One of Australia’s leading sporting universities has revealed its latest project to honour former students.
The University of Canberra has officially launched its Sport Walk of Fame to recognise and acknowledge student success, including athletes, administrators, referees, researchers and journalists.
University of Canberra director of sport Carrie Graf said the Walk of Fame was just one example of UC’s ongoing commitment to sporting research and excellence.
It is one of many new upgrades and installations on campus designed to align with UC’s sport strategy.
“We are continuing to work towards being internationally renowned for our collaborations, innovation, and technology in the sporting space,” Ms Graf said.
“Sport lies at the heart of UC, and is part of our history, present and future.”
The Walk of Fame spans across the walkway bridge between the Refectory and the Sports Hub.
Ms Graf said it was difficult to trim a list of 50-plus candidates to the 22 to be featured on the Sport Wall of Fame.
“We’re incredibly proud of all the alumni from UC, particularly in the sports space,” she said. “Their impact in sport nationally and internationally, and certainly on this institution, has been huge.
“We’re proud to induct this ‘class of 2022’ and we’re looking forward to seeing the Sport Walk of Fame expand into the future.”
University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Professor Paddy Nixon said the instalment acknowledged and proved the success of UC graduates in sports.
“Our graduates – whether they studied something sports-related or not – are contributing to the world of sport in a significant way,” Mr Nixon said.
“I think it’s important to remember that it’s not only athletes involved in that world. Without the referees, researchers and administrators, there would be no such thing as sport.
“In line with our sport strategy, I hope those facilities will continue to grow and serve our community into the future.”
Former UC student Louise Burrows was acknowledged and featured on the Walk of Fame for her contribution to rugby union.
The Bachelor of Education, Secondary Teaching (Physical Education) graduate and now Canberra Girls Grammar PE teacher of 12 years completed her studies in 2008. She has played for the Brumbies and ACT Rugby since 1995, and competed in four world cups.
“[The Walk of Fame] is a great initiative and a great way to recognise the alumni who have studied at UC, but also excelled at their sports,” she said.
“As a female playing rugby union, usually those types of accolades go to the men. So it was very humbling. I was pretty shocked to be honest as a female recognised in that way.
“It was a huge honour alongside some pretty amazing athletes.”
Louise hoped the Walk of Fame would inspire more university students, especially rugby players.
“Hopefully they see it and say ‘well I can study, I can be an elite athlete and I can work’,” she said.
“It gets busy, but it’s all worth it when you get to walk away with a degree and be able to play elite-level sport at the same time.
“I was always working, training and studying, and life was always so busy. Sometimes that means you forget things you’ve done along the way, so this was a great opportunity for me to look back at my achievements throughout my journey at UC.
“The support I received from the university all those years ago was phenomenal.”
The full list of UC alumni acknowledged on the 2022 Sport Walk of Fame can be found here.