Wyndham Athletics Club Presentation Night

I’m sorry I can’t be here tonight. One of the best parts of being an MP is being able to attend awards nights like tonight.

To see people be recognised for their efforts and achievements. To see those who miss out graciously applaud the victor. To see the club review the year, take stock and give credit where credit is due is a privilege and an honour and I’m sad to miss it.

As club patron, I want to congratulate the executive committee. Presentation nights are often weighted toward recognising the heroic moment, the 12 second dash, the one throw that brings victory or beats a personal best. And rightly so.

But it’s important that we also recognise the quiet, humble and sometimes dull work that goes on day in, day out just to keep clubs like these running. The administration, the book keeping, the endless emails and phone calls.

All these small, seemingly unimportant tasks form the foundation on which this club stands. Without them, the club cannot exist. So to all of you doing the small things day in, day out, we say thank you.

To all athletes, the fact that you are involved, participating and trying is a victory in itself. The effort, the early morning starts, the sweat, the tears. None of it is in vain. All of it will help you later in life in ways you can’t imagine. The only defeat is to give up- to stop having a go. And remember- for those who miss out, there is always next year!

To the coaches- it’s often only in later years do we recognise the sacrifices and efforts of our mentors and teachers, but there is nothing quite like a coach’s quiet smile of satisfaction when watching our athletes perform. As a coach myself, I know it well.

To the parents, friends and families- the driving, the early mornings, the money spent on equipment the highs and lows- dare I say the tantrums…nights like tonight remind us that it is all worth it.

Congratulations to all the award winners. Well done. Enjoy it, and allow yourself the time to reflect on how and why you have won. When doing so, remember your coaches, your fellow athletes, your families and the Wyndham Athletics Club.

Congratulations to all.

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