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Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Page: 10287

Mrs MARKUS (Macquarie) (21:59): I rise to speak about the outstanding young athletes from my electorate whom I recently met. These young people are recipients of the 2012 Local Sporting Champions grants, and I was delighted to be able to recognise their outstanding achievements and to communicate to them how proud of them I am and their community is. The grants provide financial assistance for young people aged 12 to 18 towards the cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms or equipment when competing.

Prior to meeting the Local Sporting Champions grant recipients I endeavoured to gain a better understanding of their achievements. Having done so, I was tremendously proud to have such outstanding young people in our local community. Having now met these athletes, having heard of their determination, commitment, discipline and ability, I am immensely proud not only of their achievements but of what and who they are: great Australians.

Summalea Arndt is only 17 and hails from Glossodia in the Hawkesbury. Summalea is a member of the Nepean Aquatic Centre Swim Club and has achieved incredible results in the pool. Like her fellow grant recipients, Summalea is likely to continue to achieve long into the future. Summalea participated in the Olympic trials in Adelaide in March 2012 and the age nationals in Brisbane in April 2012. Summalea's receipt of the Local Sporting Champions grant assisted her in realising her goal of competing against the best swimmers in her age group in this nation.

Brothers Aiden and Jake Nelson are only 13 and 14 respectively, but both have made considerable achievements in football. Both the brothers, who are from Kurrajong, were selected to participate in the Football New South Wales state titles at different locations. The grants they received permitted each parent to escort the boys to the respective state trials and encouraged their development in the sport.

Maya Suzuki of Glenbrook is a champion triathlon competitor and recently participated in the New South Wales All Schools Triathlon in Western Australia.

Mathew Newton of Warrimoo recently represented New South Wales Country and City Schools Cricket at the New South Wales state schoolboy championships. Mathew has been a keen and high-achieving cricketer for many years, and I was delighted that he has continued to progress within advanced competitions.

Gemma Dunn of Valley Heights is a high-achieving and very talented young shooter. In June this year Gemma competed with Australian International Shooting at the Junior World Cup in Suhl. We are all tremendously proud of her achievements and hope very much that she can realise her goal of eventually competing at the Olympics.

Joseph Dunne of Leura, like our recent local Olympic champion Jessica Fox, is an outstanding kayaker. In March this year Joseph participated in Monsoon Madness at the Australian national championships. We all hope that before too long another Blue Mountains Olympic kayaker may well appear in our midst.

Jacqueline Anyon-Smith of Wilberforce recently represented the NSW metro state team at the national football championships. Jacqueline is a very talented young woman, and I have no doubt that she will achieve her goal of competing with the Matildas.

Kellie Wilding is also a footballer and in the last few days participated in the School Sport Australia Football Championships in Darwin, representing the New South Wales primary schools association. Kellie is from Hazelbrook in the Blue Mountains and is only 12 years old. I hope very much that her achievements this year signify the beginnings of a wonderful sporting career.

Dominique Ellison of Pitt Town Bottoms will tomorrow begin her competition at the 2012 World Show Ski Tournament. Dominique has been skiing since she was only 18 months old and has been training for 11 years. I wish her all the best and know that her family and her community are tremendously proud of her.

Madeline Gudgeon of Springwood is only 12 but has already achieved so much in her chosen sport of netball. In July Madeline competed at the PSSA Netball School Sport Australia Championships. Madeline has a wonderful future ahead of her and I know that she will continue to achieve great things long into the future.

Shannon and Lauren Usher are both gymnasts. The pair competed last month at the National Clubs Championships, representing their club, the Kachan School of Tumbling and Performance.

Lauren Cosgrove of Richmond is also a gymnast and recently competed in the World Age Group Acrobatics Competition, representing Gymnastics Australia, in Orlando, Florida.

I think it is also very important to acknowledge the vital role played by the parents and families of these athletes. Without the early mornings, long hours and late nights, their success would not be possible.