Bond University today announced it would be offering AFL excellence scholarships to aspiring male and female players, in partnership with the Riewoldt family.
These unique, full-tuition scholarships provide an outstanding opportunity for one male and one female to gain a first-class educational experience from Bond University, while at the same time actively pursuing their sporting aspirations.
The scholarships offer 100% free tuition for any single undergraduate or postgraduate degree, excluding the Bond Medical program, and include free accommodation for the first year at the Gold Coast-based University.
Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Tim Brailsford said he was very proud that the University’s first-ever AFL excellence scholarships would be offered to both males and females.
“These scholarships will provide an unparalleled opportunity for two up and coming AFL players to gain an internationally-recognised degree, while at the same time enhance their footballing career through high-quality playing opportunities and access to professional AFL clubs,” he said.
“We’d like to thank the Riewoldt family, particularly Joe and Nick for their support and enthusiasm in delivering this outstanding scholarship opportunity.”
Professor Brailsford said the AFL excellence scholarships continued the University’s rich history and established tradition in sport.
“Bond University has been home to Olympians since we first opened our doors. Our Sporting Blues Honours reads as a who’s who of female and male international athletes and national champions across many team and individual sports,” he said.
“Our connections with both the Gold Coast SUNS Football Club and Brisbane Lions Football Club ensure that the successful scholarship awardees will have access to unique opportunities to develop, improve and learn about their game.”
Bond is the inaugural partner of the highly successful Brisbane Lions Women’s team and also a partner with AFL Queensland.
The University has strong connections with the Gold Coast SUNS, with several Bond students part of the SUNS Academy Squad and others involved with the organisation itself both from a football and business perspective.
Gold Coast SUNS CEO, Mark Evans commended Bond on the new initiative.
“I look forward to welcoming the scholarship winners and offering them opportunities with the SUNS,” Mr Evans said.
Brisbane Lions CEO, Greg Swann congratulated Bond on the vision behind the scholarship.
“Bond has been an inaugural partner with our AFL women’s team and the Lions enjoy an excellent relationship with the university. I look forward to continued engagement and meeting the scholarship holders,” Mr Swann said.
Riewoldt family spokesperson, and St Kilda Football Club’s longest-serving captain and 300-game player, Nick Riewoldt spent his formative years on the Gold Coast.
“The Gold Coast is where I played my junior footy, so I can vouch for the opportunities, lifestyle and AFL culture that exist on the coast,” Mr Riewoldt said.
“As an elite AFL player, I appreciate the importance of a quality education. Bond has placed itself at the centre of development of AFL in Queensland, being an early pioneer in the expanding women’s game and rapidly establishing itself as a successful football club,” Mr Riewoldt said.
“Bond is always innovating and this scholarship is further evidence of the University’s national reach.
“The opportunity to play with fellow students from every Australian State and Territory in a supportive and nurturing academic environment is simply outstanding. Further, Bond’s links with the Gold Coast SUNS and Brisbane Lions will enable the scholarship holders to gain a taste of life inside professional football clubs.
“I will take a keen personal interest in the scholarship and I intend to be available to assist with the awardees. I look forward to spending some time with the successful individuals.
For more information, including eligibility and how to apply, visit https://bond.edu.au/scholarship/riewoldt-family-afl-excellence-scholarship
Applications are now open online and close Friday, 1 September 2017.