LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky's two-time All-American and three-time All-Southeastern Conference women’s soccer player Arin Gilliland (pictured) will be presented with her 2014 Honda Inspiration Award on-campus on Sunday night following the Wildcats match with Auburn at 6 p.m. ET in school's annual Kick-Cancer Match.
Gilliland, the Lexington, Ky., native, will be presented with her award by Honda of America’s Manager of Corporate Community Relations, Erik Wedin. Also in attendance will be UK athletics director, Mitch Barnhart and University of Kentucky President Dr. Eli Capilouto.
Gilliland was a part of the Collegiate Women in Sports Awards’ 2014 Honda Awards in June, as she traveled to Los Angeles to accept the award live on CBS Sports, becoming the first-ever soccer player to receive the Inspiration Award.
The Honda Inspiration Award is given to one female athlete a year who has overcome hardship and was able to return to play at the collegiate level. A call for nominations is annually sent to all school senior women administrators, sports information directors and athletic directors of all NCAA-sanctioned schools provides the candidates for this award. A special committee of the CWSA Board reads all the submitted materials for these candidates and narrows down the field to the most worthy candidates, before the entire Board of Directors chooses the yearly Inspiration Award winner.
A member of the United States National Team U-23 roster, Gilliland has inspired countless players and fans with her story since stepping foot in Lexington, Ky., in the spring of 2011. Gilliland’s mother, Letitia, passed away from cancer in the summer of her freshman to sophomore season. Gilliland has continued to push forward, realizing her dreams of playing soccer for the United States National Team, as well as the University of Kentucky. Also in 2011, Gilliland tore her ACL in the 2011 SEC Tournament quarterfinal against Tennessee, and had to miss the rest of the season, including Kentucky’s first NCAA Tournament match since the 2006 season, and first time hosting an NCAA Tournament match since 1999.
The CWSA and Honda Motor Company has honored the nation's top NCAA women's athletes for 37 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in academic excellence. Since beginning its scholarship in 1986, Honda has provided more than 2.5 million dollars in institutional grants to universities of the award winners and nominees.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., sponsor of the program, celebrates each nominee by donating $5,000 to each Honda Sports Award recipient school and $1,000 to each nominee’s school.
As part of the University of Kentucky women’s soccer team’s continuing effort to end pediatric cancer, the team will be wearing special uniforms for Sunday night’s match against Auburn (6 p.m. ET, SEC Network +), which will then be auctioned off following the match at UKathletics.com. All of the proceeds will go towards research for a cure to pediatric cancer.
For continuing coverage of UK women’s soccer, log on to UKathletics.com.
Photo Provided by UK Media Relations