UC and Raiders partner up to support players

UC and Raiders partner up to support players

Edward O'Daly

17 December 2013: Canberra Raiders players will be able to access flexible University of Canberra degree programs under a new deal announced today.

University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker and Raiders CEO Don Furner signed a new Memorandum of Understanding between the club and the University’s Faculty of Business, Government and Law, to help Raiders players develop skills for their careers post sport and also to create new study and research opportunities.

“The University of Canberra is committed to making flexible study options available to students for whom attending classes in the traditional way is difficult or not possible,” Professor Parker said.

Raiders at UC

Raiders player David Shillington, University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker, Raiders career development manager Adam Roberts and Raiders player Matt McIlwrick. Photo supplied

“This includes elite sports people, who need some flexibility to undertake study in ways that can be tailored to their own availability around training and game schedules. This arrangement specifically extends that flexibility to Raiders players.

“As an Elite Athlete Friendly University, we are aware of the special needs of elite sports people, but also of how beneficial it can be to balance the physical challenge of high performance sport, with the mental workout of university study.

“I congratulate the Raiders on their commitment to education and I look forward to working with them on this partnership.”

Professor Parker said the faculty would offer credit towards degrees to Raiders players who had completed a relevant diploma. Units would be delivered mainly online, but with face-to-face support, and with flexibility around the pace of study to allow players to work around their training schedule and the NRL season.

In addition to providing study opportunities for players, the MoU also includes a commitment to explore opportunities for collaboration in research.

Raiders career development officer Adam Roberts said the team were thrilled that the University of Canberra is able to provide their players with this opportunity and help them better prepare for life after football.

“The University of Canberra has been fantastic for us in terms of providing this program and we’ll be able to stream the lectures into Raiders HQ to fit around the player’s football schedule,” Mr Roberts said. “This gives the players the chance to think about life after their football careers and better prepare them for when they retire from the game.”

Raiders player Matt McIlwrick is one of the athletes who will be involved in the program when it commences in 2014 and said it gives him a chance to better equip himself for life once he ends his rugby league career.

“It’s a great initiative, a footy career can only last up to 10 years so it gives us the opportunity to better prepare for the rest of our lives,” Mr McIlwrick said. “There are a number of players who have wanted to study but haven’t been able to find time because of our football commitments, so it’s great for UC to be able to help us in between training sessions.”