Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Dunkley Electorate: Local Sporting Champions
I recently had the pleasure of awarding eight junior sporting champions grants to young locals in Dunkley under the Australian government's Local Sporting Champions program. The Local Sporting Champions program is an Australian government initiative designed to provide financial assistance for young people aged 12 to 18 towards the cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms and equipment to compete, coach and officiate at official national or state championships.
I was pleased to be able to recognise the outstanding achievements of local young sporting champions Lily Baker, Isabell Hill, Samantha Howe, Sophie Jackson, Natasha Moody, Harriet Ochsenbein, Lawson Power and Ella Sharman in competing in their chosen fields. It was an absolute pleasure to host five of these recipients and their proud families in my office for a special afternoon tea. During the afternoon tea an obvious conversation was the recent Rio Olympics where I am pleased to say that Alec Potts, from Mount Eliza in my electorate, won the first Olympic medal for Australia in the 2016 Olympics. Alec was a recipient of these Local Sporting Champions grants and he won us a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics as part of the Australian men's archery team. He should also be recognised for his outstanding achievements. We are certainly proud in Dunkley.
We invest in these local sporting champions because not only can these young people go on to succeed as future champions—whether it is that the Olympics or otherwise—but also sport helps engage young people in our local area and gets them involved in the community. It really helps young people, whether it be my one-year-old daughter who is here with me today—I want to see her and other young people in my electorate grow up with opportunities.
I was very pleased during the campaign to work for the needs of the Dunkley community in securing over $6 million in funding for local sporting clubs to upgrade their facilities. This will help engage them with sport. It is about social cohesion, community engagement and supporting the future of sport in Dunkley.