Eilidh Child has expressed her admiration over the way Ann Budge has made her presence felt on the Scottish football scene.
The athlete is a diehard Hearts fan and, after being unveiled as an ambassador for HYDC, she explained how impressed she has been at the way the Jambos owner has galvanised the club in the last 19 months.
Child, 28, said: “What Ann’s done is just incredible and it’s great to have someone that you have so much faith in. You know everything she does is for the benefit of the club. The effect she’s had on the whole club, everybody is buzzing about it and she’s brilliant.
“I’ve met her a couple of times. She has invited me to games a couple of times and she’s a lovely lady. She’s switched on and is level-headed about it. She gets a lot of respect across football and her voice is heard – but I think it could be used in a wider way.
“I did a Women In Sport conference last year and a lot of people were talking about Ann. She was the one who was standing out. It’s great to see a female having such an impact on a game dominated by men.”
Hurdler Child, who attends as many Hearts games as she returns north from her Bath base, hopes her support for HYDC can help the club nurture more homegrown young players like those she used to idolise. “It’s important for me to see youngsters coming through the academy because a lot of my favourite players were the ones from Edinburgh,” she said. “I loved Robbo [John Robertson] when I was younger and Gary Locke was always a favourite.”