It’s game on today at the University of Canberra, with the launch of its brand-new Sport Strategy, to become Australia’s leading university for women in sport, sport integrity and a top three sports science university.
Already well-established as a sporting hub for Australia through its partnerships with peak sporting bodies, professional sport teams, community sport partnerships and its elite athlete program, the University is ideally placed to harness the power of sport for social justice, equality, inclusion, integrity and wellbeing.
Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Paddy Nixon said that the University wants to bolster the community, establish partnerships and align its academic and research offerings across all faculties.
“Sport is core to the University of Canberra’s mission, it connects our education and research to our civic commitment, and I believe that we have the motivation and ambition combined with skills and knowledge to deliver this strategy as our game plan for the future,” Professor Nixon said.
“Sport already connects UC through our academic, research and existing sport infrastructure and this strategy will both enhance what currently exists and embrace our plans for the future.”
With a focus on tackling inclusion and diversity in sport, the University’s strategy is built on the principle of integrity.
“We plan to take the lead in women’s sport, sport integrity and justice, and to foster community participation in sport by using the knowledge we gain through our research to enhance and develop sport in young, upcoming athletes,” said Professor Nixon.
Infrastructure is one of the key pillars to the Sport Strategy. The University will leverage the development of UC Sports Hub 2, outlined in the recently-launched UC Campus Master Plan, to attract sporting partnerships and events, support leading education and research partnerships and create commercial revenue opportunities.
“This development of infrastructure is essential for establishing UC as the sporting hub of the ACT,” said Professor Nixon. “It will be a place where professional, amateur, community sport, research, innovation and academic excellence come together for national benefit and global impact.”
The University will actively pursue a leadership role in Australia as the university for sport education and research through local, national and global collaborations, and the introduction of innovation and technology that will positively impact sport performance and active living.
With sport integrity underpinning the Sport Strategy, a Sport Integrity Research Unit will be established, functioning within the University’s Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UCRISE). This group will be led by Dr Catherine Ordway, an internationally-renowned expert in sport integrity and sports law.
The University intends to engage, encourage and motivate students by building community and establishing a sense of belonging through sport participation.
“As much as we focus on inclusion in sport, we recognise sport as a pathway for inclusion in education – sport makes universities more accessible to the broader community,” said Professor Nixon.
“It connects people with place, and through our focus on sport we will establish a connection to UC for our future students,” said Professor Nixon. “First in family students, and those that stem from regional areas, in particular, should find it easier to integrate socially and academically at university through a mutual interest in sport.”