Deakin welcomes Cats as MCG blockbuster loomsMedia release
Deakin University today officially opened its new $8.4 million Elite Sports Precinct at the Waurn Ponds campus by welcoming AFL powerhouse the Geelong Cats to train on the MCG-sized oval.
Ahead of its blockbuster round nine clash against Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday, the Cats will make use of the larger oval which was built specifically to support the club’s training needs.
Deakin Chief Operating Officer Kean Selway joined Cats coach Chris Scott before the training session to mark the opening of the precinct and acknowledge the strong ties between the two organisations.
Alongside the AFL oval, Deakin’s state-of-the-art Elite Sports Precinct also features a synthetic FIFA-grade soccer pitch, international-standard eight-lane 400m athletics track, outdoor basketball and netball courts, a new baseball diamond and sprint training tacks near an open-air teaching hub.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said Deakin is delighted to welcome the Cats to the Waurn Ponds campus for the first of many training sessions.
“Deakin is pleased to support the training needs of the Cats on the new MCG-sized, east-west facing oval that we have built to meet the needs of our elite sportswomen and men and also those in the wider Geelong community,” Professor den Hollander said.
“Geelong loves its sport and Deakin is a world leader in sport science teaching and exercise research, so this is a perfect match in every respect.
“The Cats training at the new Elite Sports Precinct will bring the community together through a shared passion for sport and education.
“Deakin has invested $8.4 million in our state-of-the-art Elite Sports Precinct, which will boost students’ learning experiences across a range a health and medical courses and increase the number of people participating in sport and recreation.”
Geelong Chief Executive Brian Cook said it was important for the club to have an alternate training venue away from Simonds Stadium for players to use throughout the football season and during the pre-season.
“Our partnership with Deakin University continues to go from strength to strength and the opening of the Elite Sports Precinct is a testament to their innovation and the opportunities they provide our football club and the Geelong community,” Geelong Chief Executive Brian Cook said.
While formal partnerships between Deakin and the Geelong Cats date back to 2012, a strong relationship has been built since 2008 when the first intake of Deakin sports science interns began at the Cats.
Since then, seven Deakin interns have moved into full-time roles at the Cats and other AFL clubs while other interns have used their Geelong Cats placement to gain valuable experience and act as a springboard to a career in professional sport.
The strong relationship between Deakin and the Cats is further demonstrated by the success of the Deakin Cats Community Centre at Simonds Stadium. Since opening in 2013 the centre has welcomed more than 50,000 visitors who have taken part in community programs and education sessions, visited the memorabilia display or accessed the centre as a third party user.