Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993

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Parliamentary Record 21


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 1993 it was as a result of a national survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics less than 2 years ago. It was the first of its kind undertaken in the Northern Territory and its purpose was to determine the average Australian's level of participation in sporting or recreational activity. The results were nothing less than astounding, and particularly so in the area of women in sport. The survey showed that 4 out of 5 men and 3 out of 4 women in the Territory took part in at least one sport or recreational activity in a 12-month period. Compared to the findings of a 1990 survey conducted by the Australian Sports Commission on registered participants in sport, the Northern Territory fared extremely well. That survey showed that 77% of men competed whereas only 23% of the female population were involved in sport. The 1992 ABS survey highlighted the fact that the many initiatives of this government in this area in the years since self-government have worked, and worked well. The main area where this was highlighted was in the reasons for non-participation in sport. The survey showed that only 1 in 4 people did not participate in any physical activity over the 12-month period. Many participants wanted to be involved with water sports but indicated the lack of surf and the presence of box jellyfish and crocodiles in Territory coastal waters and rivers as significant barriers to participation. The good news for Territorians was that lack of facilities and venues or access to them was rarely mentioned as a reason for lack of involvement. This government may not be able to declare our coastal areas free of crocodiles and box jellyfish, but Territorians may be assured that we will continue our policy of providing sporting and recreation facilities for their enjoyment. Encouraging increased participation by all members of our society in some form of sport or recreation is an area where this government has been at the forefront for many years compared to governments in the rest of the nation. The government believes that increased sporting and recreational activity leads to a stronger community overall. Increased participation in sport and recreation leads not only to a healthy body but to a healthy mind as well. It is a well-known fact that sport is an important cultural and social institution which holds a particularly significant place in the Australian way of life. It is not only a popular form of activity and entertainment, but also plays a significant role in the development of ideas about the proper spheres of men and women and the definition of femininity and masculinity. Despite its importance in Australian culture, women have been largely excluded from equal participation in sport. Men have dominated the sports arena over the years because of the fact that, on average, men are stronger, taller, heavier and faster than women. However, women's sport has experienced periods of considerable success within the last century, and particularly in the 1920s and 1930s when public interest in women's sport was high, with daily crowds of up to 5000 people attending cricket test matches. In that time, women's sport has seen many ups and downs but, in recent years, the situation has improved remarkably. However, women's sport is still considered in the minority in terms of sponsorship, prize money and media exposure despite Australian women having been crowned world champions in a variety of sports, including netball, hockey, tennis, swimming, water polo, cricket, lawn bowls and squash. There have been highlights in recent times, with one of the major events being the World Netball Championship final a couple of years ago between Australia and New Zealand. For those members who are not aware of the result, Australia won that match by one goal. To this day, that match is touted as one of the 10 168

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