24
May 2021

Congratulations to our local sporting champions

I rise to acknowledge and congratulate the local sporting champions in my electorate of Wentworth—12 young, high-achieving sports champions who have risen in their chosen sport to compete at state and national competitions and who were recently awarded Sport Australia grants to assist with expenses associated with attending non-local competitions. Some of the recipients include Lola Anir, who received a grant to attend the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships; Claudia Quinn, also to attend the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships; Harrison Nixon, to attend the Youth Water Polo Championships—there are a lot of youth water polo people in my electorate—Erin Little, to attend the Youth Water Polo Championships; Flynn Vish, also for the Youth Water Polo Championships; Cynthia Baker-Barden, to attend the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships; Zara Hamilton, to attend the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships; Charles Appleyard, also for the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships; Finlay McDonald, for the Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Championships; Henrietta Robson, for the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships; Taylor Hamilton, for the Aussies 2021 surf life saving youth championships; and, finally, Nikki Collins, also to attend the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships.

I recently hosted an afternoon tea to meet and congratulate these award winners, or at least some of them, and to hear of their sporting pursuits and achievements. I congratulated Cynthia Baker-Barden, who received a gold medal for March Past in the surf lifesaving championships; Finlay Macdonald, who was several feet taller than me, for his volleyball achievements; Harrison Nixon, who is only 11 years old, who was selected for both the water polo and the surf life saving championships.

An honourable member interjecting

He was only 11 years old so he wasn't quite as tall as me. And Claudia Quinn was selected for the national water polo championships. I also learned a little about the athletes' gruelling training schedules and their commitment to their sport. I was impressed with the commitment the dedication from such young people, and their parents, to the sport and to achieving their goals. Claudia Quinn, for instance, who was participating in the national Youth Water Polo Championships spoke of 4.20 am starts three times a week to travel from Paddington to Auburn for 5 am water training before school each day. I applaud all the young athletes for their commitment to sport and wish them every success as they continue to compete and pursue their sporting goals. Given the number of young people in my electorate who are participating in the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships, I expect us to field a very good side in the Olympics in years to come.