Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (11:08): I rise, too, to support this excellent motion moved by the member for Colton on the fantastic exhibition of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and certainly acknowledge the excellent efforts of the 60 athletes from South Australia. As other members have put to this house already, combining all abilities—and I will use the word 'abilities'—was such a fantastic thing to watch, as was seeing how people overcome whatever they have to in order to compete in sport and those amazing events.

We have already heard about Jess Trengove, and I watched her as she came to the finish line. I am not sure whether she had another 80 metres left in her, but she came in and got the bronze medal. You see the other athletes right across the board performing to their absolute maximum. I certainly believe that, yes, it is great to get the medals—and I will acknowledge some of those in a moment—but just to be there representing your country (and, obviously, we are acknowledging those from Australia and from the commonwealth) is such a thrill for athletes right across the board.

In regard to the Commonwealth Games, Australia was the dominant nation of the Gold Coast  2018 Commonwealth Games. We had a total of 198 medals: 80 gold, 59 silver and 59 bronze. England came second, with 136 medals: 45 gold, 45 silver and 46 bronze. I have already talked about how impressive the contribution from this state was, especially when you look at the population ratio to the other states. We certainly do our job as a state competing at this level.

I want to talk about the critical role that the South Australian Sports Institute and the Office for Recreation and Sport play in supporting and partnering with a number of world-class national training centres based here in Adelaide. As a result, Adelaide is the primary training environment in a place that a disproportionate number of Australia's world-class athletes live and train. That is a good thing at a range of levels. Apart from having training facilities that are accessible to all athletes, it brings people here, which also contributes to our economy, and it invites excellence across the board so that people can get on board with whatever sport they choose.

I have looked at what one of my sons did at his school. He went through the process of how they work out, do the tests and see how you are as an athlete. I think he was told he could potentially have been a cyclist or a kayaker. He is not a bad cyclist, but when I saw him kayaking I think he probably made the right decision by not taking it further. I think that was more to do with the fact that he was already congested with basketball and Aussie Rules football commitments. It is quite a process testing thousands of schoolchildren (I think in this case it was 5,000 schoolchildren) and getting down to the 1 per cent who have done all the tests—the beep test, the running test, physical endurance tests—to see where they sit.

We do punch above our weight and it is proven in the results we get at the Commonwealth Games. Certainly, in regard to the Sports Institute, 43 South Australian athletes or graduates were selected for the 2018 Commonwealth Games team. On top of that, out of the other 60 athletes, 17 live and train primarily in Adelaide as part of their relevant National Centre of Excellence programs in partnership with the South Australian Sports Institute and competed at the games.

The South Australian Sports Institute athletes contributed to 18 gold, three silver and six bronze medals in Australia's tally. Those athletes contributed to 23 per cent of Australia's gold medals. In total, this group of athletes collectively brought home 35 medals, including 21 gold, taking into account the multiple athletes in medal-winning teams, such as the three female basketball gold medallists. The women's basketball team has already been mentioned and I really do want to congratulate them on their fantastic performance at the games.

The impact of South Australia on the games was 29 per cent of Australia's gold medal total of 80, and South Australian athletes contributed to 38 of Australia's 198 medals, or 19 per cent. That is a fantastic effort all round. I talked before about how inclusive these games were and, as I said, they were the most inclusive games ever. It is a fantastic approach to sport; instead of having one level of ability first and then other abilities later on, as we have seen in past international meets like the Olympics, I think it is a great way for kids growing up today to see that it does not matter what your ability is, you can compete. You can see the absolute passion that people have. It is just amazing and exemplary to watch how some of these people run, how they can push a wheelchair for a marathon or how they can swim.

We saw South Australian Jesse Aungles win gold in the men's SM8 200 metres individual medley. Several South Australian senior elite athletes achieved multiple medals and broke games and world records at the Commonwealth Games. Obviously Kyle Chalmers, a champion from the electorate of Flinders, achieved an outstanding four gold medals in the 200 metres freestyle, the 4 x 100 metres freestyle relay, the 4 x 200 metres freestyle relay and the 4 x 100 metres medley relay.

Some of these teams set impressive new Commonwealth Games record times on their way to gold. Some of these races were down to the last couple of strokes getting to the edge. But that is all you need; you only need that one-hundredth of a second. Especially in swimming, when you see a dead heat, that is something, because the electric clocks are set so finely. Mind you, I did see a problem at the start of a race. I am trying to remember the race. It was a long distance women's race; I will probably get it wrong, whichever one I quote. There was a fair way between the two—1,500 or 10,000 metres. The timing gear was not operating and I thought to myself, 'Surely someone has a spare set out the back.' Anyway, they got a race going. I cannot imagine how off-putting that would be for athletes who are warmed up and ready to get going and who are told, 'Hang on, no, you can't get going for a moment. We haven't got the timing clocks going.'

We saw the cyclists shine, with Stephanie Morton taking home three gold medals in the team sprint, keirin and individual sprint. We saw Matthew Glaetzer secure two gold medals in the men's keirin in the 1,000 metres time trial. He delivered a games record-setting time. Certainly across individual gold and team gold, South Australian and Australian athletes did such good work.

In concluding, I want to give praise to the families that give up all their time. We heard from the member for Colton that his parents were always watching him on the TV, but then his sponsors got them to London as a surprise. It is great to see that commitment from friends and family to give their support, and if they cannot get to that event, the athletes know that they have that support from home, but also the ones who make that extra commitment and get to those games, if they can, and support their family members or their friends. It was a great effort. Congratulations to all the South Australian athletes and well done.