Olympic and paralympic

movement launched

The NSW Parliamentary Friends of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements launched in Sydney on Tuesday night last week (19 March), celebrating the important role of Olympic and Paralympic sports throughout the state.

From left: Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch and Shadow Member for Sport and Member for Miranda, Eleni Petinos at the launch of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

27 March 2024


CO-CHAIRED by Paralympian the Hon Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford, Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Community and Parliamentary Secretary for Disability Inclusion and Eleni Petinos MP, Shadow Minister for Sport, Shadow Minister for Finance and Member for Miranda, the bi-partisan Parliamentary Friendship Group (PFG) will promote and champion the positive impact Olympic and Paralympic sports generate throughout NSW communities.


The PFG was launched at Parliament House in Sydney , with more than 130 guests including members of Parliament, joining AOC Chief Executive Officer Matt Carroll, Paralympics Australia President Alison Creagh, Olympians, Paralympians and a wide range of sport, community, business and government representatives.


The PFG will work together towards key community and sporting outcomes, including:


  • encouraging participation in sport across the state, promoting the wide-ranging benefits sport can bring to all NSW residents;


  • promoting the fundamental principles and values of Olympism and Paralympism, particularly in the fields of sport, health and education;


  • promoting the practice of sport as a human right, without discrimination of any kind, with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play; and


  • recognising the heritage, culture and contribution of our nation’s First People, and to give practical support to the issue of Indigenous reconciliation through sport.


Co-Chair Liesl Tesch welcomed the formation of the PFG.


“As a former Paralympian and now a member of Parliament, it was fabulous to join so many of my colleagues to celebrate the inaugural meeting of the Parliamentary Friends of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements in New South Wales," said Ms Tesch.


 “Our first function was a great opportunity for parliamentarians, athletes, and representatives from sporting bodies from across New South Wales to celebrate our wonderful athletes and wish them well on their journey to Paris,” she said.


Fellow Co-Chair Eli Petinos also welcomed the group.


“With the Paris Olympics fast approaching, it was great to join with so many parliamentarians, athletes and representatives of sporting bodies from across New South Wales to officially launch the NSW Parliamentary Friends of the Olympics and Paralympics," she said.


“Through the Olympic and Paralympic Movements we are united, we are inspired and we have hope. Our athletes are the custodians of this shared vision: they shone light during the lockdown period of the pandemic and will no doubt leave an indelible mark again as they compete in Paris.”


AOC Chief Executive Officer Matt Carroll said Olympic sport brings people together and can improve health, wellbeing and community outcomes right across the state.


“NSW has a special connection with the Olympic and Paralympic movements. Sydney hosted the greatest ever Games in 2000 and some of Australia’s most iconic sporting moments,” Mr Carroll said.


“The Olympic movement is special – it has the power to inspire all our young people to be their best selves in whatever field of endeavour they choose. Olympic sports encourage healthy lifestyle and importantly, they bring people together from so many different backgrounds.


“Over many decades, NSW athletes have made a huge contribution to the success of Australian Olympic Teams. The New South Wales Institute of Sport has been a powerhouse of high-performance achievement.


“I thank Liesl Tesch and Eleni Petinos for their leadership in Co-Chairing this group, which already boasts 50 MPs as members. I look forward to working with all participating members to maximise the positive outcomes Olympic and Paralympic sport can contribute to NSW.”


Paralympics Australia President Alison Creagh says Paralympics Australia is thankful for the support of the Parliamentary Friends of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements in NSW.


“We are grateful to have so many friends in the NSW Parliament who share Paralympics Australia's vision for a fair and equitable sporting system in which everyone has the chance to participate in sport and realise their potential," said Ms Creagh.


"Participation in sport leads to improved physical and mental health outcomes, and those improvements are amplified for people with a disability.

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