It was great to have the opportunity to talk about some of the brilliant people who do the hard work and support the sporting clubs in our community (sorry I couldn't mention everyone!!).
Sadly I was speaking in relation to the governments reduction in community grant funding but I will continue to help and work with all the clubs and volunteers in our region to make them stronger.
I think everyone is aware how much all clubs do for the community from the health benefits, social interaction to developing good citizens and enhancing our youth, we must be thankful for their efforts.
Below is a copy of my speech to Parliament:
Community Recreation & Sports Funding Program
Speech in Parliament
4 June 2015
Mr WINGARD (Mitchell) (12:15:09): I rise today to support the motion put forward by the member for Chaffey, which:
(a) recognises the benefits of grassroots community sport and recreation to South Australia; and
(b) urges the state government to reverse it's decision to reduce the funding to the Community Recreation and Sport Facilities Program by $3.5 million per annum from the 2015-16.
I have a long history of involvement in community sport, and I am proud to say that a lot of the life lessons that I learnt from being involved with community sport has helped shaped me into the person I am today. My playing days are long behind me. I now coach and give back in that way and have done so for more than a decade. I also support my wife who coaches my daughter's netball team. I am the official drinks carrier and do no more in that role, as much as I would like to.
We must do all we can to promote community sport because it is vital to help develop healthy, happy and good citizens in our community. As I said, I have been lucky enough to be involved more recently with the Brighton footy club over the last decade or so coaching a lot of young people through there, and I hope that I have a positive influence on their lives and help shape them into good citizens as well.
One of the great jobs, as was pointed out by a few members before, on both sides of the chamber, and, in fact, one of the great parts of this job is that we get to go to a lot of community clubs, and I have met a lot of wonderful people that I would like to acknowledge for the work they do, and I am sure they would support this motion to keep the Community Recreation and Sport Facilities Program and its $3.5 million per annum funding.
Some of those clubs include Club Reynella in the south of my electorate which is a really well-organised club. Dave Denyer has done a wonderful job there. They have a footy club and a cricket club. The cricket club, of course, won the A2 premiership this year, as well as the LOD premiers. Daniel Rabbeter was the senior cricketer of the year. David Green does a great job down there. Brett Julien also has been heavily involved, and Brett Thompson was the club person of the year. This is a great club that really gives back to its community as well.
There is also the Small Bore Air Rifle Club, which does a great job and which has a couple of potential Olympians in its midst. Also the bowling club down there does wonderful work in that community and really gives back and is a key part of the community. Also, Keith Noble heads up the Cove Club and runs its operation. They have got a footy club. Craig Harwood, a good mate of mine, is involved with that footy club. They do a marvellous job again with the juniors and the seniors.
They have a cricket club as well as the soccer club. Andy Fry and his lovely wife do a great job running the soccer club, and the development that they have brought on through their junior program is outstanding. I actually studied junior coaching at university and to see what they are doing with their soccer program, I can tell members, is absolutely first class.
Also, the BMX club is there. Trevor Wigg does a superb job marshalling the troops and keeping the BMX club running. He has got some great vision for that club in the future. The Fleurieu Swimming Club does a great job. Liesl Moundfield has done a lot of work for that club, and I really commend her for the great work she does in the community and giving back to both juniors and seniors, and to see the kids involved with that club and the benefits they get out of the work that they put in is absolutely outstanding.
I mention the Marion Club, and Craig Virgo does a great job running the club side of things. They have got a cricket club which is superb and which has a number of teams. James Burden is involved there, along with David Evans. They do an outstanding job, along with the Marion Football Club where Min Adams has been working tirelessly as president for that club for as long as I can remember. Min does a marvellous job with the Rams, together with Wayne Slattery as the head A grade coach.
In fact, Mitch Powell, the young trainee in my office, plays a bit of A grade and B grade football down there, and he is a very passionate Ram. He just cannot speak highly enough of what that club does in our local community. Even though it does sit just outside my electorate, it really does encompass a lot of the community that I support.
With respect to the Marion Swimming Club, Anthony Slade is the President. I played a bit of footy back in the day and he was a very, very good footballer, but now he is just giving back through his kids and to the community by being president of that swimming club. A lot of great names have come through that swim club too. Keep an eye out for Kyle Chalmers; he will be an absolute beauty in the years to come, if not at the Rio Olympics he will be beyond that, that is for sure.
I mentioned the Reynella Community Bowling Club, the cricket club and the footy club as well. Riding for the Disabled is also in my electorate, and John Dicker and Lynne Hargreaves do a great job with that facility on Majors Road. The people who go through there get a great kick out of what happens at Riding for the Disabled. I had a good tour of that facility and it is coming along very nicely. We hope to get a few more things done for them.
It was remiss of me not to mention the Reynella Tennis Club. They have a great group of people there who give back to the community. Graeme Green is the person I have a bit to do with there and he is absolutely outstanding. Also, the Hub Netball Club on the same premises do a marvellous job. We know how the Aquatic Centre services the community, and Adam Luscombe does a marvellous job there.
I have been fortunate enough to go up and see the Southern Field Archers as well and present them with one of those community grants that are now fading away under this current government. They were very appreciative of their community grant. They do a marvellous job up there on O'Halloran Hill. They have one of the greatest venues to do their archery, with great views of the city. I know Mr Shuttleworth does a fantastic job with that group as well.
The Sheidow Park Cricket Club, a smaller club again based in my electorate at the Sheidow Park Primary School, also really appreciates these grants when they come along. I know they will be extremely disappointed if they disappear. Equally, the South Adelaide Basketball Club, another club that falls just out of my electorate, and the work they do in giving back to the community, I must say, is absolutely outstanding. The number of kids that go through that facility is absolutely superb.
The Sturt Pistol Club and John Robb, the secretary, do a marvellous job. I commend John. I have some personal family friends who are involved with that club at O'Halloran Hill. It is absolutely outstanding. The Trott Park Fencing Club is a new one. Jenny Cassidy is the head coach there. It is great to see a more alternative sport getting involved and establishing themselves in my electorate. I am very happy to keep supporting them. Again, I know that they will be disappointed that the grant funding is being removed by this government.
The Warradale Park Tennis Club is another one. Mark Flynn does a great job. They recently received one of these grants and I know they were very appreciative. I know they would be looking for more to try to continue to develop their tennis club because they do a marvellous job in our community. They are just a few clubs in my electorate and I am very lucky to have them all. It is great to support and help them wherever I can.
As I say, my experience of being involved in community sport began on Kangaroo Island with the Wisanger Football Club, a great football club. It did a lot to help me as a young person and all the way through. What young people get out of community sport is outstanding, and it is a way of realising and learning how you can give back to the community when you get older, as I am now, be it through coaching or as a team manager. I had some great team managers and people who helped out with my football team and it was really appreciated. It is a great way to give back to our community. I am very disappointed to see this funding go and I fully support the motion put forward by the member for Chaffey and commend it to the house.