Sydney FC Female Heroes recognised
Our second annual Women In Football event, proudly supported by Billbergia – Sydney FC’s Liberty A-Leagues sleeve partner, took place on Thursday 10 March to celebrate some of the fantastic work performed by women and those involved in the women’s game at our club.
There were over 100 people in attendance at the Kimpton Margot Hotel in Sydney’s CBD with Billbergia, NSW government officials and representatives from Sydney FC, including Chairman Scott Barlow, his wife Alina Barlow, and many of our partners.
The key note for this year’s event was a 20 minute panel discussion on breaking the bias against women in sport, the theme of International Women’s Day, featuring panelists Sydney FC Foundation Chair and Senior Investment Advisor for Morgans Financial Jenny Abood, Chief Executive of the NSW Office of Sport, Karen Jones, the first Aboriginal-Australian candidate for Lord Mayor of Sydney , Yvonne Weldon and former Sydney FC player and current Young Matildas’ Head Coach Leah Blayney.
Once the panel discussion was finished the awards ceremony took place and there were six winners in total. We were delighted to receive many nominations for this year’s awards, across all five award categories. This year’s winners were:
Local Community Heroes – Michelle Ball and Rachael Albert – Sydney FC Powerchair Team
Michelle has been on the board for Powerchair Football NSW for several years bringing her legal expertise to the sport, being instrumental in policy writing and is a strong advocate for the sport as a whole. Rachael has also been with the Sydney FC powerchair team for a number of years, and her support of the team and promoting the sport has been invaluable to its continued growth and success.
Both Michelle and Rachel exemplify what it means to be a ‘hero’ within the community, especially the disability sporting community through Powerchair football. Both Michelle and Rachael’s son, Fletch and Mitchell play for the Sydney FC Powerchair Football team.
Community Football Hero – Michael Da Silva – Girls & Women’s Football Coordinator at Hornsby
Michael is a long time volunteer at Hornsby Heights Football Club, in Sydney FC’s catchment area. Currently as the club’s Girls & Women’s Football Coordinator he has taken responsibility of the female game and taken its success to new levels. After creating a blueprint for success at his club, he began working with other Clubs in the Northern Suburbs association to help them realize the same. He now sits on the NSFA Board and is heavily involved in making the girls and women’s competitions sustainable and futureproofed in a key growth part of Sydney’s grassroots football scene. Additionally, Mick has always been a staunch advocate for Sydney FC – helping to foster a relationship direct with Hornsby Heights FC for the betterment of his club, and coming on board a Sydney FC coach ambassador in past seasons.
Sydney FC Volunteer Hero – Priscilla Echegoyen
Priscilla began as a Sydney FC Match Day volunteer in 2018 after enquiring to assist in delivering match day operations. Since this time, Priscilla has been an ever reliable volunteer who is eager to assist in any way possible – including fan engagement, stretcher bearing and even scoreboard operations! She is a truly dedicated, generous and deserving winner of our award for 2022.
Sydney FC Member Hero – Michelle Morris
Michelle is tireless in her support of Sydney FC – supporting both Men and Women, but featuring at the Cove’s Capo for Women’s games. She is exceptionally passionate about women’s football and over the last season has managed religiously week in week out, despite COVID restrictions, to attend every game ensuring that continuous fan support rings loudly in full voice for the players. In addition to her work in stadia, she also leads the team that produces the amazing TIFO’s produced specifically for the Women’s team, dedicating many hours away from the pitch. Outside of Sydney FC she is also a respected and an up and coming personality of The Women’s League, and she is a true role model for the young female football fan now and into the future.
Sydney FC Staff Hero – Hannah Lidster
Hannah has been a role model for all, both male and female, through her work ethic, humility and attitude no matter what is them her way and is second to none at navigating challenges with class, producing exceptional outcomes and always finding fun along the way. If this award could be defined by a person, this intelligent, loyal and grounded female would be it.
Each winner received a Sydney FC shirt with their name on the back plus flowers presented by Billbergia CEO Paul Addison and Matilda’s forward Chloe Logarzo.