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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 1806..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

He later went on to write the book The Art of Goal Umpiring. This guy was serious about his sport. His untimely death in December last year was unfortunate but his family were present at the induction ceremony to see him honoured as an associate member of the ActewAGL ACT Sport Hall of Fame.

Amazing is the only way in which to describe Ray Vickers, the other gentleman who received an award. Ray Vickers is a long-time baseball fan. For 50 years he has called for baseball on weekends in the ACT. Ray is also an innovator. He introduced things like tee-ball, which is now common. He took the batting practice aid and turned it into a sport for juniors. For 50 years he worked continuously with baseball in the ACT on the development and promotion not just of the elite level but also of all levels to ensure that kids, whether or not they have talent, are all able to play baseball through the association. Ray helped to set up the Eagles baseball club and the umpires association and he helped to develop interstate matches. Those are just some of his achievements.

Two female athletes, Susan Hobson the long distance runner and Tracey Gaudry the cyclist, were honoured. If members are feeling a bit down and a bit flat, Susan Hobson took up running at the age of 27 and within two years was competing at the international level. She has attended three Olympics, the last being in Sydney at the age of 42. If members are feeling a bit flat perhaps they should look at Susan Hobson for a bit of inspiration. She tells an astounding story about how she went for a bit of a fun run one afternoon—Mr Speaker, I am sure you would appreciate the urge to go for a bit of a fun run—and ended up as one of Australia's greatest female marathon long distance runners.

The same can be said for Tracey Gaudry. Tracey took up cycling for fun, went for a ride with some mates when she was 21 or 23, got the bug and also managed to compete in three Olympics. In her time she won 36 national titles, competed in a number of Commonwealth Games and managed to have a child in between every Olympic Games. I do not know her history and whether or not she was encouraged at school, but here is a woman who went for a bike ride and became one of Australia's greatest female cycling athletes.

The stories that were told of her, in particular about the Sydney Olympics, revealed that she was leading the field but the race developed in such a way that her skills were not going to lead to her picking up the gold. She ran everybody else ragged until such time as one of her team mates made a great sprint at the end and picked up the gold medal in that race. Those qualities of sportsmanship and looking after your mates are really entrenched in the ACT Sport Hall of Fame.

Gary Kent—retirement

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (9.19): Tonight I take this opportunity to congratulate outgoing president Gary Kent on his seven years of service as president of the ACT division of the Liberal Party. Mr Kent, currently the longest serving president of the Liberal Party division anywhere in Australia, will leave our division well prepared for both the upcoming federal election and next year's territory election.


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