Constituency Statement – Local athletes

Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Mr PITT : I rise to give the House an update on a couple of athletes from my patch, and they are both absolute crackers. They’re from different fields. Firstly, Ethan Parry, who I’ve spoken about before, is a Hervey Bay athlete about to compete in the Virtus Global Games in Vichy, France. The Virtus Global Games is an international competition for high-level athletes with intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome and autism without intellectual disabilities. I see the member for Jagajaga and the member for Solomon are both here. I’ll give them the hot tip: go to Ethan’s Facebook page. It is ‘Ethan Parry—The Athlete’. Please like his posts; they are absolute crackers! He has been out raising money.

There will be more than 1,000 top athletes and 400 staff from 80 different nations expected to attend the event. The competition, which corresponds to 15 world championships in one week, will mobilise more than 400 volunteers, judges and officials from all over France. The games kick off on Sunday 4 June. Ethan will be competing from Tuesday to Friday in various events, including the triathlon, the 100 metres, the 200 metres, the 100 metre relay and the long jump—that is quite an extraordinary turnout! He has been the recipient of Local Sporting Champions grants. He is coached by Daniel Parker, who’s better known as Stix. Stix is a former Invictus Games medallist and Afghanistan veteran. He’s a great addition to Hervey Bay, helping coach athletes like Ethan.

Across the weekend, Zac Laybutt, a Bundy boy, made his debut for the North Queensland Cowboys. He turned out for the Cows and took to the field on Friday night for his NRL debut. He started his rugby league career in Bundaberg with the Western Suburbs Panthers Rugby League Club. He started as an under-7 and continued with the club until he was an under-16. He attended Bundaberg State High School before joining the Cowboys Young Guns program—and there are a lot of them in there. He is the younger brother of Kyle Laybutt, who has also played for the cows, would you believe—two brothers, both who’ve played for the Cowboys. He’s turned out 17 times for the Townsville Blackhawks in the Hostplus Cup in the past two seasons. We also have Coen Hess, another Bundy boy, a regular for the Cowboys, and I’m sure he’ll be itching to get back into State of Origin on Wednesday night.

While on my feet, can I say: go the Queensland Origin team! It is the biggest game in town this Wednesday night. It is an absolute shame that it’s in Adelaide. I hope they sell out, because this is the spectacle to see. Obviously I’ll be backing the Queensland side. It is a real opportunity. There’s a lot of competition in the building. I have a side bet on, I’ll admit, with Senator Ross Cadell. I hope he loses. He was silly enough to give me a 4½ start, which I think is a champion effort for someone who’s backing the Blues! Let’s go the cows. Let’s go Zac Laybutt. Most of all: come on, Ethan Parry! Representing Australia—what a great turnout.

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