Page 503 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Of course, the government’s goal, and mine as minister, is to keep working with this community to make sure that these benefits remain. Some of our recent infrastructure investments show what great opportunities still lie ahead: the Woden park complex, the Canberra tennis centre, additions to the Lakeside Leisure Centre in Tuggeranong, and rejuvenated mountain bike trails at Majura.

Last week I announced an array of successful recipients under the 2016 sport and recreation grants program, all local clubs doing really great things: the Skateboarding Association, which is running a learn to skate session in our great skate parks; mentoring and development for young coaches in calisthenics; funding to Tennis ACT to further support the rollout of the electronic gate access system to make access that little bit easier; and support for Pedal Power for a community-based bike rides program aimed at school-age children.

These are a few of the opportunities that I have outlined that are on the horizon. There is also, of course, still a strong afterglow from the huge year of sport last year, with the World Cup Cricket and Asian Cup football. These events have a lasting effect, particularly on young people. It is great to see junior sport thriving alongside these major events. The true breadth of local sport is reflected in how many people are involved, in so many different ways. I have enjoyed connecting and reconnecting with so many in the community since being appointed as minister and I look forward to working closely with these groups moving ahead.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, how important is the connection between elite teams and local clubs?

MS BERRY: I have mentioned the connection between major elite level events and junior sport. For the size of our city, we probably enjoy better access to elite athletes more than others. Of course, elite athletes all started their careers somewhere and there are plenty of local examples of high profile sportspeople giving back at the grassroots level: the Canberra Raiders engaging with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through our growing healthy families program; the Canberra Meteors and their work with junior girls playing cricket; Alan Tongue showing fine leadership around football culture and behaviour; and the Brumbies in their work with Menslink.

Our elite sportspeople are role models in the community but, beyond them, coaches, sponsors and officials are all part of the scene. Again, growing this side of local sport is an opportunity we can continue to pursue. Our elite teams show what is possible, particularly for junior sportspeople, and what they can aim for, and they can also encourage us to keep participating into our teenage years and adulthood.

I would like to mention two legends of women’s basketball that the Caps are farewelling on Saturday night, and I encourage members to attend if they can. Carrie Graf and Jess Bibby have both made enormous contributions to the club over many

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video