BioCATS will use a blended cross curricular approach to achieve the following outcomes – promoting health and wellness alongside increasing interest and engagement in science and mathematics.   This free education program will be delivered in the soon-to-be-opened Deakin Cats Community Centre located at Simonds Stadium as well as incursion to schools in the region.

Geelong has a historical backbone and exciting future in scientific research and development as well as an inherent love of sport, in particular Australian Rules football. BioCATS is a marriage of these elements and builds on the natural questions that come from participating in and watching sport in the 21st century.   We explore the latest trends and technology in sport and students will get the chance to experiment and explore the science and maths of football and career pathways associated with sport.

Students use cutting edge technology such as interactive data loggers, heart rate and skin temperature sensors, GPS athlete tracking units, and iPads to perform their own experiments and map their physiological reactions to exercise. This data is then used to introduce various learning areas of science and maths and emphasise the benefits of healthy living and exercise. We also showcase the experience of elite athletes during game day.

The Geelong Cats aspire to be recognised as an outstanding community organisation in the AFL with community development programs that have a youth focus and are designed to lead change initiatives, advocate for progress and leverage partnerships across industries and agencies.  The ultimate aim is to be ‘more than a football club’.  The Club has developed an extensive community development program will work with key partners to empower young people, improve their health and wellbeing and tackle the issues around youth homelessness.

Cats General Manager Community Development Sarah Albon said: “BioCATS is an innovative community program designed to encourage young people to be active, to illustrate the importance of healthy mind, body and spirit.

“The Geelong Cats are at the cutting edge of sport science and offer students the opportunity of experiential learning.  Our players and coaches are the perfect advocates for healthy lifestyle.  This will be one of the Cats key community development programs to run from the new Deakin Cats Community Centre.”

BioLAB is a science and mathematics specialist centre located at Belmont High School and was set up by the State Government to inspire and engage students with hands on education programs. BioLAB’s programs aim to showcase the wonders of science and mathematics using the theme of human performance and sport. This allows students to learn more about themselves as well as experiencing the myriad of fantastic career opportunities and research that occurs in this region.

BioLAB Director Yvonne Van Der Ploeg said: “This is such an exciting partnership program for the region. BioCATS builds on the hope that it might only take a small spark of inspiration to ignite a lifetime of interest in science and mathematics throughout a student’s schooling or even their career. We want to capture the imagination of students and draw a clear link between science and the real world.

“BioCATS aims to engage primary school students early on to get them excited about science, building the foundation of knowledge that will serve them well in their secondary education and beyond.”

BioCATS is proudly supported by Target and Deakin University. These exceptionally community-minded organisations have been invaluable in bringing this program to life.

“Target is a proud supporter of the Geelong Cats and our partnership has a very strong community focus. This year we are very excited to be supporting the new BioCATS program which in its first year, will see over 40 local schools involved giving 1,500 grade five and six students the opportunity to participate in this innovative education initiative,” said Lynn Semjaniv, Target Australia’s General Manager Corporate Affairs.