Page 5900 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 7 December 2011

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Tonight I want to particularly focus on roller derby, because the outstanding quality of some of our best Canberra athletes has been on display over the last seven days at the roller derby world cup in Toronto, Canada. Roller derby is a rapidly growing and fast-paced women’s sport with a loyal and increasing fan base in the ACT, Australia and worldwide. When I say a loyal fan base, I think that the fans at roller derby leave those at some other sports in the shade. Team Australia did exceptionally well at the world cup, making the semifinals and establishing itself as the fourth best country in the world in this highly popular sport.

As always, Canberra punched well above our weight. Of the 20 women that make up the Australian team, four are skaters from the Canberra Roller Derby League. I would like to congratulate King Cam, ShortStop, Amykazeee and of course Bambi von Smash’er on their incredible achievement. I was fortunate enough to catch all four of these athletes myself when the ACT team, the Vice City Rollers, took on the Sun State Roller Girls at the AIS arena earlier this year. The skill level was obvious; the results of the world cup are testament to that skill and the hard work of the players.

Team Australia has won great respect on the roller derby world stage. I know the players train hard; I have seen them out. I have seen them practising skating out at the Stromlo forest park. It is an odd mix, with the triathletes, the cyclists and the runners all out there on a Saturday morning—and then the roller derby girls turn up as well. It is one of those Canberra moments, I suppose, but it is quite fun to see them out there putting in the hard work on the track.

On the way to the semifinal, Australia defeated Germany, Finland, Scotland and Sweden. We lost to the eventual champions, the USA, and then unfortunately in the bronze medal match we fell to England, of all the countries to lose to—perhaps only New Zealand is a worse country to lose to—which gives us a target team for the next world cup.

Congratulations again to all of Team Australia. For members who have not made it yet to a Canberra Roller Derby League bout, I would highly recommend it.

St Anthony’s parish primary school

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (7.21): Bambi von Smash’er is a sensational name!

I would like to pay tribute to the St Anthony’s parish primary school. I had the great pleasure, as I do on many occasions, of going out there recently for the opening of new facilities. As always, I was given a very warm welcome. The two year 6 students who I had a good chat to upon welcome were unfailingly polite and very intelligent young students, and we were talking about what the future held for them.

I want to pay tribute to the various people who made the event work. I was joined by my Assembly colleagues Mr Smyth and Mr Doszpot, and the blessing was by Archbishop Mark Coleridge. Claudia Hale, the principal, welcomed us to the school, as did Sarah Maldon, the assistant principal. We had an address from Moira Nadjecki

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