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Partnership launches NRL's first sports business institute

A new partnership between TAFE Queensland and the Brisbane Broncos will give students a pathway into a career in elite sport.

The Broncos' world-class headquarters in the heart of Brisbane is set to become a hub for aspiring future sports administrators as the NRL's flagship club launches the league's first Sport Business Institute.

In an exciting new partnership with TAFE Queensland, the newly created Institute will be the exclusive integrated home for a double Diploma of Sport (SIS50321) and Diploma of Leadership & Management (BSB50420) in the state's first accredited education pathway that embeds hands-on learning across an entire sporting organisation. 

The year-long course will offer students unparalleled insights into the operations of an elite NRL club and the most prominent sporting brand in Australia, with students immersed in the Broncos' daily operations.

They'll complete 100 hours of work experience across various departments of the club, including management, marketing and media, with two students per intake guaranteed graduate roles at the club on completion of the course.

Initially capped at 30 students, the first intake will commence in May and run through until April 2024, with a second intake to kick off in February next year.

Pathway options will also be provided for students pursuing further studies after the program.

In addition to guaranteed entry to university, students will receive up to one year of credit for a degree in some of Australia's universities, including the Bachelor of Sport Development, Bachelor of Sport Management and Bachelor of Business with a major in Sport Management.

The club will also employ a full-time Program Manager for the initiative to show its passion for developing future sports industry professionals.

Broncos CEO Dave Donaghy, widely respected and regarded as one of the most successful sports administrators in the country, having become the youngest NRL CEO in history at age 32, will be among the management team mentoring future sports leaders.

"We want to help build, nurture and power a field of dreams off the footy paddock as well," Donaghy said.

"Not all of us can be professional athletes, but at a club like ours, there is a significant' team behind the teams', in respect to both our men's and women's programs, that I believe is industry leading.

"We have incredibly talented people in respective roles across the organisation, and that's not by coincidence.

"We recruit the best off the field as well, and they're committed to helping our future generations thrive, so it's exciting to be embarking on building that pipeline of talent that can help all codes here in Brisbane.

"This is a truly unique and innovative partnership with TAFE Queensland and an opportunity that will change the game and gives students an inner sanctum experience and, for some – a full-time role at our club at the end of it.

"I can't wait to welcome our first group of students in May. There's never been a more exciting time to be part of the sports industry In Australia, particularly with the Olympics on our doorstep."

TAFE Queensland General Manager for Brisbane Brent Kinnane said the training partnership is a game changer for people passionate about rugby league and who are looking to kick-start a career in elite sport.  

"At a time when people with job-ready skills are in high demand across Australia, students will have the unique opportunity to not only gain a nationally recognised qualification, but also the chance to secure employment either at the Broncos or other elite sporting organisations,” Mr Kinnane said.

“Training will be contextualised to support the specific skills required to be successful working in elite sport and will give students valuable insights into the broader business of rugby league as they develop skills in sport, leadership and management.

"TAFE Queensland works best when we are working hand-in-hand with industry and we are proud to be able to play such an important role in providing the Broncos with a pipeline of skilled workers long into the future," he said.