Legislative Council: Wednesday, June 28, 2023


Australian Masters Games

The Hon. E.S. BOURKE (15:38): Last Friday, I had the pleasure of representing the Premier at a breakfast marking 100 days until the 2023 Australian Masters Games. The Australian Masters Games is one of the largest multisport events held in Australia. It is open to everyone who meets the minimum age criteria, which for most sports is 30 years old—so most in this chamber can participate—with the oldest participant being 99. The Masters Games truly are for everyone.

The Malinauskas Labor government, through the South Australian Tourism Commission, is proud to be hosting the 2023 event right here in Adelaide, the spiritual home of the games. This year will mark the eighth time our state has hosted the games, out of a total of 19 events since 1989, with the last being held here in 2019. I am advised that there has already been a fantastic number of registrations in all sports, with some 3,745 competitors, with representation from all Australian states and territories. There are also 81 international competitors from all over the world, including New Zealand, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

This year's games will feature some 50 sports, ranging from basketball to dragon boat racing to lawn bowls, being played across 70 venues all over Adelaide. The games will also be heading out to our regions, with some events being held in the Barossa Valley, the Adelaide Hills and the Fleurieu Peninsula.

The role sport and physical activity play in making our South Australian community a better place is something that must be celebrated. Sport gives many people a wonderful sense of belonging and opportunity to relate and form friendships and to connect with their community. The Australian Masters Games is testament to how sport can bring people together to enjoy not only participating in the sport that they love but also partaking in the extensive social programs that the games provide, renewing old friendships and making new ones.

At the breakfast last Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting many competitors, including John Holland, who played squash in his younger years and has now turned to dragon boat racing. The Masters Games provide such a great opportunity for people to keep active, try new sports and have a little fun along the way. The Australian Masters Games Village will be housed right behind us here on the Adelaide Festival Plaza. This will be a fantastic atmosphere for competitors and supporters to eat and drink and celebrate, with nightly entertainment.

In addition to the social and community benefits, it is estimated that the 2023 Australian Masters Games will attract some 10,000 athletes and over 3,000 supporters to our state. More than 100 local businesses will be directly involved in delivering this year's games, with many more set to receive indirect benefits that will boost the local economy.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Australian Masters Games, which is being managed by UniSport Australia under the direction of the Confederation of Australian Sport, for their work in bringing together these games. As we are all aware, sport relies heavily on volunteers to organise and facilitate events such as this. We can never acknowledge the work of volunteers enough, and I sincerely thank the 1,000 volunteers who will support the Australian Masters Games this year in a variety of roles, from umpiring to bringing our communities together from across the country.

Thank you also to the major funding partners and sponsors for these games and also to the many others who will benefit from this. I wish all competitors the very best as we head into our countdown of 100 days until the games kick off.