By KATE LUNDY (Federal Minister for Sport)
So many things are constantly running through your mind as a parent.
How will I teach my kids what is right and what is wrong? How will I make sure they’re tough enough to defend themselves when needed but still caring and compassionate?
How do I push them to be the best person they can be? How do I show them that hard work pays off? How do I make them realise that leadership and working as a team are part of the same skill set?
Any parent who has watched their shy and uncertain child blossom into a confident team player when they put on their team uniform knows that sport offers one of the best places for these lessons to be learned.
Each weekend in any given community, be it on football fields or netball courts across Australia, kids learn valuable life lessons through the triumphs and tribulations of the sport they play.
And through their sports heroes they find inspiration that compels them to stay physically active, to aspire to greatness and be a part of something bigger, a team culture that offers and sense of belonging and camaraderie.
This is the power of sport, and it’s worth protecting.
Yesterday’s release of the Australian Crime Commission’s (ACC) investigation into the integrity of Australian sport was truly shocking. It found the use of prohibited substances, including hormones and illicit drugs, is widespread in sport.
What’s more shocking is that the use of these drugs has been facilitated by sports scientists, high-performance coaches and sports staff – people trusted to look after players.
In some cases, players are being given substances that have not yet been approved for human use.
Alarmingly, the ACC also identified organised crime identities and groups that are dealing Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (PIEDs) to athletes and professional sports staff. They also noted concerning relationships between professional athletes and organised criminals which may have resulted in match fixing.