dawkins (AO).
“Over the years, VU sports scientists and students have helped the Western Bulldogs hone their performance and supported the high performance team’s activities, and to have them formally identified on match day is a great acknowledgement of VU’s contribution to the Club.
“I am particularly proud that the team will be led by Dr Inness, who was awarded his PHD in 2017 and exemplifies the amazing pathways this partnership presents for our students.”
VU–Bulldogs long-term partnership
In October this year, the Bulldogs and VU announced a five-year extension to their partnership.
“VU have been a long-term partner of the Club and as leaders in Sport Science, not just in Australia but globally, it made complete sense that VU became the partner of our high performance team,” said Bulldogs’ Director of Football, Chris Grant.
“With so many VU alumni and students working at our football club, it’s great to be able to showcase this link with a partnership such as this.”
The announcement caps off a strong commercial year for the Club, with other significant announcements made during 2017 including the expansion of AFLW partner Bob Jane T-Marts to platinum partner, the renewal Cape Grim, and the addition of Mercedes-Benz Vans to its portfolio of partners.