When Rachael Soutar of Warrawee received her Blue for soccer at the annual awards night in the Great Hall on Saturday she had Blues Association archivists scratching their heads.
For there in the audience were her mother Jackie Soutar, a track and field Blue from 1986, and her grandfather Barry Webb, a track and field Blue from 1960. Both resplendent in their blazers, and both very excited and proud.
Are they the first three generations of one family to receive Blues at the University of Sydney? The archivists are still … archiving.
Professor Webb, a Bachelor of Engineering/Architecture was a champion high jumper and hurdler in the late 1950s and 60s who represented Sydney University Athletics Club at the annual University Championships and NSW in the 120yd hurdles at the 1962 Australian Championships.
Australia had a champion crop of men’s hurdlers at the time he competed, including Dave Prince, Gary Knoke, Peter Balthes and Mick Daws among others.
Professor Webb’s daughter Jackie literally followed in his footsteps, but added a few more sports to her repertoire to compete as a heptathlete.
She enrolled in a Bachelor of Education degree at Sydney University in 1982 and spent the next four years representing SUAC in Sydney competitions and at Australian University Championships in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
Jackie also competed at state level and won the NSW heptathlon in 1987. “My best disciplines were the high jump and hurdles, like Dad, and I had to improve on my javelin and shot put to win the state title,” she said.
Indeed, she met her husband to be, Ken Soutar, on the athletics circuit. He threw discus and shot put and is a Blue from Macquarie University. He also won the NSW discus title in 1987, the same year Jackie turned in her best result with 4950 points to claim the title.
Their daughter Rachael, who is studying Occupational Therapy at Sydney University’s Cumberland campus, might have followed the track and field route, or basketball – she represented NSW at Under 19 level – but branched to soccer.
It was a good decision. She rose through the ranks to earn selection in the Young Matildas (Under 19) Australian side, with trips to New Zealand, Myanmar and China for the Asian Championships.
Rachael was also a member of the Sydney University side that won the 2015 Women’s Premier League in one of the more exciting games of the year. She also plays for West Sydney Wanderers as left or right back.
As the happy three departed the Great Hall, amid a swirl of blue and gold blazers, Jackie cast an inquisitive look back to note two bemused archivists pondering whether this family had recorded another first.