Westfield Matildas and Sydney FC player Amy Harrison learnt the hard way how important it is for elite athletes to have a back-up plan. Towards the end of 2015 Amy tore her ACL, which put her in rehabilitation mode for 12 months and inspired her to study.
“That was a pretty big wake-up call for me. Being out of the game for a whole year is hard to take,” Amy explains. “But I knew then how quickly what you love can get taken away from you. I knew I needed a back-up.”
Only 20 years old, Amy had already achieved so many of her career goals. She had debuted with the Matildas in 2015, won the Young Player of the Year in the W-League National Competition and captained the under 20 Young Matildas. Amy loves what she does.
“Playing in front of crowds, for your national team – there’s no better feeling. You’re representing your country, playing with some of your best mates and travelling around the world,” Amy exclaims.
Faced with a year off, Amy decided to study at ACPE and became part of the College’s Elite Athlete and Coach Program.
“It was important for me to stay in a sports-friendly set-up and I knew that ACPE offered this,” she says. “I wanted to be around the same group of people, with the same attributes and inspirations.”
“Support and flexibility is everything when you’re trying to maintain a professional career,” Amy says. “The support that ACPE gives is definitely what attracted me. The student support services have made a world of difference in my first year and definitely will in the years to come.”
Determined to return to competition in 2017, Amy says female football is on the rise. Starting out in football at five years of age, Amy also recognises the importance of female role models.
“Role models set the foundation for future generations. At a young age I met Matildas player Heather Garriock at a clinic and we started a great friendship,” Amy says. “She still looks out for me. I wanted to be like her. I loved what she did on and off the field. Hopefully one day I can do that for someone as well.”
With Amy’s passion for the game, a strong work ethic and a solid back-up plan, she looks set to do achieve all this and more.
Read more about ACPE’s Elite Athlete and Coach Program.