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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2241 ..

Like many football clubs, it has a strong history and legacy. While incorporated as an association in 1981, its roots were founded in two of the earliest junior football clubs in Canberra; the North Canberra Soccer Club and the Downer United Soccer Club. Today this club boasts around 1,300 players across a wide range of ages, from the five-year-olds who play in the MiniRoos and the junior leagues, to adults who are trying the sport for the time at the age of 45 in the senior competitions, and each week you will see the club’s white and royal blue strip competing on football fields throughout the territory.

Like most grassroots football clubs, Majura FC is volunteer led. Every week parents and friends of the club contribute in myriad ways, from coaching and managing teams, to setting up fields, to washing uniforms, to running Majura’s famous canteen, to operating the barbeque, not to mention managing the day-to-day affairs of a busy community club

I was very touched and excited to be invited to be one of the co-patrons this year. While my co-patron, Grace Mahar of Canberra United, is a legitimate football superstar, I think that I qualify as the other face of football, the soccer mum.

One of the most exciting things that is happening in local soccer, including at Majura FC, is the growth of women’s football. Club stalwart, Rhonda Parkin, is one of the leaders that kicked off women’s football in the region, and her work was acknowledged in 2018 when she was inducted into the ACT Women’s Honour Role. In recent years, a Majura FC Skills Academy for players for the under-10s to under-12s category has commenced and, consistent with its ongoing focus on developing female footballers, almost 80 per cent of the players registered for the Skills Academy in the under-12 category are female.

Over the last weekend I joined co-patron, Grace Mahar, and referee, Delfina Dimoski, to promote a new campaign to stop abuse of referees in the game. Reduce Abuse is a Capital Football campaign aimed at uniting the game and everyone that is involved in it. In the past five years there have been a number of campaigns and initiatives aimed at stamping out disrespectful behaviour to and abuse of referees. This has seen some improvement but, sadly, abuse is still occurring.

This is an important campaign that will ensure that football continues to grow as a positive force and is fun for all players, volunteers, spectators and referees. Football does have the power to unite us, regardless of backgrounds and beliefs. (Time expired.)

Woden—indoor sports facilities

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.33): I rise today to talk about a subject that regulars at Woden Community Council meetings will have heard me speak about frequently over the past decade: the need for multi-use indoor sports courts in the Woden town centre that are accessible and affordable for informal, volunteer-run community sports groups.

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