Whitten Oval officially became ‘Victoria University Whitten Oval’ on 29 November – and the new name celebrates the expanded relationship between VU and the Western Bulldogs.
The partnership between VU and the Western Bulldogs is unique among Australian universities and AFL clubs and the range and depth of the association has been further strengthened.
The Bulldogs will field a team in the VFL in 2014 named the Footscray Bulldogs and VU is the major partner with first naming rights of Whitten Oval.
VU will enter into a substantially enhanced sport science research and knowledge exchange program with the Western Bulldogs. The program will build upon the existing level of sport science engagement. This enhanced program will develop new knowledge and synthesise existing knowledge to inform coaching programs and improve the on-field football performance of both the Western Bulldog’s AFL and VFL teams. As Australia’s sport university VU will continue to be at the forefront of sport science research and knowledge exchange.
VU undergraduate and postgraduate research students, and staff jointly appointed by the Western Bulldogs and VU, will work together on a daily basis to improve sport science knowledge and research.
Simon Garlick, Chief Executive of the Western Bulldogs said the Club was thrilled to have Victoria University on board as the Major Partner of the new VFL team and the naming rights partner of Whitten Oval.
He said, “In a Club first – the naming rights partnership celebrates our heritage while equally heralding the brightest of futures for the Club and Victoria University. The partnership makes perfect sense. It provides the Dogs with the unique opportunity to tap into world class sports science and elite sport best practice at Victoria University – right here in our heartland”.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Dawkins said, “As a world-class sport University, we are excited about the partnership. It will set the benchmark for what sport partnerships should be – sharing the outcomes of applied sport science research, engaging with the local community and developing players in responsible ways.
He said that what made this partnership work was the “sheer sense of community and values of both organisations”.
Check out the video of the launch event.
Professor Dawkins said that the naming of ‘Victoria University Whitten Oval’ was a celebration of the expansion of the VU/Bulldogs partnership, along with VU as the major partner of the new VFL team, Footscray Bulldogs, and future partnership activities which would take the role of sports science to a new level at the Western Bulldogs.