Olympian and one of Australia’s greatest-ever sprint hurdler, Kyle Vander Kuyp, has helped launch La Trobe’s bid to become Australia’s leading sport university.
Announcing details of La Trobe Sport, the event was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground attended by 140 guests from Victoria’s sporting community.
Vice-Chancellor John Dewar said ‘La Trobe is very much a part of Melbourne, our nation’s sporting capital, and we want to make a substantial contribution to the sustainability of the Australian sport industry and the welfare of its participants at all levels – from grassroots right up to elite athletes.’
He said the University already had partnerships with many sports organisations and strong relationships at all levels of the sports community.
Reeling from big issues
‘With the sporting world reeling from a wide range of big issues, La Trobe is continuing to put resources into sport academic programs and research to help solve some of those challenges,’ he said. ‘We are determined to become the best place to study sport, the best at sport research, and the best at working with the sport industry and community partners,’ Professor Dewar said.
He said La Trobe graduates worked in areas including the management of sport organisations, stadiums and events as well as physiotherapists, podiatrists, physical education teachers, psychologists and sport journalists.’
La Trobe Sport is headed by Professor Russell Hoye, Director of the University’s Centre for Sport and Social Impact in the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, and Manager of Sports Partnerships, Lisa Hasker.
They are supported Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow and Carlton Football Club coach Mick Malthouse.
Professor Dewar said La Trobe Sport aligns with the University’s five-year Future Ready Strategic Plan. This aims to position La Trobe in the top three universities in Victoria, and the top 12 nationally.
Major focus on sport research
‘As part of that, we have five crucial Research Focus Areas (RFAs) which have been established to address some of the current and looming global problems and issues facing our society. One of these RFA’s is Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation which will work closely with La Trobe Sport.’
Introducing Kyle Vander Kuyp, Professor Dewar said Mr Vander Kuyp was someone who had achieved much in his athletic career, and who has gone on to play a key role in encouraging Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth to strive to achieve their goals and aspirations.
The twelve-time national hurdles champion, winner at two Olympic Games, four World Championships and Commonwealth Games spoke about his career, from little athletics to the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
Sport organisation partnerships
La Trobe’s sport organisation partnerships include the Melbourne Heart Football Club, Netball Australia, Australian Football League (AFL) Players Association, Melbourne Cricket Club, AFL SportsReady, the Bendigo Spirit Women’s National Basketball team, and the Northern Football League.
Sport research ranges from designing prosthetic aids for amputee athletes and investigating sports nutrition regimes for athletes to evaluating the social and economic of sport and working on new technologies to help stadiums like the MCG operate more effectively.
La Trobe is also a signatory to the national Elite Athlete Friendly University scheme. This offers tailored case management for elite athletes to help them balance their training and competition demands with their studies.
Professor Dewar said the University worked closely with many sporting codes. ‘It is terrific to have their representatives here today, particular those from Melbourne Heart, Chairman Peter Sidwell and CEO Scott Munn. Our partnership involves Melbourne Heart players interacting with students on a number of levels,’ he said.