Gala bash for Rio ath­letes

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

WA’s sport­ing elite trav­el­ling to Rio for the Olympics next month were farewelled at a gala event at the Perth Con­ven­tion Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre on the week­end.

Premier Colin Bar­nett and Sport and Recre­ation Min­is­ter Mia Davies con­grat­u­lated the ath­letes on their sac­ri­fice and hard work to achieve a sport­ing pin­na­cle.

The Premier said WA was ex­pected to send about 36 ath­letes from an an­tic­i­pated Aus­tralian team to­tal of 410.

“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,” he said.

“But no mat­ter the out­come, we urge you to com­pete with pride, courage, tenac­ity and the high­est level of sports­man­ship.”

Sport and Recre­ation Min­is­ter Mia Davies thanked the coaches, par­ents and vol­un­teers who had con­trib­uted to the ath­letes’ jour­ney, say­ing it took 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.

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