New partnership (Issue 33, 2010)

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Vice-Chancellor Paul Johnson starting the game

La Trobe University’s Melbourne campus will become the inaugural home of A-League football team Melbourne Heart, after an elite sporting partnership was launched between the University and Australia’s newest professional football team.


The partnership will allow Melbourne Heart access to the University’s playing fields, sports and medical centre for training over a two year period kicking off in April 2010, with the potential for an ongoing relationship to be established once this period is complete.

The agreement will see investment to improve the University’s current facilities and sports fields. The football pitches and surrounding administration facilities will be upgraded to FIFA standard and serve as the full-time training base and interim home of the team, during its first two seasons in the A-League.

La Trobe Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson welcomed the announcement.

‘La Trobe has played the key role in securing Melbourne Heart's move to our region and we warmly welcome them as part of our University community. We will upgrade our sports facilities and work with Melbourne Heart to achieve excellence. I am thrilled with the potential benefits La Trobe students will receive with Melbourne Heart on campus’, he said.

The upgraded sports facilities will house 30 full-time employees from the Club including coaches, medical and support staff.

‘There will be placement opportunities at the Club for La Trobe students in allied health, journalism, marketing and event management and students will have a unique chance to gain valuable experience inside a world-class sporting club,’ said Professor Johnson.

La Trobe University has a number of existing relationships with other sporting institutions, including the Australian Baseball League. The University hosted the Claxton Shield Final in 2010.

Melbourne Heart Chief Executive Officer Scott Munn said the club is excited about its partnership with La Trobe University, saying the agreement marks an important step in Melbourne Heart FC history.

‘As a football club, there were a number of criteria which we considered to be of paramount importance when canvassing the options for the location of our training base. Most important of which was an ability to house both administrative and training arms of our club as well as provide ample access to various support services, including conditioning and medical facilities,’ he said.

‘We are thrilled to have established this partnership with La Trobe,’ said Mr Munn.