Ordway awarded Edna Ryan for sport

Catherine Ordway, Professor of Practice (Sports Management) at La Trobe University, has been given the 2016 Edna Ryan award in sport for promoting the engagement and recognition of women in sport.

The EDNAs are given to women who have made a feminist difference by advancing the status of women in the media, education, government, leadership, mentoring, sport, art and the workforce.

Ordway has championed women in sport for more than 20 years in voluntary and paid positions across a diverse range of roles.

She has most notably advocated to get more women involved in sport leadership after recognising that many men in sport organisations don’t have a network of women to draw on for board positions.

The timing of the award is particularly prevalent as the Australian women’s sport landscape is currently under the spotlight with the inception of the inaugural AFLW competition.

Ordway has successfully integrated gender equity themes into teaching sports management and sports law at La Trobe by challenging her students to look at recruitment, culture, governance and sponsorship in the industry through a gender lens.

In her acceptance speech Ordway reflected on her experiences at the university as some of her ‘most rewarding experiences to date’.

“It may not have been immediately apparent to (my students) on why I included a task in a ‘Risk Management’ class on re-writing the language used in a sports job advertisement and how we can reframe what we mean by merit,” said Ordway.

“It was very emotional for me to read the, mostly male, students’ realisation that they had inadvertently been making life more difficult for women to work in sport.”

“On their own initiative some of them went on to outline the changes they had already begun making in their lives; and it made me cry.”

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