I recently spoke in Parliament on our local community groups, including our basketball and soccer clubs along with my recent visit to Darlington Primary School. You can read the speech here.
The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (15:51): It is an exciting time for basketball fans. In the US, the NBA playoffs are currently underway and attracting global attention. I am pleased to say that our own local basketball scene in this state is thriving and attracting a lot of local attention.
The local basketball team in my electorate, the South Adelaide Panthers Basketball Club, is every week drawing eager crowds to The Shed, their home court in Marion. People will always come out to see quality basketball and the SABC has a true star in Olivia Thompson. A former WNBL star, Olivia is dominating the court at the moment. In a game earlier this month, she had 51 points and 13 rebounds in just 25 minutes of game play. What a star.
We know that so much work goes into the running of local clubs, and I want to acknowledge a few people at the SABC. I recently visited this club and met with president, Bill Yeo, and treasurer, Sonny Ogrodowski, who gave me a tour of their facilities and also shared with me their plans for upgrading the club's infrastructure. I am really supporting them in their push with local council. Of course, local council are the landlords there and I am encouraging them to apply for some of our available grants. The next round of grassroots grants is some $20.6 million, so we encourage the council to support the basketball club and put those applications in. The club also received funding through an Active Club Program—some $3,000 in round 49.
The club was formed in 1952, and can you believe, Mr Speaker, that they hold the very impressive Australian basketball record of 51 straight wins in 1965. Bill and Sonny volunteer on this great club's executive committee with vice-president, Zoran Pajkovski; secretary, Tricia Kleinig; and junior program manager, Josh Kelly. With a high number of district and domestic teams, including junior teams, they certainly have their work cut out for them but the team is doing a great job on and off the court. They support local basketball and the rich history and the club, of course, has a very bright future.
Many local sports clubs have long histories, and the Sturt Marion Thunder Soccer Club in my electorate is another club that does. The current club that plays in Marion was established in 1986; however, its roots go back much further. The club was formed through the amalgamation of the two soccer clubs, the Sturt Soccer Club and the Orange Soccer Club. The Sturt Soccer Club started over 110 years ago, all the way back in 1907. The Orange Soccer Club, on the other hand, was started by Dutch migrants in 1954. The two clubs joined to form the Orange Sturt Soccer Club in 1963, then remodelled themselves into the Sturt Marion soccer club in 1984, playing at the old Daws Road High School before relocating to Marion where they play today.
I recently visited their club as well and met Soo Bin Moon, the club's president. Binny warmly welcomed me and showed me their facility. He has a very friendly manner and is enthusiastic and committed to the Sturt Marion club, and they have a great asset in him. He shared with me some of the ideas and visions for their club, which includes a family-friendly focused approach to creating an even stronger community. I was also pleased to present him with an Active Club grant certificate for $1,900 as part of our Active Club Program in round 49 and, again, encouraged them to be a part of our $20.6 million round for grassroots funding next round, working with the council to put those applications in. Congratulations to the Sturt Marion soccer club, and I wish them all the best for the rest of the season.
Quality facilities can help to create positive learning spaces where our students can excel. Last year, the state government provided maintenance grants between $20,000 and $100,000 to local primary and secondary schools so that they could carry urgent maintenance work. I have recently been visiting some of our local schools to see what projects have been planned.
At Darlington Primary School earlier this month, I attended a school assembly and received a tour from Acting Principal Lisa Sims. Lisa shared with me the plans for the funding that included upgrades to student, staff and disabled toilets. The project sounded very promising, and I look forward to seeing the upgrades completed.
Darlington Primary School will soon be welcoming their new principal, Linda Fox. This a really exciting time for the school and for Linda, and I wish her all the best. I must mention Darlington's sports day last term. Held at the end of the term, the day was successful, with parents, teachers and students participating in events ranging from long jump to the egg-and-spoon race.
Sports day was also the school's opportunity to farewell their previous principal, Claire Loades, who has been outstanding in that position. I thank Claire enormously for her contribution to the school and the wider community. She is a true treasure. Once again, it was great to visit this local school and speak with teachers, students and parents and thank them for their wonderful work.