Page 4963 - Week 13 - Thursday, 2 November 2017

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Motion (by Mr Ramsay) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Sport—women’s participation

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (5.21): Here we are in the first week of November, and for the sporting types amongst us, the 2017-18 season of women’s sport is here. For those of us who have grown up being on the sidelines or being part of a team, these are the weekends we cherish: the weekends when the cheers of a crowd filter through streets and playing fields; the weekends that fill us with enthusiasm; the weekends where mothers, daughters, sisters and friends get to be heroes.

We know that when women’s sporting participation is enabled and where sport is a constant feature of women’s lives, our community is rewarded. Their social networks grow, their health improves and their confidence is boosted. Women’s sport, whether promoted by government or supported by the wider community, inspires young girls to dream big and work hard.

While I know many of us are gearing up for an exciting W-League season, it is also rewarding to see similar excitement for the Canberra Capitals, not to mention the anticipation for the 2018 season of the AFLW, the women’s league, months before the first bounce. For those who have not been paying attention, the drafts have been confirmed, the meme generators are working overtime and memberships are now for sale. It is going to be a brilliant summer for women who play sport, and it is also a reminder of the need to keep building up women’s sport at the local level.

The success of professional women’s sport has helped to positively shift the conversation for women in sport, but we still have a long way to go. I want to see support for local women’s sport grow. Women who play have earned their support and celebration because what they achieve is remarkable.

Many young girls and women engage in sport throughout their lives. They may change codes or clubs to find the right fit, find new social networks, learn new skills or have their confidence boosted. But it is their commitment to having sport in their lives that is constant and inspiring.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge some women from my electorate who competed in the Australian Masters Games in Tasmania last week. The Weston Creekers—clearly a pun—put together a team comprising local Murrumbidgee women who took part in the 40-plus age bracket for soccer, which just happens to be my age bracket. They were competitive and are an example of the type of teamwork, health and passion that sport can generate.

Women who continue to play as they get older set a positive example for their children. They give back through volunteering. They provide a valuable service to our
sporting community. They are giving young girls someone to look up to—a local hero.

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