Pages tagged "Sport"

  • Inaugural Sports President evening a great success

    Joanne Ryan, yesterday, launched her inaugural Sports President evening at the Werribee Football Club.

    ‘As a netball coach and through the various sporting activities of my sons, I know it is important to recognise the vital work by so many volunteers, to make our local sporting clubs the success they are’.

    From serving on the committee, to arranging rosters, maintaining our sporting facilities, running club fundraisers, collecting fees and ensuring sporting equipment and uniforms are in tip top condition, our local clubs are so well served by many volunteers.

    The evening was an opportunity for local clubs to hear from Justin Madden, former AFL great and former Minister for Sport and the Commonwealth Games about the enormous value of sport and participation.

    Joanne Ryan asked sporting clubs to think making a nomination for her annual volunteer awards.

    The evening was also an opportunity to make a presentation to the latest Local Sporting Champions, a special award to recognise and assist for young athletes to achieve. The following young athletes were successful in Lalor.

    • Zac Anthony competing in the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships
    • Jacob Bosnjakovic competing in the Australian IRB Surf Championships
    • Jesse Corbett competing in the Australian BMX titles
    • Wesley Dejong competing in the Australian School Baseball championships
    • Jacob Epperson competing in the Australian School Basketball championships
    • Callan Gilboy competing in the Australian Indoor Cricket Championships
    • Carly Giodmania competing in the President Shield Tenpin Bowling Championships
    • Clare Hodgart competing in the Australian Cross Country Championships
    • Lachlan King captain of the Victorian team for the Australian Indoor Cricket Championships
    • Ethan Partridge competing in the Australian BMX titles
    • Karlene Pircher competing in the Junior Pan Pac Swimming Championships
    • Bradon Te Hiko competing in the Australian BMX titles
    • Amanda Tessari competing in the Australian Youth Girls Football Championships
    • Joshua Thomson competing in the President Shield Tenpin Bowling Championships
    • Nathan Veal competing in the Australian Elite Junior Diving Championships

    We wish these young athletes all the best in their various competitions and know they will great representatives of our local area.

    ‘I plan to make the local Sports President night an annual feature, if your club would like to be involved in the future please pass on your contact details to my office’.

  • Jags Premier League 2014 Grand Final Night

    I would like to pay my respects to the traditional owners, the Woiwurung and Wathaurung people and their elders past and present.

    I’d like to welcome you all to what is going to become an increasing important day in our local sporting calendar.

    Our region has historically participated in outstanding sporting events and has a well established reputation for doing so.

    We have produced some outstanding national and international sports performers and events like this play an important role in achieving that.

    Our region contributes across a broad range of sporting – from cricket, AFL, netball, soccer, basketball and athletics; to BMX riding, cycling, golf, swimming, and Ten Pin Bowling.

    The Jags Premier League puts cricket in the spotlight across Wyndham and a T20 cricket competition is a welcome addition to our annual calendar or sporting events.

    Matthew Wade and Joanne Ryan congratulate Western Tigers Captain Stephen Varghese

    Melbourne Renegades legend Matthew Wade and I had the pleasure
    of congratulating Western Tigers Captain Stephen Varghese
    and his team for coming runner up of JPL 14 last weekend.

    Photo courtesy of Wyndham Jags Cricket Club (

    I see this event growing and growing over the coming years – especially given its success during the past two months.

    The Wyndham Jags Cricket Club has only recently been established, it is therefore an amazing achievement to see such a well-run sporting event in our community.

    Like many of you, I am a keen advocate for sport in our community.

    As many of you are already aware – I have been an avid netballer for many years.

    The importance of leading healthy active lives should not be understated.

    Sport delivers enormous social benefits to our community.

    It teaches you how to be part of a team, about fitness and persistence, and about winning and losing.

    Sport improves our overall health. Both physically and mentally.

    Sport teaches us to work hard and brings us closer to other members of our community.

    And that is what this community does so well. We come together.

    Our multicultural community is something that I am extremely proud of.

    We have all grown up in different ways, shared different experiences, and have different stories to tell.

    Being part of a sport brings us together as a community.

    The Jags Premier League is an excellent example of how community’s right across Melbourne can come together.

    Sometimes we see athletes who do it tough come through with greater strength and flying colours in the end.

    This competition is about celebrating our multiculturalism. It is about making new friends, being more connected, and having fun at the same time.

    Congratulations to all involved in staging the Jags Premier League.

    Well done to all of you who have come throughout the past 7 weeks to support the cricketers.

    To all the cricketers, the fact that you are participating and trying is a victory in itself.

    I also congratulate the many coaches, family members, friends and organisers for your involvement.

    I also particularly recognise those who are come from outside of the Wyndham area. Our community is a welcoming one.

    We thank you for your participating – you are warmly welcomed into our community at any time.

    Without all your support the event would not be possible and the cricketers would miss a golden opportunity to strive for their best.

    This is a great occasion for our community.

    I am confident it will continue to grow strongly in the future.

    Thank you very much.

  • Melbourne International Horse Trials

    One of the great attributes we have in my electorate of Lalor is

    Werribee Park and its surrounds, home to the Werribee Open Range Zoo and the National Equestrian Centre Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Melbourne International Horse Trials held at the centre.

    I was thrilled to present the winning trophy to Shane Rose, winner of the three-star event on his beautiful horse Shanghai Joe. Sonja Johnson came in closely behind on Belfast Mojito. The riders and their horses displayed incredible skill, strength and precision to complete the strenuous courses and jumps events.

    It was great to see many local families enjoying the three-day event which held various competitions in cross-country, dressage and showjumping. The program was a fantastic opportunity for Lalor residents to see our country's Olympians perform.

    The event attracts riders from across the world and some of Australia's most successful equestrienne talents were competing, including members of the Beijing Olympics silver medallist team and medallists from the World Equestrian Games.

    Previously known as the Melbourne International Three-Day Event, the Melbourne International Horse Trials is the oldest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

    I thank my hosts, Doug and Michael, for their generous hospitality. Doug and Michael hope to make this an annual event at the fantastic equestrian facilities at our own Werribee Park, and I look forward to enjoying many more events in future.

  • Netball Australia Grand Final

    I stand here today proudly wearing my Victorian navy blue and my Vixens' scarf. There is much excitement about a rugby league match happening tonight, but the real state-on-state action will happen in Melbourne on Sunday. Melbourne Vixens, led by the great Bianca Chatfield, will face off against Queensland Firebirds, led by Laura Geitz, in the ANZ Championship netball grand final. I wish both teams all the best in what will be a great display of Aussie netball. Members might like to note that the Australian clubs have dispensed with the clubs from across the ditch to create this Aussie final. I wish both teams all the best, but will be giving my considerable verbal support to the Vixens to bring home the trophy and the Victorian bragging rights. I cannot think of a better way for our Aussie captain Laura Geitz and vice captain Bianca Chatfield to prepare for the Commonwealth Games, where they will join forces to fend off those Kiwis. Go Vixens!

  • Netball

    I rise today with pleasure to pay tribute to a sport that has delivered enormous social good for over a century in communities across our nation. Netball taught me, and thousands like me, the importance of team, the thrill of winning and the lows of defeat from a contest-by-contest as well as game and season perspective. It taught us about fitness and about persistence; it taught us to work hard and to work together. It taught us about volunteering and about community. It provided local role models—women who played hard on the court and ran a very successful and inclusive association, of which I am honoured to say I am a life member. Women like Jenny Toohey, Irene Cooney, Wilma Ryan, Dulcie Harvey and Alison Purdon were involved from their girlhood through to their 60s, and Kerin Flaherty, today in her 70s, is still umpiring multiple times a week.

    In the years I grew from junior to senior, netball grew from a sleeping giant to having the highest participation rates of any sport in the country for girls, and with it came more opportunities for those involved. When I was a kid I lived for stories of Melbourne University Blue and North Melbourne. These were serious clubs where state reps learned their craft and donned the Victorian navy blue in the national championships to play arch rivals New South Wales and South Australia. Today we have a trans-Tasman competition with international players from around the world televised weekly, adding to the media coverage of international competitions such as the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games and annual Tests.

    I want to pay tribute today to a lady who was critical and pivotal in building the profile of this great sport: the great Joyce Brown. Joyce Brown OAM was a Victorian player, captain and coach. She was an Australian player, captain and coach. She was a double-A badged umpire and developed the national coaching accreditation programs still used today. She is a great Victorian and great Australian. It was women like those in my community and like Joyce Brown who took their love for the game and built what we have today.

    What is so special about netball? Let me explain. It is a true team sport. It is a game of specialised positions that are limited to populate only certain parts of the court. It therefore takes more than one player to move the ball from one end of the court to the other. Teams have alternating possession from the centre, so one team cannot dominate the game the same way they can in soccer or hockey or football or basketball. This creates one-on-one contests all over the court for every possession, which means it is about strategy. It is about creating and closing down space and doing it in a cohesive way, using intricate moves and counter-moves all over the court. The uninitiated soon learn that, although the rules say it is a no-contact sport, it is all about contact in the contest, move and counter-move. It is also like dancing—it has a rhythm that is hypnotic and players rely heavily on kinetic awareness and peripheral vision.

    For my netball friends and I, who also played lots of other sports together, netball is the only thing—the sport that provides the tightest physical contact with the perfectly threaded pass, the exquisitely timed lead, the crafted moves that open up just the right space and the 'aha' moment, when limbs and mind combine and a great intercept is taken and the player and ball move smoothly through the air. Playing the game is theatre and concert. It is elegant and graceful. It is demanding and exhilarating. It is the most aerial of sports, combining the perfect one-handed passes, the high hard to a leading player and the sweet arch of the lob, these juxtaposed by the double-handed give-and-gos and tight bounce passes delivered around corners at lightning speed.

    In a Commonwealth Games year, I wish another great Victorian, Lisa Alexander, and her charges in the national team all the best in their selection and preparation across the next six months and a great tournament in Glasgow. I, like all netball fans, look forward, as ever, to watching the Diamonds play. I also congratulate all involved in the ANZ Championships, particularly, of course, the Vixens. I commend the motion to the House.

  • Local sport

    I would like to speak today about my local VFL club, the Werribee Tigers and, in particular, a very important community program they run—the Wyndham Sporting Opportunities Project. The Werribee Tigers are a growing footy club. Having survived threats of closure in the past, they continue to seek to expand and upgrade. The club has in fact taken on significant leadership roles in recent years. They are the elite football club in our area but they support all our football clubs, both junior and senior. Those playing in the WRFL, the GDFL, Victorian Amateurs and Super Rules make contributions and give support to all of our local football clubs.

    They are looking to the future. The Tigers grew the Wyndham Sporting Opportunities Project with that vision to the future. This project is about boosting sports and recreational participation for young migrants living in Wyndham and Lalor. It is about providing opportunities for them to learn new skills, make new friends and create a greater, more connected society.

    Sport is a great unifier and the Wyndham Sporting Opportunities Project is about inclusion and about community. It is a very important project, one which is, pardon the pun, already kicking goals. It is greatly appreciated by these young people and the wider community. This project is not just about football; it is about participation in all sports. The program links to other sports and sees young people participating in soccer, netball, basketball and lawn bowls, amongst other things.

    Despite this, the future of the Wyndham Sporting Opportunities Project is currently at risk. It is at risk because the Abbott government is unwilling to confirm funding for the program. Announced in June, the Wyndham Sporting Opportunities Project was to receive $50,000 under the Diversity and Social Cohesion Program. In partnership with the Centre for Multicultural Youth, the local council and AFL Victoria, this funding was to be used to employ a dedicated officer, a contact point for the community, an advocate for the program, a leader in the program. Although I was not in the position I am in now, as a Tiger supporter and having been a parent, teacher and principal in the electorate, I was thrilled to hear that they would be a recipient of federal government funding for this purpose in particular. I was thrilled because I know how important sport can be, how important the Werribee Football Club is, how much this kind of program matters and how it could make a difference in our community. I was even more pleased when I heard the individual planned for this employment was Majok BOL Ngong—far more commonly known within our community as 'Shaggy'.

    Shaggy and his family came to Australia in 2005 from South Sudan. I first had the pleasure of getting to know Shaggy, as we all call him, in 2008, when he became a student at a school at which I was assistant principal, Galvin Park Secondary College. Since that time I have had the privilege to watch Shaggy grow as a leader. He is a respectful, committed young man who came to our area after a few years in Australia, absolutely committed to creating a home and having his people connected to the broader community. He worked through issues in our schoolyard as a mediator. He is a first-class young man, a genuine leader. He is not just a leader amongst the Sudanese students; he is not just a leader at the footy club; he is a community leader. Through his involvement with local churches, council programs, as a welfare officer with the Manor Lakes Football Club and now through the Wyndham Sporting Opportunities Project, he has had multiple opportunities to lead. When Shaggy talks about what it means to be a leader, he talks about responsibility, awareness and trust. He and the Werribee Tigers recognise the challenges that our community faces.

    In a growing and diversifying community like ours we need to be vigilant to prevent intolerance, exclusion and a lack of opportunity. They also insist that they have a role in addressing these issues. So, if they are willing to do their bit, why then is the government refusing to do its bit? Funding for this project was already launched, included in the budget and was announced back in June. Let me repeat myself: because of the coalition's refusal to confirm an integral, budgeted, promised funding, this young man could lose his employment and this program may have to close its doors.