Leaders of Evolution (LoE), an Australian based educational technology company, announced today a partnership agreement with the AFL’s Essendon Football Club that would deliver The Flight Deck learning hub for athletes, coaches and students. This signing comes off the back of the work LoE have been doing in the Australian and US sport and education sectors since the company’s inception in 2015.

The Flight Deck will initially provide learning opportunities for secondary school aged students, taking the venue-based Train Like a Bomber program into the virtual world of classrooms nationally. This initial course will be accompanied by several others to be delivered in the next 12 – 18 months with a focus on the Next Generation Academy athletes and local coaches initially.

LoE Co-founder and Director of Learning and Development, Damian Hecker said “The Train Like a Bomber program showcases how online education can be leveraged by professional sporting clubs to help their athletes and staff whilst connecting to their fan base and wider community through contemporary learning. When we think about grassroots development pathways, sport can make educational achievement feel like a ‘win’. It’s why our mission as a global firm is to marry education, sport and business.” 

EFC General Manager of Community Darren Harris said The Flight Deck offered a significant opportunity for the Essendon Football Club. 

“The Flight Deck is an exciting new platform for Essendon to connect with its community through a contemporary learning environment,” Harris said. “Leaders of Evolution have extensive experience in the education and sport sectors both in Australia and globally. We feel this experience will support us in harnessing our intellectual property and brand to deliver quality education to the community.”

With a focus on leadership and career readiness, LoE’s own suite of courses have been consumed by thousands of learners via the LoE Education Hub in Australia, England and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) colleges and universities in the U.S. These numbers are expected to grow exponentially over the coming years as the company fuse their passion for sport, leadership, coaching and the future skill needs of the workforce with modern approaches to online learning.

LoE co-founder and former NCAA athlete Jon Shepherd added “The field of education is getting transformed every day by technology and cloud-based capacities. Concepts such as educational personalisation, career readiness and on-the-job efficiency are critical and will remain so for the foreseeable future.” 

Shepherd was recently interviewed for an op-ed column in the American trade publication Sports Business Journal and explained how global organisations will increasingly utilise global work forces who are capable of jumping borders. 

“The flow on is that workers will have to learn on the job which means lifelong learners will out-earn those who refuse to learn,” said Shepherd. “In the end, greater levels of customised education will be needed and our courseware will ensure teachers can gain more outcomes in less time and students will be better prepared for their future in the workforce.”

The newly minted partnership with the Bombers adds them to the current stable of LoE learning and development partners, Australian National Sporting Organisations, Snow Australia and Special Olympics Australia. The company are currently fielding enquires from other Australian professional sporting teams and NCAA institutions about the development of bespoke learning materials for their athletes, coaches and students.

“The current COVID-19 situation has only further highlighted the importance of future proofing educational initiatives through technology” said Hecker. “When we re-emerge into our new normal over the coming months, I’m confident more organisations will recognise the exciting opportunities that exist by marrying their intellectual property with educational technology. We’re excited to be playing a part in this next wave of growth in this space.”

The EFC Flight Deck will be officially launched in July, 2020. 

To register interest in the Flights Deck Portal first online course, Train Like A Bomber send your first name, school name and email address to

student leadership, athlete development, Learning Management System

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Leaders of Evolution are passionate about education. We expertly design and deliver technology enhanced e-learning courses focused on leadership, social and emotional learning, career readiness and sports coaching for students, teachers, athletes, coaches and the wider community.

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Jon Shepherd

Away from his ongoing quest of learning to surf, Jon's busy overseeing marketing, sales and business development at Leaders of Evolution. His love for all sports, especially NBA & NCAA basketball ensures he is never far off a live ESPN score up-date.

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