As they bow out of this year’s AFL finals after a gallant loss to St Kilda on the weekend, the Western Bulldogs haven’t lost their sight of their broader commitment to Melbourne’s west.
Club chief executive Campbell Rose has announced that the Bulldogs’ 2009 contribution towards the Victoria University (VU) Achievement Scholarships amounts to about $30,000. Earlier this year the club promised to contribute $1 a year for every adult member towards the scholarships on a continuing basis.
“We have a strong partnership with VU that traverses programs in education, community, and the sports science expertise of the University in our football training and beyond,” Mr Rose said.
“This is an absolute first where a local sporting club has committed to help our future leaders by contributing a considerable amount from its recurrent income to help foster and nurture education.
“We know the value of education, particularly in our region, where life choices are not always as great as in other parts of Victoria.
“The VU Achievement Scholarships provide a leg-up to young people seeking to study at the University. As the community club of the AFL we are committed to helping our community and this financial pledge is a direct measure of that commitment. Where else do you find such a commitment being made within the AFL? This is a first and should be recognised for the significance of opportunity it is creating in our local community.
“We are confident that our recent onfield success will attract more members, which in turn means a greater contribution to the scholarship fund – this is a win-win for everyone.”
VU’s director of development Ros Casey said that unlike other assistance to students provided by the University, the Achievement Scholarships were awarded on merit.
“The Achievement Scholarship program was set up by the Victoria University Foundation earlier this year to improve access for the best students in our local high schools.
“Each year we will provide assistance to two graduates from each of the 50 high schools in western Melbourne wishing to go on to higher education or vocational education studies at the University.”
Registration for the scholarships opened last month and closes on September 30. Students wishing to apply may do so online at: www.vu.edu.au/scholarships/achievement.
VU: Jim Buckell, A/Senior Media Officer
Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University
Ph: (03) 9919 4243; mobile: 0400 465 459; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Bulldogs: Anna Mitchell , General Manager, Communications, Marketing & Events
Ph: 03 9680 6138; mobile: 0437 370 172; email: email@example.com