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Monday, 8 February 2010
Page: 769

Mr SIMPKINS (6:45 PM) —I previously spoke of the value that little athletics provides to young people in the electorate of Cowan. I have a great regard for the parents who volunteer so strongly to keep the clubs going. I am particularly grateful to those who go beyond helping out, taking leadership roles in coaching and administering those clubs.

I recently visited a training session of the Wanneroo Little Athletics Club at the invitation of Tim Blake, one of the fathers and senior trainer at the club. The club trains at the Edgar Griffin Reserve in Wanneroo. I describe the facilities as barely adequate, although they make the most of what they have brilliantly. Clearly, an oval without marked lanes makes it more difficult for the athletes to train and prepare for their competitions. Similarly, the reserve is not easy to get to and does require parents to drop the children off. It is for those reasons that I support the move by the Wanneroo Little Athletics Club to move to the Wanneroo showgrounds and their move to have lanes marked for five to six months of the year. Not only will this be good for the local children who wish to participate in little athletics but also it will provide the conditions to establish a senior athletics club in the district of Wanneroo.

It should also be remembered that the Wanneroo Show held the Wanneroo Gift races in November last year at the 100th anniversary show. The Wanneroo Agricultural Society wants the Wanneroo Gift to continue in 2010. However, what is now required is for decent and even grass lanes to be marked. Athletics WA will need the showground marked in lanes before agreeing to the event in 2010. Together with the benefits for junior and senior athletics, the marking of the showground into lanes allows for the training of athletes and provides great collateral benefits. (Time expired)