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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 223 ..

As we look forward to 2018 and beyond, it is not going to be an easy road. We and our sisters around the world have a long way to go before true equality is reached but, luckily, we are not going anywhere.

Women’s sport

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (6.31): Well, it is that time of the year again. The women’s AFL season has begun. With the season’s opening matches, fans continue to be impressed by the skills of women who play professional AFL. What a spectacle. The crowds have not thinned. The enthusiasm has not waned. The hope has not faded. I congratulate all the players who are giving hope to a new generation of young fans and building on the success of last year’s season. There were some very fiery matches and a real contest of wills on display. The women’s AFL continues to set the benchmark for professional sport in Australia. The players continue to fill their young fans with the hope that one day they can play professionally and be the next Daisy Pearce or Erin Phillips.

Of course, there is just no satisfying everyone, and haters are going to continue to hate. Keyboard warriors are taking to social media to complain about the crowds or the perceived shortcomings. Well, they are living in denial. Women’s sport is here to stay. It must hurt these types, but to them I say: bring it on. We are strong, we are proud, and we will continue to fight. Get in on the ride and enjoy the winter of sport that lies ahead.

Let us not forget that prior to the women’s AFL we witnessed some superb games of cricket in the women’s Ashes and the WBBL series. It was a ground-breaking season for Ellyse Perry, scoring a double century during the first ashes day-night test at North Sydney Oval in November last year. She finished off the season by winning her second Belinda Clarke award. Congratulations, Ellyse. Canberrans set the record in getting out to women’s cricket, with Manuka Oval recording the highest crowd numbers for the women’s ashes series. That is why I am excited to see Manuka Oval host five games in the women’s T20 world cup in 2020.

While the women’s AFL season has started, the W-League season is hitting the final rounds. Sadly, we will not be seeing another Canberra United premiership this year. But the players put on some brilliant performances, and have earned praise from supporters, peers and coaching staff. So keep an eye out for opportunities to support women’s sport.

I look forward to the raucous atmosphere at Manuka Oval on 10 March when the GWS Giants women’s team take on the Western Bulldogs women’s team. I will be there in my full regalia as a foundation member of the GWS Giants women’s team, and I hope to see many other people in Canberra get their tickets soon. It was a sellout last year, and I can guarantee it will be a sellout this year.

Good luck to all the women playing sport this weekend. Continue to believe. Young girls have opportunities these days. With the ACT government investing more and more money, there are opportunities for young girls and women to play the sport they love for as long as they can play.

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