Page 3938 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 29 October 2013

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Woden Little Athletics Club

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (4.25): On Saturday 12 October, I was privileged to be able to open the 2013-14 season of Woden little athletics at the Boomanulla Oval in Narrabundah. Woden Little Athletics Club is currently based at Boomanulla due to an exciting upgrade of their usual home at Woden Athletics Park. It was a great event and a great day.

As always, it was heart warming to be able to get involved with the community in events which promote such great outcomes for the participants. The Woden Athletics Park is currently receiving a major upgrade which will be completed in time for the 2014-2015 little athletics season. The upgrade is receiving a $5 million grant from the ACT government in order to facilitate the installation of a synthetic athletics track, lights and improved amenities at the site.

The investment by the government is aimed at giving a boost to involvement in little athletics in the ACT and highlights the importance which the government places on making sure that sporting facilities are of a high standard for use by the community. I would like to acknowledge the Ngunnawal people and the Boomanulla Oval organisers for their continuing contribution to the region and the city, and the land of which they are the traditional custodians.

The oval is a very important meeting place for the local Indigenous community, and the government is very thankful for their support of this initiative. They have been working closely with Woden Little Athletics Club to ensure that this season is fun and enjoyable for everyone. This engagement with Woden little athletics adds to the cultural appreciation services they offer at the site, such as the first Australians’ history, native title information and closing the gap sessions. These are great ways for the community to learn about Indigenous history and current issues within the community.

I would like to give special thanks and recognition to Ms Sue Tucker, President of Woden Little Athletics Club, for her work organising the temporary venue for the club for this season, as well as Mr Tony Reilly, Chairman of ACT Little Athletics Association, for their efforts towards the promotion and organisation of Woden little athletics events, and little athletics ACT in general. Mr Clinton Scott-Knight, CEO of the Aboriginal Corporation for Sport and Recreational Activities, is also highly commended for his continuing work with the community at large.

The active contribution of so many groups and individuals in the organisation of little athletics in the ACT is great to see. Not only does it provide for social interaction and cooperation between parents, children and the wider community; it also acts as an outlet for kids to stay fit and healthy while having a lot of fun.

As is always the case, staying physically healthy is of paramount importance for children. The ability to have fun through events such as little athletics while exercising is just fantastic. Involvement in sport also provides a great opportunity for

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