Sunday, 04 June 2023

Athletics SA Presentation Luncheon

It’s my great pleasure to be with you today, as patron of Athletics SA, to celebrate the achievements of your members during the 2022 Winter season and 2022-23 Summer season.

As a young person I enjoyed athletics, but I must say my career was short lived.

While not all Governors can claim to be sprinters, South Australia is very fortunate to have had one of the greats – the Honourable Marjorie Jackson Nelson – as the 33rd Governor of South Australia.

It was my pleasure to join Marjorie and Minister Hildyard recently and launch the Marjorie Jackson-Nelson Centre for Women’s Sport at The Drive Adelaide.

The role of the Centre will position South Australia as a national leader in women’s sport; supporting and empowering female athletes, coaches, officials, and other stakeholders to shape the game in positive ways for future generations.

On this note I congratulate our guest speakers today, Jess Stenson and Isobel Batt-Doyle, on representing South Australia at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, with Jess of course winning gold in the marathon.

As women and as athletes, you are outstanding advocates for our state and for Athletics SA.

Friends, I was very pleased to learn about the many successes of Athletics SA during the past 12 months.

I congratulate your organisation on growing its athlete participation base by 70 percent in the past 6 years, placing you in a sound position to develop new competition opportunities, for both elite and amateur athletes.

This achievement reflects the vision and dedication of Athletics SA, as well as its member clubs, and I thank all the staff and volunteers for their participation in reaching this goal.

I am also pleased to see that Athletics SA showcased South Australian sport by hosting several national events, including the 2022 Australian Cross Country Championships and Australia All Schools Championships.

Hosting such occasions requires a considerable amount of work by officials and other volunteers, and I thank you for your efforts.

Well done to Team SA on performing admirably at the 2023 Australian Track and Field Championships, bringing home 54 medals.

Athletes, I know you spent many long hours in training for this event, and brought everything you had to the competition.

I congratulate all of you for representing our state with pride.

Congratulations also to all of our amateur athletes, especially young people, for your efforts in competition in the past year.

Whether you participate in athletics for fitness, to build your social networks, or to improve on your personal best times, heights or distances, thank you for contributing to such a vibrant athletic community.

It’s good news that, nationwide, interest in athletics is on the rise.

This is evident by high broadcast viewership of summer events, and significant attendance numbers at the Adelaide Invitational and Track Classics in other states.

I look forward to seeing Athletics SA capitalise on this popularity in the lead up to Paris 2024, to grow as an organisation and bring the joy of athletics to as many South Australians as possible, including any potential future governors.

Coming events