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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 February 2015) . . Page.. 223 ..

I worked with Bede mainly in relation to his support of the Duke of Edinburgh awards. I want to pass on my condolences to Bede’s son, Gary, and all his family and his friends.

Both of these fine individuals leave behind family and friends who will, of course, miss them greatly. I know that both of these fine individuals, although they are no longer with us, have made a significant contribution to our society, and their legacy will live on.


DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (6.34): In January I had the pleasure of opening the Australian seniors tennis championships at the Lyneham sports complex. I was able to witness the strength of this seniors competition with competitors travelling from across the country for the event. I also appreciated the excellent facilities we have invested in across the Lyneham sporting complex and how spectacular the new facilities under construction at Lyneham will be.

Tennis has a rich history in this country, and the sport is a cornerstone of our sporting identity. Names like Rosewall, Laver, Newcombe and Goolagong remind us of our great tennis history when we dominated world tennis. Now our attention turns to a new crop of players such as Sam Stosur and, of course, Canberra’s own Nick Kyrgios, who based much of his Australian Open preparations at Lyneham.

Tennis is a sport for a lifetime. On any given afternoon around Canberra you will see hundreds of young children on local courts finetuning their skills and, like so many other Australians before them, falling in love with the sport. As you drive past these same clubs on an evening or in the mornings during the week, older participants are on the courts, engaged in pennant competitions, getting some coaching or just having a casual hit. But, importantly, they are enjoying the social interaction that is such a hallmark of the sport.

In fact, it is worth noting that two of our major social ills—social isolation and obesity—are at one step dealt with by going to tennis because you have a social network of people around you and you are certainly getting some regular exercise out there. Indeed, it is a sport for a lifetime. And that was very clear at the 2015 Australian Tennis Seniors Championships. In over two weeks of competition almost 800 players and their families were in Canberra for the event. Canberra is the active capital. Participation in an active lifestyle is supported by a diversity of quality facilities that invite physical activity—parks, paths, sportsgrounds, lakes, bushland and, of course, many tennis courts.

This year’s championships were played at venues across Canberra, including Melba, Weston Creek and Belconnen tennis clubs. Significantly, this was the first major event to take place at the redeveloped Canberra Tennis Centre at Lyneham. This facility will be a true hub for tennis in the ACT and southern New South Wales, supporting athlete development and community participation.

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