Local sporting achievements in 2022

GRIEVANCE DEBATE - FEDERATION CHAMBER

Thank you, Deputy Speaker. My first grievance: the seat that I represent is called Lalor, after the great Peter Lalor. I'll never tire of reminding people in this House that that's how it's pronounced.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Wilkie ): My apologies.

Ms RYAN: I would remind all members present that anyone who gets that wrong has to answer to Barry Jones, to whom I made a commitment to ensure that people would say it as Peter said his own name, and that's with an Irish accent and therefore 'Lawler'.

'From the stands of the MCG to the stands of Chirnside Park' is how the Werribee Football Club's theme song begins. It was written by a local many, many years ago and has stood the test of time as still being the theme song for the Werribee Football Club, which of course plays in the VFL competition—a proud standalone community club. Having just come through the Festival of the Boot, as the member for Lilley—the Minister for Sport—calls the last six weeks, I want to pay tribute to lots of our local football clubs. But I'd say it's more a festival of the ball, and so I want to pay tribute to our football, netball and basketball locally, as well as our hockey and some of what people call 'minor sports'. It has been a festival. The Werribee Football Club in the VFL are very proud that Tom Gribble has won the J.J. Liston Trophy for the VFL this year, a terrific achievement from Tom Gribble. Scott Bishop, another local, a long-time Werribee timekeeper, has been named the VFL Volunteer of the Year.

The festival of the ball has seen me attend many games of football across the last few months. I was absolutely thrilled to attend some of the WRFL grand finals and finals series held at the Avalon Airport Oval, which is Chirnside Park, the home of the Werribee VFL club but also host to many of the WRFL finals. There are 34 clubs across the WRFL, the Western Region Football League, across the juniors and seniors. Eight of those clubs are in the seat of Lalor, across various divisions in juniors and seniors, and there was much to celebrate.

One club, Werribee Districts, managed to have three teams in grand final day: under-18s, reserves and seniors. The three for three that people started the day hoping for was not achieved, but the Werribee Districts under-18s defeated Point Cook to be premiers; the reserves defeated Altona to be premiers; and the seniors were runners-up to Altona. They bravely came from fourth, so they faced an elimination final every week. We saw some terrific football on display. I want to congratulate all of the teams from across the electorate of Lalor, which included Hoppers Crossing in that series of the senior finals.

In the TIV Division 1 Seniors Best and Fairest, the Barry Priest Medal was awarded to Werribee Districts player Dillon Viojo-Rainbow. Werribee Districts took out the TIV Division 1 Reserves Best and Fairest, which was awarded to Chris Scudamore. And, in the under-18 division, Brock Spiteri won the Best and Fairest award in division 1. This is an extraordinary achievement for one of my local clubs. It was a great finals series and a great season.

Moving down the road, the Wyndham Vale Football Club managed the division 2 reserves premiers, where they defeated Parkside at Yarraville Oval, and the Senior Women's Division 2 Best and Fairest was from the Wyndham Vale Football Club. I would like to congratulate Mariah Burton. I would also like to say that it's terrific to see so many women taking to the field to play football in my local community. I would recommend that anyone in the chamber who wants to see an inspirational video go onto YouTube and look up the 'Wyndham Vale Falcons Inspirational Video', narrated by one of their female players. It is an inspirational video about the power of sport and the positive things that sport brings to us.

Another club from my local area that had a terrific season was the Suns. They managed to get the seniors and reserves into division 3 of the WRFL grand final, and their senior coach, Dean Cachia, was named Division 3 Senior Coach of the Year—another terrific season for the Suns. They've had lots to celebrate, and I know they're still celebrating now. The Manor Lakes Football Club were named the Division 1 Women's Team of the Year, and Jaimi Paten, a local player, was named captain of that team—another sensational outcome.

Another football club that I represent here is the Werribee Centrals Football and Netball Club. Their juniors play in the WRFL, and their seniors play in the Geelong and District Football Netball League. I note that the GDFL have changed their name to include 'netball' in their title, which of course I welcome. In my time at Centrals over the last few years, I have been absolutely inspired by what has happened at that club, firstly by bringing netball into the club and what that has meant for participation for girls, followed by bringing in women's football. The netballers have had a terrific season. The under-19s had a championship win against Belmont. The 17&U Megan Dean Medal went to Charli Hocking, the 17&U leading goal scorer was Remy Brunato, and the 2022 GDFNL team of the year and A-grade third-place nomination went to Amanda O'Malley. It was a terrific season for them. In football, the under-18 division 2 best and fairest Ray Ettridge medal went to Max Murdoch, and the Youth Coach of the Year went to Justin Johns. The GDFL team of the year nomination went to Tyler Crennan.

But it wasn't just about football; this festival was also about basketball. I want to congratulate the Wyndham Basketball Association for being the first club to win both men's and women's senior championship divisions. It's an extraordinary achievement and a great way to celebrate the end of their season. They are the second-largest basketball association in Victoria and are doing fabulous work making sure young people are being really active and involved. And Dyani Ananiev was named youth player of the year in the 2022 Big V awards. That was a terrific outcome for them as well.

On 10 September, I was thrilled to once again attend Rugby Victoria's junior grand final day, which was held in my electorate at the Mossfiel Reserve. The local club, the Wyndham Rhinos, had the 13s, 14s and 16s playing on grand final day. The 13s defeated Melton to become premiers, the 14s defeated Endeavour Hills to become premiers, and the 16s went down to the Bulldogs. But I'd like to thank the president, Ean Drummond, for his tireless work and his welcome over so many years. I'd also like to thank Rugby Victoria for the work they do. It is a bit of a code switch for me, but I can tell you that I absolutely love watching rugby union. There's nothing quite as exciting, especially in the juniors, as watching somebody get a high knee and a bit of a dance, and off they go. It is fantastic to watch those kids step it out. And watching boys and girls play together in that grand final was absolutely inspiring, and the way the families get around it is extraordinary.

I recently had the joy of attending a final where the Werribee men's hockey team won. I want to thank them for their work. To take me to my grievance, despite this festival and despite all of the local sport that happens, our sport participation rates in my community are low. If you heard that list, there seems to be sport everywhere. But it's challenging in our community; it's challenging because we have so many young families, we have so many young people, but we also have very hard-working families, people working and travelling long distances to and from work. It makes it really difficult to get kids involved in sports. So, as a community, we have to think of creative ways to get our young people involved in the passion of sport, the power of sport, and the joy of sport, not just for the fitness and health benefits but for the way it builds character. Tonight I want to pay tribute to all of the people who've worked for many, many years to get kids into sport. Everything you do, every day, I am grateful for and thrilled that as the member for Lalor I get to come and see it. But I want to assert one more time that I am there to help all of our local sporting clubs to find those creative ways to ensure that we build youth participation in sport. What I see in the community is that there are a lot of kids playing sports, or, rather, there are a lot of sports being played by kids, but sometimes it's the same kid playing five sports rather than five kids playing one sport.

 

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