At an awards ceremony in Sydney on 20 October, UTS Master of Sports Management graduate, Aisha Jalil, was named winner of the UTS 2022 International Alumni Award.
At 16, Aisha was selected for Pakistan’s first International Women’s Cricket Team, having grown up playing street cricket with her brothers. Although she represented her country as a bowler, tail-end batswoman, and opener on 1997 tour of New Zealand and Australia, Aisha didn’t believe she could have a career in cricket. She left the team to pursue a business career.
Aisha says: “At the time I was playing, cricket wasn’t seen as a career. I did an MBA in finance and was working for a multinational. I never thought I would get a chance to do something I was passionate about.”
Opportunity opened in Australia
Her love of cricket remained strong, and in 2009 an Australian Government scholarship gave Aisha the opportunity to study Master of Management in Sports Management at UTS.
She says: “I thought, this is my chance to do what I’m passionate about. I chose Sports Management because there was nothing like it available in Pakistan.”
Inspiring the next generation of sportswomen
The sporting programs and education focused career-planning she experienced in Australia inspired Aisha to take her new expertise home. In Pakistan she has developed and implemented a grassroots curriculum that’s inspiring the next generation of women in sport.
Breaking stereotypes about women in sport
Her current challenge is preparing an under-19 women’s team for the 2023 U19 Cricket World Cup. In addition to encouraging girls to participate in sport from an early age, Aisha hopes to establish a dedicated women’s cricket academy in Pakistan. It’s part of a long-term plan to break stereotypes about women in sport.
The work is already seeing results. Aisha says: “You can see change happening as young girls come through the programs. Over the years I’ve started seeing parents bringing their daughters, ensuring they get the right training. And they see that there’s life, and a career in sport after playing. A lot of parents are now supporting their daughters to pursue their dreams.”
Recognition for her ground-breaking work
Aisha was nominated for the prestigious award, which is sponsored by UTS College, for her work as Game Development and Team Manager in the Women’s Cricket Department of the Pakistan Cricket Board. She manages pathway programs, international operations, and the National Team on home and away tours.
About the UTS Alumni Awards
These awards celebrate the significant achievements of UTS alumni across Business, Arts and Social Sciences, Design, Architecture and Building, Engineering and IT, Health, Law, and Science. They include a Chancellor’s Award, UTS Community Award, and categories to honour outstanding Indigenous, Young, and International alumni.
About UTS and UTS College
The University of Technology Sydney is a dynamic and innovative university, ranked as Australia’s top young university in the 2021 QS Top 50 under 50. This reflects its strength in research, teaching, employability, and internationalisation.
Students often begin their UTS experience with UTS College, the pathway to UTS, which offers English Language programs, Diploma courses (undergraduate pathways in Business, Communications, Design and Architecture, Engineering, IT, and Science), and a Pre-Master’s Program.