- About 36 West Australians to represent Australia in Rio
Premier Colin Barnett and Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies will officially farewell the Western Australian athletes going to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games next month.
At a dinner at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre tonight, the Premier will congratulate the athletes on their sacrifice and hard work to achieve a sporting pinnacle – and what is often a lifelong goal.
“WA is expected to send about 36 athletes from an anticipated Australian team total of 410,” he said.
“To those athletes who are representing Australia – know that those of us at home will be glued to our televisions and devices cheering you on to gold. But no matter the outcome, we urge you to compete with pride, courage, tenacity and the highest level of sportsmanship.”
Last year, the Liberal National Government kicked off the Western Australian Olympic Games Fundraising Team Appeal for Rio de Janeiro 2016 with a cheque for $266,000 to the WA Olympic Committee.
“I’m pleased many of our athletes did the second half of their training in the $33 million Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) High Performance Service Centre, which we hope will give them an edge in Rio,” Mr Barnett said.
“The State Government has not only invested in WAIS but made a significant investment in high performance sport, including the Hockey Australia High Performance Program based here in Perth. Through programs like the Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund, this Government has invested more than $156 million in more than 980 sport and recreation facility projects across the State.”
Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies thanked the coaches, parents and volunteers who had contributed to the athletes’ journey – reminding everyone it takes a whole community to raise an Olympian.
“All these athletes have come from grassroots community sport and they have been able to play a sport because volunteers marked the lines on the field, people remembered to cut the oranges and keep score, and someone cared enough to wash the team shirts,” Ms Davies said.
This year, almost half of WA’s team so far are debutantes, including triathlete Ryan Bailie, cyclist Sam Welsford, swimmers Tamsin Cook and Brianna Throssell, while hockey player Fergus Kavanagh and water polo player Gemma Beadsworth will be competing at their third games.
- Donate to the Olympic Games Fundraising Team Appeal for Rio de Janeiro 2016 at http://rio2016.olympics.com.au/supporters
- WAIS has produced 18 Olympic gold medallists, 23 Paralympic gold medallists and 39 world champions