The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jim Barber, said that in 2012 UNE would offer new specialities in sports management and physical education, building on the existing programs in sports science and exercise physiology.
“The changes, outlined in UNE’s new Sports Prospectus, are about creating greater career opportunities for students in the field of sport,” Professor Barber said.
“The Sports Prospectus details UNE’s suite of courses designed to educate professionals in the sporting sphere and also the leading-edge sport and exercise infrastructure we have on hand at our Armidale campus.
“It also outlines our exciting work with the Australian College of Physical Education to expand into the undergraduate areas of sports coaching, sports development, and health and leisure, and into the postgraduate fields of sports medicine and sports management.”
UNE’s reputation in sporting excellence will also be enhanced in 2012, with the University’s sponsorship of the National Rugby League team, the Parramatta Eels.
UNE has signed with the Eels as a jersey sponsor for their 2012 NRL season.
Professor Barber said it was the first time that a tertiary institution had become a major partner of an NRL club.
“The sponsorship will also see the Parramatta Eels hold their pre-season training camp in Armidale early in 2012,” he said.
“The Eels will stay on campus to utilise UNE’s state-of-the-art training and sports science facility.
“Our sponsorship of the Eels will raise the awareness of our exceptional sporting facilities and the wide range of courses we offer.”
“More than 2,000 of UNE’s Distance Education students come from Parramatta territory, and this sponsorship will increase the brand awareness of UNE in the growing Western Sydney area,” Professor Barber said.
Parramatta Leagues club CEO Bob Bentley said the club is very excited to be the first NRL side to be sponsored by a tertiary institution.
“At Parramatta we take professional development and further education of our players seriously. There are several players in our NRL team including Luke Burt and Tim Mannah who are currently undertaking higher education studies,” Mr Bentley said.
“Additionally, our Toyota Cup Under-20s players are all involved in education programs, with many of the 36-strong group studying at either University or TAFE.
“The NRL team is looking forward to holding the pre-season camp in Armidale and meeting with the local community.”
On average, the Parramatta Eels have a viewing audience of almost 400,000 on free-to-air television, a home ground attendance of 17,000, and sell more than 20,000 jerseys each year.
The 2012 Parramatta Eels Jersey is now on-sale.
More information on the sports prospectus can be found at www.une.edu.au/excellence.
For media enquiries, please contact Catherine Goldie on 0409 215 640.