By Deakin’s Vice-Chancellor Jane den Hollander

Whether it’s kicking a footy from 50 metres or cheering for an incredible three-point shot, sport is integral to the Australian way of life, and our women are some of the best players. From basketball and surfing to netball and Aussie Rules, Australian women have run, bounced, kicked and thrown rings around their competition.

Deakin is committed to inspiring women to achieve at the highest possible level, on and off the pitch. Our partnership with the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, as naming rights sponsor of the Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race, cements our position as a leading supporter of women’s sport.

Being active is a way of life

Sport is more than just watching your team on Saturday afternoons. It’s a powerful vehicle for positive health outcomes, emotional wellness and socialisation. It encourages camaraderie and team work, a balanced lifestyle and a sense of achievement. And it’s fun!

Investments in leagues like the AFLW and WNBL have shown Australia and the world that women are fierce competitors. They are strong, bold and courageous. As devotees of their codes and great entertainers, they have treated crowds to what they love most: the spectacle of elite athletes at the top of their game.

The rise of women as elite cyclists

The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race Festival promises to deliver exactly that.

Thanks to events such as this and the Santos Tour Down Under, the past five years have seen elite women’s cycling events increase in size, participation and prestige. Greater media coverage has attracted elite-level competitors and grown audiences, and we’re thrilled that the Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race will be broadcast live on Channel 7.

As part of this four-day celebration of athleticism on two wheels, the 113km race will see female cyclists pass through Barwon Heads, Torquay, Jan Juc and Moriac. The course begins and ends in Geelong, a hub of sporting culture and success that’s also home to Deakin’s founding campus at Waurn Ponds.

In 2019, the world will watch as the prowess and resilience of elite female cyclists plays out on the spectacular stage of Victoria’s surf coast.

Deakin’s commitment to women in sport

The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is just one, in our expanding portfolio of professional relationships and programs. With a goal of improving the profile of women’s sport, and supporting the women who play it, we have also partnered with the Deakin Melbourne Boomers (WNBL), the Geelong Cats (AFLW) and Netball Australia.

Our focus is on relationships and activities that make a real difference. These partnerships, together with our Women in Sport and Exercise (WISE) Hub, collectively create a wealth of opportunities. We aim to raise the profile of women’s sport, to celebrate the achievements of elite female athletes, and to drive cultural change to get women involved in sport and exercise at a grassroots level.

We’re serious about success

Deakin lives and breathes a love of sport. Our Melbourne Burwood, Warrnambool and Geelong Waurn Ponds campuses all have dedicated, fully-equipped gyms. Our Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus takes it a step further with an elite regional sports precinct, including facilities shared with top-ranked athletes.

This commitment continues in our approach to teaching and research. At our Centre for Sport Research, we smash boundaries in our quest to improve the health and performance of people through sport, from investigating effective coaching techniques to using data analytics to predict and enhance performance. Our School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences is a world leader: the #1 sports science school in Australia and #3 in the world.

We are dedicated to seeing women excel at whatever they choose. Investing in the next generation of female sporting stars and game changers isn’t just about success on the field. It’s about fuelling the passion of young thinkers. It’s about encouraging an active body and a focused mind.

And it’s about building a community of women dedicated to breaking the mould.


Learn more about how and why Deakin supports women in sport.