Monday, 26 September 2022

I warmly welcome you all this evening to celebrate 30 years of Sport SA.

I can see some familiar faces from the Hall of Fame event I attended earlier this year, and it’s great to host the Sport SA community, for the first time in my term, here in Government House.

Rod and I are proud to be joint patrons of Sport SA and to support the organisation’s important work.

Sport has always been an important part of my life, through participation in, or attendance at, sporting events.

I am proud to say that, at university, I went from being a novice to part of a team that won state championships in rowing.

In recent months, Rod and I have been taking golf lessons.

We enjoy the occasional well-struck putt during golf training, which helps us appreciate all the better the skill of professional players!

Our enjoyment of golf, and love of sport in general, enables us to appreciate the wide range of skills practised by sports people, from the amateur to elite levels in South Australia.

We also appreciate the role played by Sport SA and its member organisations in supporting all of these athletes, no matter their level.

For three decades, Sport SA has been the only industry body to represents all of sport in our state, and the only organisation to provide a united voice for sport.

Its tireless work in the provision of advocacy, training and professional development, as well as its encouragement of participation in sport, and celebration of sporting achievements, is highly commendable.

Most recently, you have been a key support agency for the return to sport following COVID lockdowns and restrictions, providing regular industry news, advice and support to government.

During the past 30 years, many changes and new opportunities have emerged on the sporting landscape at the state and national level, to which Sport SA has responded with creativity and enthusiasm.

The growth of women’s sports, with initiatives such as the AFLW and Women’s Big Bash League, have been some of the most exciting, and I thank Sport SA for supporting this evolution in women’s sport.

On this note, I am pleased to learn of Sport SA’s plans to develop a South Australian Women’s Sport Academy and look forward to seeing this come to fruition.

Friends,

The longevity of an organisation like Sport SA is only possible with the work of many passionate and dedicated individuals.

I thank all of the Board members, staff and volunteers over the years who have contributed to its success.

This evening it will be my privilege to award Life membership pins to several members for their outstanding service to Sport SA.

Congratulations to you all on reaching this important anniversary, and I wish Sport SA every success for its next 30 years, working in support of one of our state’s most influential and loved endeavours: sport.