Posted in Featured News , Front Page News

Monash University has embarked on a ‘grassroots’ sponsorship deal with Australian Rules Football’s biggest junior competition.

Monash has committed to a two year major sponsorship with the South Metro Junior Football League in Melbourne. The league has 9,500 players and this season expects to field more than 50 girls’ teams.

“We think that now is the right time to establish  Monash’s involvement with Australian junior football because the code is well and truly emerging as a gender equality sport and importantly, our sponsorship is reflective of  our core ethos of building relationships with the local communities we serve,” the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Major Campuses and Student Engagement, at Monash University, Professor David Copolov AO said today.

“Through this sponsorship, Monash will be helping young girls and boys to pursue their dreams of sporting success. Participating in junior team sport is not just healthy but it supports stable and connected communities,” Professor Copolov said said.

In welcoming Monash’s sponsorship, the Chief Executive Officer of the South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL), Ms Sarah Loh said the success of the AFLW had been a great boost for the code.

“We’re delighted to attract Monash, Australia’s largest university as the SMJFL’s first major sponsor. We’ll use the Monash investment to drive up participant numbers in our league,” Ms Loh said.

“I expect we’ll see more than 1,000 girls playing in our league this season – that’s a jump of 30 percent on last year. We’ll also be working hard in 2017 to recruit young women to our code as umpires. This season, the SMJFL will conduct more than 3,000 junior matches,” Ms Loh said.

The new sponsorship deal will see the Monash University logo printed on the 1,200 match day footballs used in the SMJFL and it will also appear on newly ordered on-field apparel as well as in digital productions, print media and online.

The SMJFL comprises teams from Port Melbourne in the inner city to Mordialloc in southern bayside and east to Wheelers Hill.

The SMJFL has produced many elite AFL players including two-time Brownlow medallist Chris Judd. Currently there are around 40 former SMJFL players on AFL lists.

The recently appointed ambassador of the SMJFL, 18 year old Isabel Huntington, will be a contender for the number one draft pick in the AFLW this year.