We salute a true football #Pioneer – Penny Cula-Reid 150 games

Congratulations to our very own football pioneer Penny Cula-Reid on 150 fantastic games.

#Leader, #pioneer #champion #determined #focussed #professional.
These are just a few words that describe Penny who has made an enormous contribution to the game and to sport in general in her 27 years.

At just 6, Penny first pulled on the boots in 1994 with her beloved Murumbeena juniors where she played for 10 years racking up nearly 150 games.

In 2003 Penny was banned from playing with the boys due to the Football Victoria age ruling prohibiting girls from playing with boys from age 12.

Penny along with two other girls (Emily Stanyer from the Spurs and Helen Taylor) and their families challenged this ruling at VCAT and on Feb 17 2004, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) President, Justice Stuart Morris lifted the age at which girls can be excluded from playing football in mixed teams from 12 to 14, ruling that it was legal to ban girls aged 14 and over from playing with boys because of differences in strength, stamina and physique.

From this ruling the Youth Girls competition was born in Victoria and we now see Youth Girls footy flourishing across the country.

Penny’s junior footy days came to an end and in 2004 she pulled on the boots for the St Kilda Sharks, winning the Division 2 flag in her first year, a feat that Penny describes as “One of my proudest moments in footy.”

Penny’s list of sporting achievements are astonishing.

Victoria U15, U17, U19 and 2nd XI level.

Vic U19 – 05 & 06
Vic Senior – 07, 09, 11, 13
Vic Metro – 05, 06, 07, 08, 10, 12
Australia team, International rules tour of Ireland – 2006
Named All Australian – 05, 06, 07
Inaugural AFL women’s draft, selected at pick 42 by the Western Bulldogs – 2013

Penny is an integral member of the St Kilda Sharks Football Club. She leads by example and drives herself and her team mates to work harder and push hard with extra effort.

Sharks coach Shannon McFerran spoke to stkildasharks.com in the lead up to Penny’s milestone game.

“Penny is an amazing athlete who I have had the opportunity to watch, play against, play with and now coach.

Over the years I have watched Penny grow and mature as a great player and leader at the Sharks.

Penny has a fantastic ability to read the play and her skills and decision making under pressure are among the best I have ever seen.

Penny’s work rate on the field is often underrated and this year I have been fortunate enough to see from the sidelines exactly what Penny can do!

Penny congratulations on your milestone not only are you an amazing sports woman but you have become an amazing friend!”

We also spoke to Penny’s great mate and backline partner Mia Clifford who said,

“Penny is inspirational to play alongside, she drives u to be better and always attack the footy.

She always encourages u and always has your back out there.

To be honest Penny is the glue that keeps us all together out on that field.”

Penny Cula-Reid, you are a champion and we are mighty proud to have you on our team. We wish you all the very best for game 150 and for the next 150 and beyond.

You are a true #legend and we salute you.