Hawthorn Football Club has extended its commitment to growing women’s sport with the announcement that the Monash University Storm Netball Club will be rebranded as “The Hawks” in the BUPA Victorian Netball League (BUPA VNL) competition.

The partnership between the two clubs will see Hawthorn become naming rights partner of The Hawks and assist the club in providing young netballers with access to elite talent pathways.

The BUPA VNL is the premier netball competition in Victoria and a pathway for elite netballers to reach the Suncorp Super Netball League.

The Hawks will have three teams competing in the competition, an Under 19’s, Division 1 and Championship side.

The Hawks will also work closely with Netball Victoria to support the Eastern zone Academy Program

As part of the partnership, The Hawks will also focus on delivering initiatives in the Gippsland and Eastern Victorian regions, which aligns with Hawthorn’s current football Next Generation Academy zones.

Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves said he was excited by the addition of a new community partnership being added to the club’s growing Hawthorn family and for the opportunity to grow the game and participation at a grassroots level.

“We are more than just a football club at Hawthorn and this partnership is a fantastic opportunity to venture into a new community sporting code and display our commitment and investment into women’s sport, in addition to what we are already doing in football with our VFL and VFLW side,” Reeves said.

“We are really excited by the partnership and look forwarded to continuing to grow the club’s footprint in women’s and men’s sports.”

Netball Victoria CEO Rosie King said she was delighted by Hawthorn’s investment into supporting grassroots netball.

“We applaud Hawthorn Football Club’s investment into grassroots netball by supporting our emerging talent coming through the netball pathway,” said King.

“Netball’s profile continues to shine which is enormously attractive to other elite sporting organisations and so we are delighted with this new partnership.”

The BUPA VNL season begins on Sunday April 29 when The Hawks take on the Peninsula Waves at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.

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