Thursday, 27 July 2023
Presentation of Australian Sports Medals
I warmly welcome our athletes and their families, along with our official guests, to Government House today.
As Governor it’s my great pleasure to invest South Australians each year with awards within the Australian Honours and Awards System, including the Order of Australia, Australian Bravery Decorations and the Australian Sports Medal.
Today we celebrate the South Australian athletes who received the Australian Sports Medal for their participation in in 2019 in the Games we know know as the Virtus Games, run by the International Federation for athletes with intellectual impairment.
Recipients of Australian honours come from a wide range of backgrounds, have a variety of abilities and talents, and carry a diverse range of achievements.
Yet we know they are united by their strength of character, and their courage.
I congratulate the athletes present today for their outstanding efforts at the Games, as well as a range of other competitions.
Being an athlete requires a tremendous amount of commitment.
You train your bodies to become fit and agile, and you train your minds to overcome fear and doubt.
For those of you playing team sports, you learn how to collaborate, and work together to pursue a common goal.
These skills will serve you on the sporting field, and also in the rest of your lives.
I know a little about this from the years I spent rowing competitively at the Adelaide University Boat Club.
Behind every great athlete is a support team of people working to set their athletes up for success.
I thank the team at Sport Inclusion Australia for its coordination of Australia’s participation in the Virtus Games, and for its tireless efforts to promote the inclusion of people with an intellectual disability into the mainstream community using sport.
I thank all of the coaches for their commitment to training our athletes to their highest potential.
And I thank athletes’ families and friends for their assistance, from helping with costs for uniforms, training and travel to competitions, through to emotional support and encouragement when times get tough.
On behalf of all South Australians, I am so proud of your efforts in your respective sports, reflected in the awarding to each of you of the Australian Sports Medal.
I know you will wear your medal with pride, as ambassadors both for your sport and for inclusion in our society.
Thank you for giving us much to celebrate today.
I wish you all the best for your future endeavours.