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Pirie, Daphne (1931 - )

MBE

Born
12 December 1931
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Occupation
Hockey Player, Sports Administrator and Track and Field Athlete
Alternative Names
  • Welch, Daphne (maiden name)

Summary

Daphne Pirie was a nationally ranked track and field athlete who captained the Queensland women's athletics and hockey teams and represented Australia in hockey. She is now a world-ranked Master's Athlete, winning eight gold medals in international competitions. In 1989 she was awarded an MBE for services to hockey.

Details

One of eight children - six boys and two girls - Daphne Pirie came to love sport at an early age. Her father, President of the Queensland Rugby League and a former champion sprinter, lost a leg as a Lighthorseman in the First World War and turned to sports administration on his return home. On Sunday afternoon outings the family would hold potato races by the creek. Daphne's mother, who grew up on a farm in Rockhampton and worked hard to look after her children and her crippled husband, encouraged her daughter to get out and about and be involved in sport. School sport mostly consisted of air raid drills, but Daphne would swim at the Milton School swimming pool and run at the Exhibition Ground at State Primary School Athletics days.

When the Queensland Women's Amateur Athletic Association re-formed after the war, Pirie began running. Serious training began at the age of seventeen when she was sent with a junior team to Sydney by the Mayne Harriers' Athletic Club in 1948. By 1955 she held 40 open championships in her State and was unbeaten in all events.

In the early 1950's Pirie and others re-formed the Valley Women's Hockey Club (disbanded during the war) as a social activity alongside the Valley men's team. In her second year in the game Pirie made the State team, and by 1955 was in the Australian team. She enjoyed the team game, finding it easier than running - 'running is tougher, and it's individual' - and was happy to switch between the two; playing hockey in the winter, running in summer, and working at Whatmore's Sports Store in between. Daphne Pirie was married in 1958 and had her first child soon afterward. The family lived at the Gold Coast and Pirie began playing hockey at Murwillumbah.

Not content only to spectate when her elite career was over, Daphne developed a career in sports administration. On Ruby Robinson's retirement she was appointed to the Queensland Olympic Council, becoming its first female vice-president. She was founding president of Womensport Queensland and is a director of Gold Coast Events Management. She holds life memberships with Hockey Australia, Women's Hockey Australia and Hockey Queensland and is a Hockey Queensland Hall of Fame Inductee. She is a board member of the Queensland Academy of Sport and President of the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of fame. Most recently, she was honoured by Womensport Queensland who, in 2006, granted her their inaugural 2006 contribution to sport award.

Events

1949
Queensland Track and Field Championships - winner High Jump
1950
Australian Women's Track and Field Championships - Finalist High Jump
1950
Australian Women's Track and Field Championships - Finalist Long Jump
1950
Australian Women's Track and Field Championships - Finalist 880 yards
1950
Australian Women's Track and Field Championships - Finalist 220 yards
1951 - 1952
Queensland Track and Field Championships - winner 880 yards
1951 - 1952
Queensland Track and Field Championships - winner 100 yards
1952
Australian Women's Track and Field Championships - Member of the Queensland relay team to win run in third place in the 4 X 110 yards event.
1952
Queensland Track and Field Championships - winner 440 yards
1952
Australian Women's Track and Field Championships - Finalist 220 yards
1953 - 1957
Member of the Queensland Women's Hockey Team
1954
Australian Women's Track and Field Championships - Second Place 440 yards
1954
Australian Women's Track and Field Championships - Second Place 880 yards
1955
Member of the Australian Women's Hockey Team
1956
Australian Women's Track and Field Championships - Fourth Place 880 yards
1956
Queensland Track and Field Championships - winner 440 yards
1956
Australian Women's Track and Field Championships - Third Place 440 yards
1960 - 1962
Member of the Queensland Women's Hockey Team
1961
Appointed an Australian Umpire
1962
Captain - Queensland Women's Hockey Team
1987 - 1993
President of the Queensland Women's Hockey Association
1988
Life Member - Australian Women's Hockey Association
1989 -
Board member (since inception) of the Queensland Academy of Sport
1989
Member of the British Empire (MBE) - Services to Hockey
1991
Life Member - Queensland Women's Hiockey Association
1993
Founding President of Womensport Queensland (then named the Queensland Women's Sports Foundation)
1993 - c. 2000
Queensland Olympic Council Committee member
1997
Elected Vice President of the Queensland Olympic Council Committee (The first woman to be elected to the position)
2000
Pan Pacific Master's Games Competitor -winner of the 60m, 400 m and High Jump events in the 65 years category
2002 - 2006
Vice Patron of Hockey Queensland
2003
Inducted into the Queensland Hockey Hall of Fame
2006
Womensport Queensland Contribution to Sport Award - Recipient of the Inaugural award

Sources used to compile this entry: Jenkins, Lesley, 'Interview with Daphne Pirie', in Women's Sport in Queensland, Brisbane City Council, 1997, http://pandora.nla.gov.au/nph-arch/2000/S2000-Mar-2/http://brisbane-stories.powerup.com.au/women_sport/women_frames.htm; 'Member Profile: Daphne Pirie', Womensport Queensland Website www.womensportqld.com.au/default.asp?PageID=172 [accessed 2007-01-04].

Related entries

Founding President

Digital resources

Title
Daphne Pirie
Type
Image

Details

Nikki Henningham and Barbara Lemon

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