The AFL Players’ Association on Wednesday extended its partnership with La Trobe University and unveiled Collingwood ruckman and La Trobe student Brodie Grundy as an official ambassador.
Grundy, a La Trobe Health Science student, was joined by fellow La Trobe students Hawthorn premiership player Matt Spangher and St Kilda youngster Nick O’Kearney at an on-campus ‘Footy Day’ to celebrate the partnership extension.
The new agreement will see La Trobe University continue as the official higher education partner of the AFL Players’ Association and sponsor of the Education and Training Excellence Award at the annual AFL Players’ MVP Awards night.
The partnership will see the two organisations bring to life a number of key activations, including a series of sport symposiums, collaborative research projects and player appearances to enrich key university events and provide engaging student experiences.
With La Trobe University offering more sport-related courses than any other university in Australia, Grundy says he’s thrilled to represent the organisation in an official capacity as the partnership ambassador.
“Having been a student at La Trobe University for three years, and part of the universities’ elite athlete program, I couldn’t be more impressed with how supportive the teaching staff have been in allowing me to balance my studies with my football career,” he said.
“I look forward to working with the staff and other students at La Trobe to help the uni realise its goal of becoming the university of choice for sport.”
— La Trobe Sport (@LaTrobeSport) August 3, 2016
Director of La Trobe Sport Professor Russell Hoye is eager to be building on the strong partnership that has been established with the AFL Players’ Association over the past three years.
“At La Trobe University we have a strong focus on developing our students so that they can achieve and be their best, in and out of the classroom. AFL players are a great example of this – through dedication to their studies, they show the importance of education to achieving on and off field success. This is a great message for our students and for La Trobe’s broader community”, he said.
“We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with the AFLPA for another three years.”
AFL Players’ CEO Paul Marsh echoed Hoye’s view, stating what a natural fit the La Trobe University partnership is for the AFL Players’ Association.
“At the AFLPA, we’re dedicated to ensuring all players maximise their time in the game, whether that be by studying or following their passions outside of football, so the extension of this partnership with La Trobe was a natural progression for us and we look forward to what the next three years bring,” he said.
The ‘Footy Day’ launch at La Trobe University on Wednesday saw students and staff don their footy colours, participate in a handball competition, indulge in traditional footy fare of pies and sausage rolls and meet Grundy, Spangher, and O’Kearney.
The players engaged with the students and staff, helping them hone their footy skills, while chatting about the challenges and benefits of juggling an AFL career with their La Trobe studies.