Page 2394 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 August 2015

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The ACT government is a proud supporter of Special Olympics ACT. Triennial funding is currently provided to support the organisation’s operation—in the order of $17,000 per annum, with a total of $42,000 since 2013. In addition, the territory has provided guidance and further funding to assist Special Olympics ACT to enhance its gymnastics, swimming and cricket programs, to give opportunities to existing athletes, and to attract new participants to the Special Olympics movement. Importantly, Sport and Recreation Services has assisted Special Olympics ACT to develop partnerships within the sports sector to help them with the delivery of their programs.

I would like to congratulate our seven athletes. It was great chatting to them at the airport as they went about pulling on the green and gold uniform and talking about their aspirations for the games. I am pleased to hear that they have not only done very well but also had a great time. I would also like to thank the supporters who made it possible for them to go. There are many people behind those athletes getting to those games, and it is important that we acknowledge them as well.

Gungahlin United Football Club

MR COE (Ginninderra) (6.38): I rise tonight to talk about the Gungahlin United Football Club. The club was formed in 1997 to provide a local football club for the expanding Gungahlin area. For almost 20 years the club has provided an avenue for junior and senior footballers in the Gungahlin area to play football. This year Gungahlin united has gone from strength to strength. In January the club successfully entered the National Premier League, the highest level of competition for both men’s and women’s football in the territory. In their first season the men’s team currently sit sixth, while the women’s team is sitting in second place.

In June Gungahlin united also won the right to represent the territory in the FFA Cup, the Australian version of the English FA Cup, a knockout competition which pits professional clubs and semi-professional clubs against each other. The club claimed this spot by winning the Federation Cup final over Belconnen United thanks to an extra-time goal from Daniel Barac.

Last month Gungahlin was drawn to play Sydney Olympic in the FFA Cup’s round of 32. Unfortunately last night the result did not go Gungahlin’s way, with a strike from Sydney Olympic sealing a l-0 victory for the visitors very late into the match. However, Gungahlin certainly were not outplayed and were very competitive throughout the entire match, which shows good signs to come. It certainly showed that the level of football in Canberra is high, and that clubs from Canberra can match it with the best from Sydney. There was a great crowd of I believe almost 2,000 people that went out to support the teams, albeit in near freezing conditions.

I extend my congratulations to Gungahlin united head coach, Mitch Stevens, the technical director, Claudio Canosa, and all the players on a fantastic effort last night. They gave it their all and were ultimately unlucky to not walk away with the victory and go through to the next round.

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