Image of Western Bulldogs player on strength equipment

Victoria University (VU), have joined forces with the Western Bulldogs Football Club, to offer an Australian-first course for people aiming for a career as a strength and conditioning coach or high-performance manager.

Beginning in mid-February, the Graduate Certificate in Strength and Conditioning will allow participants to be immersed in the inner workings of the high-performance department at the Western Bulldogs.

VU Professor of Sport and Exercise Science Fabio Serpiello said this is the first time an Australian university has partnered with a professional sports club to this level, to allow participants insights and experience into how players improve their strength, speed and endurance.

“As professional sport clubs increasingly strive to give their athletes a winning edge, the demand for professional qualifications and practical experience is also growing.”

“While this course focuses on our valued partnership with the Western Bulldogs, the skills gained from it can be applied to any sport requiring strength and conditioning practitioners.”

Students will be embedded into Bulldogs' training

The course will be offered via hybrid delivery (in-person and on-line) by VU and Western Bulldogs’ experts over six months, using the award-winning VU Block Modelwhere a single unit is taught for 10 to 15 hours a week over four weeks.

Students will spend over 30 hours embedded with the Western Bulldogs to gain unparalleled insights and experience at VU Whitten Oval training ground and VU’s Footscray Park Campus with players across the AFL, AFLW, VFL and VFLW programs.

In addition to the behind-the-scenes access to Club strength and conditioning sessions, sport science facilities, and rehabilitation operations, participants will also gain industry insights from other Club personnel and enjoy additional benefits such as dedicated corporate hospitality.

Course graduates will receive credit for four units towards the strength and conditioning specialisation of the Master of Sport and Exercise Science.

Western Bulldogs Executive Director of Football, Chris Grant, said the Club was excited to further its partnership with VU, a leader in sport and exercise science.

“We’re excited to be collaborating with VU to facilitate this course, which further demonstrates the strong partnership our two organisations have enjoyed over a long period of time.”

“Qualifications and experience are critical for employment opportunities in high performance sport, and this Graduate Certificate is structured to equip students with both.” 

Course includes networking for future career

Practical learning will be complemented by masterclasses from key high-performance personnel, with opportunities for students to network and seek future employment.

Participants will need an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in a similar discipline, or a minimum of five years approved work experience, in order to apply.

To apply for the Graduate Certificate in Strength and Conditioning, visit: education.westernbulldogs.com.au and follow the prompts.

This is the second course to be jointly offered by VU and the Western Bulldogs. Last year, the partners delivered a successful two-day Performance Leadership course complimented by guest speaker masterclasses to members of the Bulldogs’ business network.

This course will be offered again in March in Melbourne, with a second delivery to be announced shortly.