Two of the West Coast Eagles’ loyal sponsors have broadened their commitment to the club by placing their support behind the club’s AFLW team.

The Eagles, who are preparing to enter the competition in 2020, have been busy scouring the country for elite talent and investing in the development of Western Australia’s best young players through its female academies.

With the support of two colossal brands, BHP and Edith Cowan University, the drive to hit the competition with momentum next season is at full steam.

BHP will be the team’s major sponsor, while ECU will extend its relationship as the sponsor of the AFL team’s coaching staff by committing to the West Coast women’s coaching group.

After announcing last week that Luke Dwyer, a member of the successful 2018 West Coast coaching staff, would be the senior coach of the women’s team, the club’s imminent entry into the elite women’s competition is clearly building.

BHP have been a loyal partner of the West Coast Eagles since 2005, when the two organisations joined forces to improve school attendances in the Pilbara by using football to promote the importance of education.

The partnership has since grown to support males and females across the State through the Naitanui and Female Academies.

Dedicated coaches support the participants as they grow into adults, through engagement and physical education programs that teach resilience, nutrition and how to better connect with their peers in their community. BHP is recognised as the club’s Inclusion and Diversity Partner.

BHP and West Coast have consistently been involved in supporting schools in the Pilbara, standing shoulder to shoulder with teachers to reinforce the importance of attending school and working hard.

The new investment builds on these programs, with BHP appearing on the front of the team’s AFLW jumper throughout the 2020 season.

BHP head of corporate affairs Meath Hammond said the company was delighted to be an inaugural partner of the club’s AFLW team.

“BHP are very excited to be an inaugural partner of the West Coast Eagles AFLW team. We are committed to supporting women from all walks of life achieve their full potential,” he said.

“Like our own workforce, many of the team will come from a diverse range of backgrounds and locations across the State of WA, embracing challenges with passion and tenacity.

“BHP has been working in partnership with the West Coast Eagles since 2005 to enhance educational outcomes and we see this next stage of the relationship as an extension of this life-changing work.

ECU have been a valued partner of the Eagles for many years, including the integration of sports science and broadcast students across several areas of the club.

Most visibly, ECU has been the coaches’ sponsor since 2015, building an important and highly valued relationship with Adam Simpson and his coaching staff. The ECU logo will feature prominently on the media polo of the women’s team. 

Extrapolating that partnership to embrace the coaching staff of the women’s team further galvanises the relationship.       

ECU Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve Chapman said the university was delighted to extend its support to the club’s AFLW team.

“ECU is proud to be an inaugural partner of the West Coast Eagles’ AFLW team, supporting new head coach Luke Dwyer and his coaching staff,” Professor Chapman said.

“It reflects our shared values and commitment to achieving gender equality and diversity.

“We are thrilled to build on our partnerships with the club, which include supporting Adam Simpson and his elite coaching team, the Naitanui Academy and West Coast Eagles Female Academy as well as working closely in the areas of research, teaching and industry placements.”