Fostering increased female participation in traditionally male-dominated sport is the focus of a valuable new partnership between Flinders University and the Adelaide United A-League Women’s team.
The partnership will harness research and education as pathways for women to engage in football (soccer) – not just as players but in a range of professional capacities, including sport sciences, nutrition, administration and more.
Flinders University has been Adelaide United’s Premier Partner since the 2019/20 season, with the Flinders logo appearing on the front of the home kit and training apparel. The University is now building on this strong relationship by announcing a Co-Major partnership with the Women’s team, starting in the 2021/22 season.
The partnership, which will see Flinders featured on the back of the A-League Women’s home, away and training kits for the new season, kicks off with the team’s match against arch-rivals Melbourne Victory on Sunday, 5 December 2021.
It enables the continuation of industry placements for Flinders University female exercise scientists and physiologists in a traditionally male-dominated industry, as well as students of business, marketing, social media, events and/or videography, plus opportunities of placements for allied health specialists and nutrition exercise science.
The partnership will also continue to benefit the Women’s team by enabling elite level testing for players during the season as part of projects in physiology and dietetics through The SHAPE Research Centre in the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling says Flinders University is delighted to be supporting Adelaide United Women.
“This partnership is aligned with Flinders University’s values and commitment when it comes to advocating for increased female participation in sporting and educational opportunities,” he says.
“There is plenty of optimism and excitement around the Women’s World Cup being held in South Australia in 2023, and we see this as an important opportunity to support strong female role models.”
Professor Alison Kitson, Vice-President and Executive Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University is also a member on the Adelaide United Women’s Football Committee.
“Women’s football is growing at an astonishing rate in Australia and around the world, and this partnership opens up exceptional opportunities for our students undertake valuable placement and research with Adelaide United, including female exercise scientists and physiologists, in a traditionally male dominated industry,” says Professor Kitson.
Professor Murray Drummond, Director of the SHAPE Research Centre at Flinders University, says the new agreement is a testament to positive progress in gender equity in sport.
“Women’s participation in elite-level sport has made monumental gains over the past decade. The researchers at the SHAPE Research Centre are excited to continue and build on the wonderful relationship we have developed with Adelaide United,” says Professor Drummond.
“It’s a win for Adelaide United and its women’s team, and also for the Flinders students and SHAPE researchers. It certainly displays equity in action.”