Murdoch University has today signed a significant strategic partnership with the Western Australian Cricket Association, becoming the first tertiary education provider in the State to align itself to elite cricket.
Vice Chancellor Eeva Leinonen and WACA Chief Executive Christina Matthews formalised the partnership this morning, flanked by Western Fury Captain Chloe Piparo, Western Warriors Vice-Captain Ashton Turner and Perth Scorchers players Hilton Cartwright and Mathilda Carmichael.
The partnership signing cements the relationship between the two organisations that dates back to 2011 when Murdoch Sports Science researchers and students started working with WACA cricketers to improve their performance.
The elite cricketers demonstrated how Murdoch’s Sports Science research can help them fine-tune their batting actions.
Professor Leinonen said Murdoch valued its long-term relationship with the WACA, which shared core values in being a world-class, innovative Western Australian-based organisation with a strong global focus.
“This partnership will continue to provide multiple collaborative opportunities for our researchers and students as they share knowledge and develop skills in this elite sport environment,” Professor Leinonen said.
“We look forward to working with the WACA to offer scholarships and development opportunities for students and our staff and to extend our support for local sport and the community through our facilities.”
Cricket a growth sport for women
Ms Matthews said Western Australian cricket had a major following in key domestic and international markets; and was growing in popularity with women, as both players and spectators of the sport.
“The WACA has an annual audience reach of over two million people through Perth Scorchers match days, our membership and social media followers, and at the community level – including club cricket, social cricket and schools programs,” Ms Matthews said.
“In addition, from a broadcast perspective, the Perth Scorchers attract over 35 million viewer hours nationally across both the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League and KFC Big Bash League.
“We are looking forward to supporting cooperative research projects and knowledge-sharing between the two organisations and consolidating what can be achieved through the combination of tertiary education and elite sport.”
Improving quality of athlete care
Murdoch’s Head of Exercise Science, Dr Sean Müller, said current research was monitoring the training load in elite cricket players in various playing roles on the team.
“We will use micro-sensors to examine the loading on players during rotational and impact movements,” Dr Müller said. “For example, micro-sensors will be used to measure distance covered and impact loading during bowling, as well as change of direction performance when running between the wickets.”
Dr Müller said advances in athlete monitoring through the current project could improve the quality of athlete care, improve training practices and subsequently improve performance.
Major upgrades to Murdoch’s sporting facilities to meet high-level cricket standards are proposed under the new partnership, which will strengthen connections across the University and bolster opportunities for research, scholarships, and student development through work-integrated learning placements.
The University will also benefit from ongoing association with the Perth Scorchers, the most successful team in domestic Twenty20 history.
CAPTION: WACA players Hilton Cartwright, Mathilda Carmichael, Chloe Piparo and Ashton Turner in Murdoch's Sports Science lab