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La Trobe: The university of choice for sport

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“Even before you get the scores, you’re thinking, “Yes! That was really awesome.” The whole team can feel it – we’re just standing there smiling at each other and we just know.” Hannah Cross, La Trobe student and Rio 2016 competitor Synchronised Swimming for Melbourne

Last year, Melbourne was crowned the world’s Sports City of the Decade, beating the likes of London, New York, Tokyo, Berlin and Sydney to become the globe’s most triumphant sporting hub.

“It’s a badge of honour for our psyche and our businesses,” said Eddie McGuire, board member of the Victorian Major Events Company. “We don’t need to talk ourselves up anymore because we deliver and this award underlines that,” he explained.

“Now it’s recognised that Melbourne has been unrivalled for the past decade, and the future is just as exciting.”

Within the most notable sports university in the Sports City of the Decade is La Trobe University, a multi-campus institution that placed 56th in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2017. Providing more sports-related courses than any other tertiary education provider in Australia, La Trobe stands as the university of choice to study, research and play sport. Experts in the conventions of all things sports both on and off the field, La Trobe’s expansive program portfolio gives students the chance to thrive in this growing global field.


To put this into perspective, the latest league tables from QS World University Rankings – one of the most respected higher education ranking bodies in the world – placed La Trobe’s sports-related subjects among the most elite, landing the institution among the global Top 100 and placing it 7th in the nation.

Professor John Dewar, Vice-Chancellor at La Trobe, welcomes this recognition, highlighting how it couldn’t have come at a better time as the institution prepares for its 50th anniversary celebrations.

“This is more proof of La Trobe’s long-standing international reputation, the strength of our teaching and research, plus the recognised calibre and employability of our graduates,” he says.

La Trobe offer many exciting sports related courses that give students the opportunity to understand sport on and off the field, including Exercise Science, Sport Management, and Exercise Physiology at both their Melbourne campus and their Bendigo campus.

La Trobe also partners with some of the most prominent and renowned sporting organisations in Australia, including soccer team Melbourne City FC, AFL team Carlton FC, the rugby union team Melbourne Rebels and even The Australian Ballet – a ground-breaking alliance that will see the university’s leading human movement and sports scientists work alongside the ballet’s world-reputed injury prevention and rehabilitation team on powerful, cutting-edge research.

“Partnering with leading professional sport organisations provides our students with unique experiences and opportunities for employment and provides our staff with access to elite athletes for research,” says Professor Russell Hoye, Director La Trobe Sport.

On top of providing students with an unforgettable learning experience that complements their studies, what these strategic partnerships also offer are a wealth of invaluable placement and internship opportunities. Through these placements, La Trobe students will learn to apply their skills in real-world industry contexts, and as a result, will inevitably find themselves in incredibly high demand around the world upon graduation.


And if that’s not enough to emphasise La Trobe’s dedication to providing the ultimate student experience, the institution is also investing in facilities to match this, with work on the state-of-the-art La Trobe Sports Park already underway. The Park will be a national first, creating a vibrant precinct for all play, performance and teaching related to sports, while facilitating everything from community, to grassroots and even high-performance sports.

The University has also secured AU$5 million of external funding into a brand-new six-court indoor stadium for the inner North of Melbourne. Here, the community will have access to basketball, netball, volleyball and futsal facilities, letting them get their heads in the game any time of year.

Meanwhile, the university’s Gait Laboratory offers a pioneering research space within the Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, used to explore the structure and function of the musculoskeletal system, as well as the causes, prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal disease.

For sporting and research professionals worldwide, it hardly comes as a surprise that La Trobe students have access to premium facilities, since its research into Human Movement and Sport Science received the highest possible five-star rating in the last three Excellence in Research for Australia assessments.

The scale of La Trobe’s investment in producing employable sporting graduates is also evident in the number of unique programs and partnerships it offers, with its Elite Athlete Program (EAP) standing as the country’s most comprehensive strategy for student support in sports.

Through this innovative project, the university assists more than 100 athletes, preparing them for meets and competitions on both local and international scales. Accommodating recognised Olympians, respected A-league soccer players, world-class swimmers, cyclists, track and field competitors, and Australian Football League (AFL) athletes; La Trobe’s unrivalled LEAP lands it at the forefront of sports-related education.

And with access to a fully-equipped gym, group exercise studios and classes, a 25-metre heated indoor pool and deep water pit, a multi-purpose stadium, a rock climbing wall, playing fields, and various off-campus facilities, La Trobe is ideal for a sports lover.

Image courtesy of La Trobe University

“La Trobe has had a huge influence on my learning and my love for learning,” says Catherine Arlove, three-time Olympic-level Judo competitor, inspirational sports leader and transformational trailblazer in the healthcare industry. “Like anybody will tell you, the first love is always a significant love, and my first degree – Physiotherapy – was at La Trobe,” she explains.

“And I’ve come back to La Trobe …to do my law degree, and I’ve found that it’s just more inviting. It’s a big hug [of] a university,” she concludes.

“Dream big…you might as well just dream big. If [it seems like your dreams haven’t come true], look back – because a lot of other dreams have.”

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