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Parliamentary speech: Women in sport

10 September 2018

Women in sport

Mr ALEXANDER (Bennelong) (10:47): In the past few hours, two Australian champions have won at the US Open in Flushing Meadows. Ash Barty just raised the women’s doubles trophy with her partner CoCo Vandeweghe, and the great Dylan Alcott just claimed his sixth grand slam in wheelchair tennis. These are great achievements, but no more than these champions deserve for their dedication and hard work.

While we all love watching champions on the world stage, every champion starts at their local community grounds, where it’s more than just about growing world-beaters. Community sport is where we get fit, build friendships and build communities. This is why local sport is so important. Today, I would like to reinforce the unwavering support I have for sporting organisations across my electorate of Bennelong and others across the country. In particular, on Sunday, 26 August women of all ages played in a competitive soccer competition run by Roselea Football Club in Carlingford. Despite the miserable weather, the dedicated and extremely competent team of Mel McMillan, Jeff Saul and Roger Fernando brought forth a very successful day of sport. It was a true testament to the achievements made when these inspiring members of the community come together. With over 160 players participating—some older, some young and some who had never kicked a ball before—it was truly a pleasure to see this event take place. Australia is one of the world’s leaders in women’s soccer, and it is fantastic to see so much involvement in an activity that strengthens women’s participation in sport and brings our community so much closer together.

Also in recent weeks we celebrated the end of another great season at the Eastwood Ryde Netball Association. On Saturday, 1 September I visited the grand finals ceremony to watch very competent young women be rewarded for their achievements in the netball competition. I would like to thank personally the president of the association, Karen Waud; the vice-president, Di Bills; the sponsorship coordinator, Anne Doring—known as Adoring; the secretary, Edwina Brown; and the treasurer, Katrina Doring. They put together a memorable award ceremony that confirmed the great skill and hard work that is distinctive in our area. ERNA and Roselea Football Club have continually provided the women of Bennelong with opportunities in sport and group activities, which have done a great service for the area, and I thank them dearly. These organisations are perfect examples of how community organisations serve so many constituents. I congratulate all involved for bringing our community together through sport.