16.07.2008 – Graham Croker

Former Executive Director of Sydney University Sport and Fitness, Greg Harris, has been honoured with Life Membership of the Sydney University Cricket Club.

The award was made at the annual general meeting of club on Tuesday evening, making Mr Harris the first non-player to be granted SUCC life membership since it was founded in 1854.

Mick O’Sullivan, who was re-elected SUCC Chairman at the meeting, said the award was richly deserved.
“Greg helped to galvanise support when the club was about to be kicked out of the Sydney Grade competition in the late 1990s,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“As head of Sydney University Sport, he helped organise a deputation that included the University, alumni and former players to help keep us in the competition. He also organised strategy meetings, attracted plenty of publicity, including an advertisement in The Sydney Morning Herald, and discussed whether we should take legal action.

“Greg played a pivotal role in stopping the club from being booted out of the competition and from that we built a framework for the future. He helped the club built better relations with the NSW Cricket Association and to attract a number of representative players to the ranks, including Greg Matthews, Greg Mail, Matthew Phelps, Mark Cameron, Stuart MacGill and Stuart Clark.”

After being reinstated into the competition, the club responded in style by winning the 2001-02 premiership – the first for the club in 89 years – and another in 2003-04.

“Greg didn’t miss a ball during the 2001-02 final,” Mr O’Sullivan said. “And he was a proud as the players when we won the title.”

Speaking from Perth, where he recently took up the role of Chief Executive of Rugby WA and the Western Force after a 16-year association with Sydney University Sport, Mr Harris said he was honoured and touched by the award.

“We had a battle on our hands to keep the club in the Sydney competition and they responded in the best possible manner by taking out the title two years later,” he said.

Meanwhile, the AGM on Tuesday night re-elected Bruce Collins as President for another term. Dave Butchart, Piysh Bhatt and Tom Kieran were elected vice-presidents, Nick Dunford will handle the secretarial duties and Geoff De Mesuita is the executive officer for 2008-09.