As the Dolphins take the leap into next year’s National Rugby League, the Moreton Bay region’s own university campus will be front and centre in a partnership combining education and sport.
The University of the Sunshine Coast, which opened its fast-growing campus at Petrie in 2020, today announced an education partnership with the NRL’s newest team, which has its roots in Redcliffe and is now coached by the legendary Wayne Bennett.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Bartlett said the partnership would underpin a range of study and sport opportunities to inspire the region’s young people to tackle their career passions, on campus and on the field.
“UniSC and the Dolphins both want to help people fulfil their potential and strengthen our connections with this vibrant community,” she said.
“Our Moreton Bay campus, which currently has more than 3,000 students across 60 degrees, is a hub for learning, teaching and research, and we expect closer ties with this major professional sporting team to bring mutual benefits.”
Professor Bartlett said an initial example would be next year’s introduction of Sports and Exercise Science studies at UniSC Moreton Bay, with the Dolphins to provide opportunities for work-integrated learning and research.
Dolphins CEO Terry Reader said community engagement and education connections for Dolphins players were key goals of the partnership.
“Many devoted rugby league families will be following our team next year, so we hope to demonstrate the importance of education right through to post-secondary study options,” said Mr Reader.
“The Dolphins are keen to not only represent the Brisbane northern corridor and Sunshine Coast as a national sporting team, but be deeply involved in finding positive outcomes for the community by assisting in educational programs.
“Another pleasing benefit of the partnership with UniSC will be that our school-aged players in the Dolphins’ Academy programs will be able to engage with the University’s staff and students, which will add to their personal development.”
The Dolphins will become the NRL’s 17th side in 2023, and will play matches at Sunshine Coast Stadium, Redcliffe’s Moreton Daily Stadium and at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
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