Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993
Parliamentary Record 21
Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 1993 debate on sporting policy. I appreciate the opportunity to say so once again - this time in the context of a statement on women in sport. I want to make some comments in favour of participation. It is very easy to encourage younger people to play sport and to take satisfaction in watching them. However, I want to stress that it is important also that we encourage older people to continue to play sport and to remain physically active, not for their personal satisfaction alone but because it is not a bad little health insurance policy. It is a good policy to encourage people not to chuck in the towel at 30 or 35 but to continue playing sport at some level. It is in this context that our encouragement of the Masters Games is very positive. Aside from the fact that participation gives many people some satisfaction, it is also a worthwhile public and social objective. I reflect back on the people who have been playing competition hockey over the years that I have been involved, and I think particularly of people like Marion Ball and Maureen Trindle who still play a game of hockey. Like myself, they are not quite as fast as we were 20 years ago, but we get a great deal of satisfaction from playing. I think that people ought to be encouraged in that kind of pursuit. There are other names that I could mention in that context, but I think that I have made my point that continuing participation is something that we should encourage as well. In Alice Springs recently, I had the opportunity to present the medals for the finals competition of the hockey association as I do each year. It is always a great experience. Many people put a great deal of time and effort into the organisation of the sport down there. This is probably not the time to mention that, but the very equal participation between men and women in that competition is a model for equal opportunity that commends itself in many other areas. The opposition spokesman on youth, sport and recreation, the member for Nhulunbuy, stressed the importance of encouraging sport in primary schools, and I want to add to that. Certainly, I agree with him that the encouragement of sport in primary and secondary schools brings significant benefits. However, as with most of these activities, I believe that we acquire this interest at home. If mum and/or dad is interested in sport, then the children are likely to be as well. I think that the effort and encouragement that mums and dads give to their children is the important factor and that they need not necessarily be sportspeople themselves. In saying that, I hark back to the hockey association, and I think of people like Jenny Walsh. Jenny is not a player herself, but her children have been and she has actively encouraged them. She has put a great deal of work into the association. She has given a great deal of time and effort to the canteen operation and the organisational side of the association. There is no doubt that, apart from the contribution that she makes to the association as a whole, her own children receive the message that their mum thinks that playing sport and being involved with it is an important part of life. I have encouraged my own children in that regard. In fact, I have to tell a story here. This does not relate to my daughter, but rather to my son who, at one stage in his early life, appeared to be in serious danger of taking up the game of soccer until his mother pointed out to him that, if he ever expected his father to take an interest in one of his winter sports, he had better start playing hockey. Members may be pleased to know that he took her advice and he continues to play hockey to this day. If I can be excused a little parental pride, he was in a team that made its way through to the state league 1 competition in Melbourne this year. My 2 daughters play the game also and I point out that mothers and fathers contribute to 10 186
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