Mr DULUK (Davenport) (15:48): I rise today to speak on an issue that has divided friends, colleagues and even some families. It is an issue that is close to the hearts of many South Australians, and it is an issue that has resulted in blood, sweat and tears for a few and eagerness and anticipation amongst the many.
It is the Adelaide Crows, who are on their way to win their third grand final this Saturday. The Crows have overcome adversity over the past few years and climbed to the top of the ladder this season. They played brilliantly on Friday night, defeating Geelong at the Adelaide Oval and, as a long-time Crows' supporter, I would like to wish the team all the best for the big dance on Saturday.
Celebrations are also in order for the Sturt Football Club who defeated Port Adelaide by one point in the SANFL grand final on Sunday and are now back-to-back premiers. I would also like to congratulate Fraser Evans, son of my predecessor in this place, on winning the Jack Oatey Medal for best on ground in the grand final. and I believe that Fraser is the first young Liberal to ever win the Jack Oatey Medal.
As recently as 2012, there was strong talk within the SANFL that Sturt might merge or need to move from its spiritual home at Unley following poor performances on and off the field. The club's turnaround has been truly amazing and credit must be given to its president, Jason Kilic, and general manager, Sue Dewing, for ensuring that Sturt is here to stay.
An AFL team like the Crows or an SANFL team like Sturt cannot play and win finals if we donot have strong local grassroots footy participation across the state—local clubs that run on the smell of an oily rag, dedicated volunteers and passionate and parochial supporters. In my local community
I would like to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of everyone who has been involved and contributed to the success of their local sporting club.
Congratulations to the Blackwood Football Club under its president, Jason Burns, on winning the 2017 Hills Football League A-grade premiership on Saturday. The Woods broke a 26-year drought by defeating Hahndorf by four points at Lobethal Oval on the weekend. The club had four teams out of a possible five playing grand final footy, with the Senior Colts also tasting premiership success.
Flagstaff Hill Football Club, also in my electorate, are now back-to-back premiers, defeating Noarlunga in the Southern Football League A-grade competition. 'Flaggy' has had an outstanding 2017 season under the leadership of Brett Charlesworth, with seven out of eight teams making it into the grand final and four succeeding in holding the premiership cup aloft. It is the second consecutive year that they have secured four premierships. The dedication and discipline that the Flagstaff Hill Football Club has shown on and off the field is a credit to all involved.
Local clubs cannot succeed without the generous support provided by local businesses, private donations and government support. There are some who criticise public expenditure on sport, but I believe it is critical to encourage South Australians to be active. However, clubs need appropriate facilities to ensure they attract and maintain members and participants. Many sporting facilities in my electorate need upgrading, especially the Hewett Oval which is home to Woods Panthers Netball Club, Coromandel Cricket Club and the Blackwood Tennis Club. Of course, the administrators and our volunteers in these groups go a long way to dealing with the bureaucratic process that they need to navigate in order to receive help from the Office for Recreation and Sport.
That is why I was pleased to host a sports roundtable recently with the Liberal candidate for Davenport, Steve Murray, and the Office for Recreation and Sport with many clubs in my electorate. Those that participated and came to the information session were Blackwood Calisthenics Club, Coromandel Ramblers Cricket Club, Blackwood Bowling Club, Bulls Baseball Club, Netherby Tennis Club, Belair Cheerleading, Eden Field Archers, Blackwood Football Club, Sturt Lions Soccer Club, Blackwood Tennis Club, Flagstaff Hill Community Centre, Blackwood Recreation Centre, Southern Hills Little Athletics Centre, Forestville Hockey Club, Cumberland United Women's Football Club.
The round table was a fantastic opportunity for representatives to learn more about the grants process and to share ideas about improving facilities and ultimately participation in all my local clubs. It is vital that we make every effort to encourage more sports participation in our community because it is through being active and participating in sport that we see our future leaders play in the SANFL and the AFL.
On that note, go the Crows on Saturday!