Gemma Houghton’s impact in the community has been recognised with the 2021 Female Sports Ambassador of the Year award at last week’s Indigenous Emerging Business Forum.

The Fremantle forward took out the award at an event held at Crown Perth last Friday.

In an extra special twist, Houghton was unknowingly nominated for the award by former Fremantle Docker Des Headland.

Houghton said she felt honoured to learn that Headland had put her name forward.

“Des didn’t tell me that he had nominated me!” Houghton said.

“To come from Des, who is an amazing role model in the community and with the work that he has done through the Club, it was really special.

“The award is designed to recognise the work you do within the community and to celebrate women in sport.”

Fremantle players have had success in the award over the past two years, with Michael Walters named the winning recipient for the same award in the men’s category last year.

Alongside Walters, a number of current and former Fremantle players were in attendance to watch Houghton receive the honour.

“It was really cool to have Troy Cook, Liam Henry, Jon Griffin, Des and ‘Sonny’ down there,” Houghton said.

“It was awesome to be at a community event with them and have all of those boys around.”

Houghton said it was great that younger people in the community now have a pathway to achieve their leadership and sporting goals.

“It’s an honour to be recognised for the work you do in the community and to know that work is felt by others,” Houghton said.

“It’s very special knowing that there are young emerging leaders out there and people aspiring to play sport.

“For them to be able to have people to look up to as role models and to know that they have a pathway to one day be in the same position as us is fantastic.”