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High Performance Partnerships

High Performance Sport and University Partnerships


Australian universities boast some of the world’s most impressive facilities in both education and sport. Universities are extensively equipped with a combination of human, financial, educational, physical, and technological resources. Australian universities are also geographically diverse with 42 universities located at over 200 metropolitan and regional campuses nationwide.

With such extensive resources and capacity, there is a significant scope for strategic partnerships between universities and high performance sporting organisations. Such partnerships are established to significantly enhance performance outcomes insport, academia and business. Some of the benefits for high performance sporting organisations partnering with Australian universities include:

  • Access to sport science and sport medicine (SSSM) expertise

  • Research opportunities

  • Research facility and sport infrastructure access

  • Athlete, coach and/or official education and development

  • Competition facilitation opportunities

  • Access to internships and career pathways

As high performance partnerships strengthen, sporting organisations are more frequently partnering with universities to create formal Centres of Excellence (CoE). A CoE refers to the assembly of a daily training environment for a group of targeted athletes currently studying at a university campus. As part of a CoE, selected student-athletes are granted access to a training facilities, appointed coaches, given equipment access, science and medicine support, education opportunities and other support as available. For a CoE to be successful it requires effective co-contribution of resources and support from both the university and high performance sporting organisation.

Several Australian universities have established effective partnerships and with high performance sporting organisations. For examples of these please see below. 

To discuss potential partnership opportunities with Australian universities or for more information please contact UniSport International Programs & National Leagues Manager, Siobhan James, via

Current partnerships

VU & Western Bulldogs Football Club

The Western Bulldogs Football Club and Victoria University (VU) have maintained a long and successful partnership that covers areas of research, education and community. The Western Bulldogs benefit through access to VU’s sport science expertise and the university’s world-class sports facilities. VU also offers numerous study and development opportunities to players and staff. The Western Bulldogs provide access to players and staff for VU research opportunities along with student internship opportunities. There is also a successful community strategytargeting brand improvement of both organisations.

USC and Swimming Australia

The University of Sunshine Coast (USC) and Swimming Australia (SA) have partnered to deliver a Podium Centre of Excellence operating from the University’s Sippy Downs campus. To establish this centre, SA provides funding that allows USC to employ full time coaches and cover other costs. In return, USC conducts a full time centre where athletes receive expert coaching and support. Selected athletes are provided access to the USC’s Olympic-standard swimming pool, gymnasium, swim analysis equipment and personal development opportunities.

Gov funding

Deakin University & Netball Australia

This partnership commenced in 2017 with Deakin becoming the  Naming Rights Partner of the Australian Netball League and Official Education Partner of Netball Australia and the Samsung Diamonds. However, this partnership extends beyond traditional sponsorship to allow collaboration on research projects, athlete performance and development, coach education, work integrated learning and graduate employment opportunities. 

New South Wales Institute of Sport & Sydney University Sport & Fitness

The New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) and Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness have collaborated to create a women’s elite road cycling team. This team gives elite and developmental NSW-based women’s cyclists opportunities to train and compete at selected domestic and international events. The all-encompassing goal of this partnership is to ensure a sustainable race team that will advance female athlete development, as well as providing academic support to riders. 


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