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Motion - Birmingham Commonwealth Games - Tribute to Tasmanian Athletes

Tuesday 6 September 2022, Motion

[11.29 a.m.]

Mrs HISCUTT (Montgomery - Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council) - Mr President, I move -

That the Legislative Council -

(1) Acknowledges the Tasmanian athletes who represented Australia at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games;

(2) pays tribute to their dedication and hard work in realising their Commonwealth dream;

(3) congratulates them all on a successful Commonwealth Games campaign with twelve medals being won by Tasmanian athletes across a range of sports, including nine gold; and

(4) recognises them as inspirational role models for our young Tasmanian athletes.

[11.38 a.m.]

Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, I thank the Leader for bringing on this motion and join with other members here in congratulating the Tasmanians who represented Australia in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, which were integrated and inclusive.

We are all aware of how seriously Australians take their sport and here in Tasmania we are very keen to cheer on the people who come from our communities or who we might even personally know. The sense of pride that comes with representing one's country is unique and for this Commonwealth Games, 15 Tasmanians had that experience. I will read their names out again because I actually think that it is important to hear them and give them some recognition: Jacob Despard, Jack Hale and Stewart McSweyn for athletics; Georgia Baker for track and road cycling; Josh Duffy for track cycling; Sam Fox for mountain bike and road cycling; Emily Meaney for diving; Josh Beltz and Eddie Ockenden for hockey; Rebecca Van Asch for lawn bowls, and I remember Rebecca at the Invermay Bowls Club. Her mum and grandma were both there. Rebecca as a young child used to go along and bowl. It shows how going along with your family to bowls - I know how incredibly proud her mum, grandma and family were. Every time you would go to the Invermay Bowls Club, there was young Rebecca practising, and here she is, fabulous she actually made the Commonwealth Games. She did very well as well. Ariarne Titmus - it is great we still claim Ariarne as our own. She was here and I am sure many in this house know Steve and Robin very well. Actually, I had the privilege of selling their house at Riverside when I was in real estate and there was a swimming pool at that house you might understand.

Mr Willie - Did they not name it after her in Launceston?

Ms ARMITAGE - In Launceston we did, but the house I sold did have a swimming pool, and they bought another one with a bigger pool. Young Ariarne is our own, even though she may not currently live here.

Jacob Templeton for para-swimming; Jake Birtwhistle for triathlon; Erica Burleigh for para-triathlon; and Hayden Armstrong for para-triathlon guided. It is wonderful to see the Paras and they are all competing together. It is absolutely fabulous to watch them.

Collectively, these athletes contributed 13 medals to Australia's winning tally of 178 medals - 67 gold, 57 silver, and 54 bronze. Tasmania won 10 of those gold medals, very much emphasising the dedication and extraordinary talent of those who represented our country and our state. For Tasmanians and especially our young Tasmanians, seeing the incredible performance of our Commonwealth Games athletes is inspirational. Participation in the Commonwealth Games shows it does not matter where you come from, but it is how hard you work and how dedicated you are to your sport that can take you to these elite levels of competition.

I emphasise my utmost praise to the Tasmanians whose hard work and skill got them to the elite levels of sport they play and, whether they came home with a medal or not, we want them to know we are proud of each and every one of them. I am sure that everyone here that has had a child they have taken to sport, whether it be to rowing, or whatever - how much time, and effort that goes in and the training. I was fortunate, I had my niece Donna, who is actually in Hobart at the moment, who went to the Olympics. I know how much time and effort she put in, week in, week out, day and night, and the parents. Getting them to training. It is a never-ending battle, whether you win a medal or not. To actually get there to that elite level of sport is absolutely fantastic. I also pay tribute to the coaches, teams, families, friends, and supporters of all our athletes, without whom it would be impossible for our athletes to reach the heights they do.

Australia once again came through a Commonwealth Games event with strength and discipline. I am sure that in another four years, at the Victorian Commonwealth Games, we will see even more Tasmanians representing the best our country has to offer and inspiring the generations that are to come.


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