Inaugural Function of the Parliamentary Friends of Gymnastics Group
Gymnastics Victoria CEO Jamie Parsons, Minister for Sport John Eren, Olympic Gymnast Larrissa Miller,
Natalie Suleyman MP, Shadow Minister Tim McCurdy, Gymnastics Victoria Chairman Michael O'Neill and
Sonya Kilkenny MP. (Photo: Bri Hammond)
The Parliamentary Friends of Gymnastics Group had its inaugural function at the Parliament of Victoria on Wednesday 18 October with over 100 people in attendance including Ministers and members of the Gymnastics community.
Gymnastics is the fastest growing major participation sport in the State with over 700,000 participants and an 80% female demographic. This increase in participation has meant that despite 130 Gymnastics Clubs across the state, there are 9,200 children on Gymnastics waitlists which indicates that more gymnastics facilities are required to support the growth of the sport.
The evening’s formalities included an address by Minister for Sport John Eren and Shadow Minister Tim McCurdy, as well as an interview with dual Olympian Larrissa Miller and a chat with Special Olympics Gymnast Amelia Hall and her mother Dee.
Gymnastics Victoria Chairman Michael O’Neill closed the function highlighting the support gymnastics needs from the entire community, including members of Parliament, to assist with the sport’s growth.
“We need to continue to provide opportunities for all children to participate in Gymnastics and address the issue of over 9000 children on waitlists,” said O’Neill.
“We want to ensure every child has the opportunity to participate and develop a lifelong love of physical activity by starting with Gymnastics.”
Gymnast Larrissa Miller echoed these sentiments when discussing her own career which took her to the Olympics in London in 2012 and Rio in 2016 touching on Gymnastics providing significant employment and leadership opportunities for women.
“I don’t know where I would be without Gymnastics. It has made me a much more confident woman and given me opportunities I’d never dreamed of.”
The Parliamentary Friends of Gymnastics Group includes Shadow Minister McCurdy and Ministers Natalie Suleyman and Sonya Kilkenny who will provide support as Gymnastics Victoria advocate for new Gymnastics facilities.