Mortlock Shield

Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (15:52): I rise today to speak about a significant event coming up next weekend in Port Lincoln that impacts the whole of Eyre Peninsula and the entire seat of Flinders, and that is the Bendigo Bank Mortlock Shield. The Mortlock Shield is a football carnival that was first played way back in 1936. It is officially Australia’s longest running football carnival and was played in the first instance in Port Lincoln on Centenary Oval, that wonderful ground that is such a feature of the Port Lincoln Football League.

The Port Lincoln Football League is the host of this year’s Mortlock Shield and has been for quite some years. As I said, Bendigo Bank are major sponsors and the event is also particularly reliant on any number of volunteers who come along and help it become a great weekend. It is held over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June here in South Australia. Nobody on Eyre Peninsula—not a person—knows it as the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. It is always referred to as the Mortlock Shield weekend—

Ms Cook: That’s treason!

Mr TRELOAR: I am not going to go there. It would be treason if you referred to it as anything but the Mortlock Shield weekend, I think. Footballers from all over Eyre Peninsula converge on Port Lincoln, on Centenary Oval, and ply their trade.

Football leagues come and go. This year, we have a few changes again, and it really is on the back of last year’s lack of football as a result of COVID. The only football that was played on Eyre Peninsula was in Port Lincoln itself, when the Port Lincoln Football League played a competition. Once we went over Winter Hill, there was no football at all played.

There have been changes within the leagues this year, when we have seen football return. Wirrulla and Streaky Bay have both gone to join the Far West league and are now known as Western Eyre, which I hear is unveiling a new association guernsey for the Mortlock Shield. Wudinna United joined with Central Eyre and went to the Eastern Eyre Football League—you have to stay with me on this, Mr Speaker—which meant that the old Midwest League was defunct, essentially.

From that we saw Elliston Districts come down to my home league of Great Flinders. We are one less league on Eyre Peninsula but that means we will have a round robin event over the two days playing football on the Saturday and the Monday, and we will have a clear winner. That is particularly exciting.

Of course, we are now in the Norwood Football Club zone, and Norwood have been great supporters of football on Eyre Peninsula. They are looking to become more involved. I know they will be present on the day, not just scouting for potential footballers for the Norwood league side but also supporting football and communities right across Eyre Peninsula. I know they have some plans to unfold on the coming weekend.

This coming Sunday will be what we call the Norwood Cup. It is an under-15 competition, so the same situation again. Leagues from all over Eyre Peninsula come to Port Lincoln, and the best of our under-15 junior footballers will play on that Sunday. It is not only a football carnival but also a great social event. It is a feature event in the yearly calendar and the social calendar. In fact, I am going to share with the house that my birthday is coming up—it is on 14 June—and I can distinctly remember spending my 18th birthday at the Mortlock Shield. Unfortunately, not having the football skills to be on the field, I did spend a very enjoyable afternoon with my new-found adulthood on the hill at Centenary Oval.

Incredibly, my 60th birthday is coming up in the next few days, and my plan is to spend some time on the hill again—what is that: 42 years later or something?—this time as patron, so I probably will be more cautious about the celebrations. It just goes to show the significance of the event. One last thing: it is not all about football, and football is not the only sport, but it is such a core part of community and social life on Eyre Peninsula.

Also in Port Lincoln this coming weekend, the Port Lincoln Gymnastics Club is hosting its annual championships. There are 14 clubs from around the state converging on Port Lincoln at what really is a brilliant venue and facility at the Port Lincoln Gymnastics Club. Over 250 athletes from around the state will be taking part in that gymnastics competition. So all the best to all the athletes for this coming weekend.

Time expired.


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