Winter sport comes to a close

I rise today to talk about the most recent sporting events in the electorate of Flinders. Of course, it is finals time for our winter sports, primarily football and netball, but also hockey and soccer, and I guess golf goes just about all year round now. It is a very exciting time, particularly because during the 2020 season there was no organised winter sport outside Port Lincoln, so the broader Eyre Peninsula community had to do without.

Many members in this place realise and fully understand how critically important organised sport is to our country communities. It is often a full day out on a Saturday, it is a family day out and it really provides some fabric to our country communities and our society.

What came as a resurgence in local football was the Mortlock Shield being played, as it has always been played, over the June long weekend, but we also saw some restructuring within the football and netball leagues—forgive me, football and netball often do go together, and almost always go together in country areas, so if I talk about football I am talking about football and netball as well.

In the 2020-21 season, we found that some restructuring occurred within leagues and within clubs. It was instigated by the amalgamation of the Wudinna united football club with the Central Eyre football club, which was a combination of Kyancutta and Warramboo. The new team, Wudinna United, decided to approach the Eastern Eyre Football League. Eastern Eyre accepted them into that league, which turned Eastern Eyre into a five-league competition. That meant that the old Mid West league was at five teams but, that said, both Streaky Bay and Wirrulla decided to leave Mid West and go into a new Western league, previously known as Far West.

Really, that led to the demise of the Mid West league, and it was finalised by Elliston football and netball clubs amalgamating with the old Poochera and Minnipa club to become Elliston Districts. That new club approached Great Flinders, which essentially is the first league to the north of Port Lincoln on Eyre Peninsula. It all sounds rather complicated, and no doubt there was a bit of pain experienced by some of the club members, but in the end the season worked out well and we have just finished our finals. We had finals in Ceduna where Streaky Bay were successful and we had finals in the Eastern Eyre league where Ports were successful. Ports is a combination of Port Neill and Arno Bay. They were the underdogs but managed to win the A-grade final. In the Port Lincoln league, Marble Range got up in the A-grade grand final and, in Great Flinders, United Yeelanna got up in the A-grade final.

I focus on football because certainly the primary part of the day revolves around A-grade football. However, there are any number of junior grades, both in football and netball, that play all the way through the season and play a final series at this time of year as well. So I would like to congratulate, firstly, all those who were involved in winter sports. I have been talking about football and netball, but of course hockey as well, and soccer. I would particularly like to congratulate and thank all the volunteers who make Saturday sport possible. They do it with great love and enthusiasm, often with no thanks, and they do it because they want to see their friends, colleagues and counterparts have an enjoyable time.

I managed to get to the Great Flinders grand final at Tumby Bay last Saturday, having first been up to Wudinna to the Wudinna show. Some of the shows are being cancelled this year, but the Wudinna show was not one of them; it was decided to carry on. It had a pretty good crowd. I was there in the morning, and I heard that the crowd grew during the afternoon. They had a COVID plan in place. I then travelled back down to Tumby Bay where, once again, there was a huge crowd. People were just so pleased to be able to go out once again and interact and socialise. The football league had a COVID plan in place, and the day was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Congratulations.

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