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Roosters Honoured at ACU Sport and Performer Awards

Three Roosters were honoured with awards at the Australian Catholic University's inaugural Sport and Performer Awards, which saw NRLW star Brydie Parker taking out a major award down in Melbourne. 

The night, which was a celebration of success from student performers and athletes alike, saw Parker - one of three recipients - claim the EAPP Academic Excellence Award in recognition of her efforts. 

Not only does her hectic schedule including rehabilitation from an ACL injury and  NRLW Club commitment, but fulltime work as a strength and conditioning coach at Matraville Sports High School and studying a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. 

The 23-year-old NRLW Premiership winner was one of the stars of the night, not only claiming her prestigious award, but had the honour of closing the ceremony with the Vote of Thanks.

“It was very unexpected, but I felt very honoured to receive it,” Parker said of her award.

“It was great to be recognised for the hard work I’ve done behind the scenes to maintain the level of academic studies alongside my performance schedule.

“There’s a lot of time and effort both academically and emotionally that goes into doing a degree alongside trying to juggle both a fulltime career and fulltime training schedule. To be recognised for what I’ve been doing in those aspects of my life was really special.

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“It was a fantastic night that involved a lot of talented and inspirational athletes who have or are studying at ACU in a variety of degrees to give them recognition with a number of academic excellence.

“I got the opportunity to close off the ceremony and thank the people who made the ACU EAPP program possible and share a little bit of my story about what they’ve done for me in the past five years I’ve been at ACU.

“I also wanted to personally recognise and congratulate the athletes and performers that received awards and were nominated.”

NRL stars Luke Keary (Bachelor in Business Administration) and Nat Butcher (Bachelor in Commerce) also received the ACU Blue Award in recognition of their long-term success in Rugby League while maintaining their academic studies. 

Despite commitments preventing them from attending the ceremony, it was no surprise for Parker to see fellow Roosters involved.

After all, it's something she knows that the Club has offered and promoted to help benefit the lives of their players. 

“It’s something that the Roosters are really big on,” she said. 

“They really instill that drive for education and the value it brings alongside playing by setting yourself up for post-career, they understand we’re more than just athletes and want to promote the importance of a balanced lifestyle.

"The Club are massive on education even just through the implementation of having a Careers and Education Manager, it shows how invested they are in looking after their players and their future endeavours.

The Club are massive on education even just through the implementation of having a Careers and Education Manager, it shows how invested they are in looking after their players and their future endeavours.

Brydie Parker Rooster #20

“It teaches you a lot about yourself and what you’re capable of. It allows that disassociation from footy when you need to get away from it and it allows you to shift your focus.

“There’s been a huge growth since it started in 2018. The focus on greater education and the implementation of a careers coach is something we didn’t have back in our first year.

“The investment has been brought in and personally it’s helped me get involved in more programs and it’s given players an opportunity to see the value of education."

Parker also praised the university's groundbreaking program and hinted at a possible role in her future endeavours post-career.

“The support they give to their athletes and performers is unbelievable and the support system they offer runs 24 hours a day and seven days a week,” said Parker.

“The ability to reach out to people who understand what you’re going through and have sympathy, empathy, and the ability to help you out with the things you’re unable to while juggling a performance schedule, I’m grateful for that support system.

“It would be really valuable to be in that position to work with other athletes as well. There’s probably a greater level of respect as well because they know what you’ve done.

“Without that support, I wouldn’t be able to achieve half of the things I’ve been able to in my academic and sporting careers.

“A big reason why I chose to do an undergraduate degree as opposed to a Masters was because I could do it at ACU.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.