La Trobe University and the Bendigo Pioneers Football Club have joined forces. The club's&nbsp;Bendigo NAB League teams&nbsp;will now be called the La Trobe University Bendigo Pioneers under a new naming-rights&nbsp;partnership. In addition to the team's new name, the club and university will continue to strengthen their relationship by facilitating joint exercise and sports development programs. Two recent graduates of the University's Bachelor of Exercise Science and Master of Exercise Physiology program run twice-weekly strength and condition sessions&nbsp;to help increase the performance of both men and women Pioneers. Pioneers talent manager Stephen Sharp said the team had benefited from the performance-based programs. "Having students and new graduates, who are at the top of their field, helping support and improve the physical attributes of our players, has been of enormous benefit to the club,"&nbsp;Sharp said. Founded in 1996, the Pioneers has a long history in central Victoria of developing top level professional players. Sharp said the new partnership would also benefit the education of the players. "While performance on the field is important, we equally emphasise our players maintaining and excelling in their education, to give them greater career options,"&nbsp;Sharp said. La Trobe Bendigo head of campus Rob Stephenson said the partnership reflected the university's "long-standing"&nbsp;commitment to developing employment outcomes for students. "Not only are students exposed to new professional networks and meaningful work, they often receive job offers straight after - or, in some cases prior to graduation,"&nbsp;Stephenson said. The partnership will also see the fruition of two scholarships that will be offered to La Trobe students who are current or past Pioneers players - or work as volunteers with the club. Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.