In a momentous celebration of dedication, leadership, and impactful contributions to the Australian sports industry, Women Onside congratulates our esteemed board member, Heather Reid, on being honoured with the prestigious Frank S. Pyke Alumni Award. This accolade recognises graduates who have played a pivotal role in advancing Australia's sports landscape, and Heather's inclusion is a testament to her outstanding career spanning over four decades.
Heather, renowned for her unwavering commitment to women's football and advocacy in sports, expressed her delight at this unexpected recognition. In her gracious response, she acknowledged the award's significance, drawing parallels between her journey and the visionary efforts of Professor Frank Pyke in establishing the Sports Studies program.
Heather's connection with the University of Canberra dates back to her undergraduate days in 1983 when she was among the first cohort of sports management students. Over the years, her involvement evolved, encompassing roles as a player, coach, lecturer, and facilitator of key relationships between UC and other entities in the sports domain.
Heather's impact transcends traditional boundaries, with her instrumental role in forging a sponsorship partnership between the University of Canberra and Canberra United Football Club in 2010. Notably, the University of Canberra became the first university to be the front-of-shirt sponsor for a W-League team, a partnership that endures a decade later.
Heather's journey with the University of Canberra has been marked by a series of accolades, from winning the 1983 PBL Marketing Award for sports administration to receiving an Honorary Doctorate and induction into the Sports Walk of Fame last year. Heather acknowledges that the Frank S. Pyke Alumni Award is the icing on the cake—a symbol of decades of determination, commitment, and resilience.
In expressing her gratitude, Heather reflects on Professor Frank Pyke's battle to establish sports studies as a serious academic discipline, creating opportunities for individuals like herself to pursue their passion within the realm of sport.
As Women Onside, we join the chorus of applause for Heather Reid, celebrating her exceptional achievements and the well-deserved Frank S. Pyke Alumni Award. Heather's journey is not just a personal triumph but a testament to the enduring impact of women in football and the broader sports industry.
In the words of Heather, "It's been a great journey, and it's fair to say I'm chuffed with this latest gong." Indeed, Heather's journey continues to inspire and pave the way for future generations in women's football and beyond. Congratulations, Heather, on this remarkable honour!