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ANU offer first of its kind women's AFL $5000 scholarship

The booming success of the AFLW even caught its own administrators off guard and now the Australian National University has thrown its support behind the game taking Australia by storm.

In partnership with AFL Canberra the university will offer a first-of-its-kind $5000 leadership scholarship in a bid to lure a star female player to the ANU.

ANU Australian Football Club president Caitlin Roy is preparing for her ninth season with the Griffins and hopes the initiative will bring a new standard of excellence to the club.

"The women's scholarship is about having an inspirational person come in and really lift the calibre of footy that the club can offer," Roy said.

Roy added the program is about providing pathways to the AFLW and said athletes could follow the lead of Canberra's Ellie Brush and Jessica Bibby and change sports.

"We want to provide pathways for players, obviously they don't have to be a AFLW player, they don't even have to have played AFL before, they just have to demonstrate their sporting prowess," Roy said.


"Essentially we're trying to bring talented sports players to the club so we can improve our opportunities and standing [within the competition].

"For us it's a really exciting initiative, AFL in Canberra is really flourishing at the moment and it's really important for us to be competitive in women's footy.

"To see the game develop the way it has is really exciting, the support has been just phenomenal and footy really has become a leader of women's sport because there is genuine support and interest out there."

The university launched its sporting scholarships program in November and chief executive of ANU sport Michael Brady said they were eager to support women's football.

"The university embraces diversity and this is a great opportunity to add to that diversity, so from our perspective it's a really important initiative and we're really happy to partner up with ACT AFL," Brady said.

"We launched our sporting scholarships last year because we feel there is an opportunity to heighten the profile of sport at the ANU, but it also provides opportunities for people to excel.

"It's part of that whole ethos to create opportunities for people to become well rounded individuals who lead balanced lives, and providing scholarships like this can only enhance women's opportunities in sport."

The AFL Canberra women's competition will celebrate its 20th season this year, with the ANU joining in 2001. For more information regarding the scholarship visit the club's website.