House debates

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Constituency Statements

Blair Electorate: Sport

10:06 am

Photo of Shayne NeumannShayne Neumann (Blair, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection) Share this | | Hansard source

Ipswich has a proud sporting history. Our region has produced stars like NRL legend Alfie Langer, tennis Grand Slam doubles champion Ash Barty and recent Olympic silver medallist swimmer, Leah Neale.

In Blair, sport and recreation have always made up an important part of community life. Participating in sport gives participants a sense of achievement and improves self-esteem. Sport teaches teamwork, cooperation and respect. It builds character; it teaches people to win with humility and to lose with grace. Active participation in recreational sports is linked to improved mental health and concentration, and it's a great way for kids and adults to relieve stress and anxiety.

That's why I've created the Blair Sports Links directory to help parents, carers and adults in our community to connect with clubs that will help adults and children in Blair live healthier, fuller and more enjoyable lives. We're about to enter our 10th year of the Blair Disability Links and Blair Seniors Links booklets. We've handed out over 100,000 of these to community groups, individuals and carers in Blair over that time. These are valuable resources, and I'm proud to extend that service to our sporting community.

I would like to thank clubs and organisations around Ipswich, the Somerset region and the Karana Downs region which appear in the Blair Sports Links directory. I'm looking forward to the launch of the directory later this year with my friend and colleague Senator Don Farrell, the shadow minister for sport.

I held a sporting-related event just recently when I hosted some of the region's youngest sporting stars at an event at CSI in Ipswich. The Australian Sports Commission's Local Sporting Champions program gives young athletes in Blair grants of between $500 and $700 to participate in travel to sporting competitions. At the ceremony, I told local athletes that selection and participation in a wide range of sports is tremendous for our local community. Brittany Else attended the school golf state championships in Kingaroy. Poppy Wilson attended the School Sport Australia national Swimming Championships in Hobart. Kate Galbraith and Natasha Heit represented Queensland in the National Artistic Roller Skating Championships in Western Australia, and Natasha was then chosen to represent Australia. Courtney Beahan also strapped on the skates, but for the Junior Roller Derby World Cup in New Zealand. Tyler Cuthbert-Hough received a certificate for his selection in the 13 to 15 years touch state championships in Townsville.

My hope in starting the Blair Sports Links directory is that it will connect these young people and give young people like these access to teams and organisations—that it will help them achieve their potential and foster their ambition. I have every confidence that the Blair Sports Links directory will assist young people and their families across our region, and I encourage all clubs to get involved in the next edition.