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Monday, 20 June 2011
Page: 6544

Mr IRONS (Swan) (16:23): I rise to talk about junior football in my electorate. I see the honourable member for Corio in the chamber and, knowing his passion for the Geelong Football Club and that they are undefeated at the moment, I am sure we will hear more about the club later in the year from the member for Corio. Last Saturday I attended the Belmont Bombers Junior Football Club Auskick Gala Day, which was an inaugural event held at Peet Park in Kewdale in my electorate. The Belmont Junior Football Club caters for boys and girls aged between 15 and 17, and it has a long history in the local area as a club steeped in tradition. From the success of the gala day it looks as though the event will become another tradition for the football club.

The event has been held at the Gosnells Junior Football Club for many years, but the district decided to split the event between Gosnells and Belmont this year. This was done to help with numbers and also to assist in reducing travel time for many of the club's players and parents. Other clubs that attended were Redcliffe, Lynwood/Ferndale, Manning Rippers, Victoria Park and Queens Park. Before the games started the clubs had a parade where the boys and girls marched past the parents and volunteers and sang their respective club songs.

There was a prize awarded to the best presented club, which I had the honour of selecting, and the winner was the Queens Park Bulldogs. The reason they were chosen was not because they had the largest number of kids—that was Belmont—but because they sang their club song the loudest and longest and with great passion all the way around the parade. The Redcliffe Football Club, which have traditional colours of gold and blue, came a very close second, with three of their club girls wearing bright pink football guernseys. Redcliffe have started a group for young girls to play Auskick, called the Eaglettes, in a bright pink strip. I know the member for Curtin supports this initiative, because Ms Bishop launched the Eaglettes in her office earlier this year.

At the start of the day the senior coach from the Perth Football Club, Damien McMahon, and about 15 of the senior players attended the day and encouraged the Auskick players and parents. The Perth Football Club players also signed autographs and kicked footballs around with the young players. Over 400 players with their supportive parents and families attended on the day. The rain, unfortunately, did not hold off and the morning was peppered with showers and plenty of umbrella raising and lowering. On the day, 64 games of two 10-minute halves were played and the enthusiasm and joy of participating on the players' faces was testament to the success of the day.

The event coordinator and also Belmont Junior Football Club President, Mark Romeo, did a fantastic job along with his committee, the junior Auskick coordinator and the many volunteers who worked tirelessly in preparation for and on the day. The day was also attended by the chairman of the junior council, Neil Darby, as well as Scott Faulkner, the district manager, and Anthony Balcombe, the Perth Football Club Development Officer.

It was an event that had great community spirit and saw teams from various suburbs within the electorate of Swan attend and come together. Once again I congratulate the Belmont Bombers for a great community day and event.