Greyhounds As Pets now has a Sport Australia Hall Of Fame member as their ambassador following the induction of football superstar Tim Cahill.
Cahill has returned to Australia this week to attend the Hall Of Fame ceremony at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday, but he also took the opportunity to again promote a project very close to his heart, his role with Greyhounds As Pets, and the organisation’s upcoming Adoption Day at Dapto on December 16.
Throughout his illustrious career on the football pitch Cahill has received many honours and accolades but he candidly admits the Hall Of Fame induction is among the highest he has received.
“I think this definitely sets the highest ranking,” Cahill said. “Everything means a lot to me. It's just trying to quantify what it actually is. I’m privileged and I'm still coming to terms with the actual reality of what it means because doing a little bit of media and talking about it helps me to understand more, about where it puts me amongst Australian sports people.
“It's like a reward for all the sacrifices that you've made as a professional footballer and even as a human being. It's a massive honour and privilege. But it's something that you don't expect, because you sort of forget a little bit what you've done before.
“You get a little reminder here and there and you reminisce about goals, but for me, what's been the telling point was leaving a legacy on the park, and the noises that I made off it was about creating pathways, inspiring the next generation, writing children's books, being in schools, community programs, and having that leadership and role model status that still to this day I take in highest esteem.
“You don't really know until time passes what you've achieved and what you've done. But now I'm starting to understand more. You're starting to see the impact of the next generation, see the impact of women's football, see the impact of good governance in football. So my mindset is to be global, and to come back and to help where I can in Australian football, but at the moment I'm loving the journey of pushing myself as a top football executive.”
Cahill was in camp with the Qatar National team when organisers were trying to contact him to inform him of his selection. He was virtually uncontactable though until he picked a call from the Hall’s chairman John Betrand.
“It was pretty surreal. I picked up a call from Mr Bertrand and it was the most surreal call because I was like: “wow, this guy's a legend, the America's Cup and everything that he's done”. And here he was telling me how much he admired me and I said the same thing to him. Just taking a call from him … and I thanked him and the people around the organisation for even thinking of me.
“I didn't know whether I was going to be able to come home for it. I wasn’t able to get here when I got my Order of Australia, my AO (in 2021), but things worked out timing wise, and I’m looking forward to the event.”
While back home in Australia Cahill will again head to his parents’ property in Northern NSW and not only visit them but see his adopted greyhound Lumo.
“I will see her and she’s fantastic and she's 11 years old now,” he said.
“I think the biggest thing is the journey of being so connected to this project (GAP). The last adoption day that we have for the year is coming up (at Dapto on December 16) and it’s fantastic to come home and to share my knowledge and to help educate people about what amazing animals they are, and how a greyhound called Lumo has become part of my family's life as well.
“Everyone who knows me knows I'm very intense, and I love to play a role, not only with just the dogs, but also from a point of view of giving my views and my feedback on what's important and what I feel.
“We're (GAP) hitting great numbers and now it's about keeping the momentum going.
“I went for a jog yesterday around the Harbour, and I saw two greyhounds and every time I do interviews on radio, everyone says: “Oh, my brother has got one” or “my friend’s got one”. They are becoming part of the furniture now, and we need to continue to strive to keep improving our rehoming numbers and also the education about what wonderful pets greyhounds make.”