Well done to Swimming Australia on a great annual gala award dinner to celebrate our athletes, and on a wonderful competition at the 2016 Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Swimming Championships.
Congratulations to all who made the team to represent Australia at the world short course championships to be held overseas next month.
Warm congratulations also to gold medallist Mack Horton, Paralympian Tanya Huebner and swimming superstar sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell on winning the inaugural Patron awards at the 2016 Swimming Australia gala award night.
All of these athletes are an inspiration and have shown what hard work, dedication and resilience are all about. They are role models and champions that Australia can be very proud of.
Congratulations also to the winners of the following awards sponsored by Hancock Prospecting – Mack Horton who also won the Hancock Prospecting Swimmer’s Swimmer award, Harley Connolly who took out the Hancock Prospecting Paralympic Program Coach of the Year, and Michael Bohl on being awarded the Hancock Prospecting Olympic Program Coach of the Year.
Speech by Mrs Gina Rinehart
Patron of Swimming Australia
Executive Chairman of the Hancock Prospecting Group
Swimming Australia Gala Dinner, Brisbane, 6 November 2016
Thank you John, could you join me please in applause for our president, John Bertrand.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to be here tonight and be involved in the celebration of our Olympic and Paralympic Swim teams. How exciting to see all these incredible prime athletes!
My congratulations to you all.
As John said, through my company Hancock Prospecting, we have sponsored swimming since 1992. And more recently, through the Georgina Hope Foundation, we have been involved in financially assisting our swimmers during their long hours of training so they can pursue their dreams!
As Patron of the Australian Swim Team, I have particularly enjoyed getting to know and interact with many of the swim team members. They are fantastic young ladies and gentlemen, and an inspiration in so many ways. They are also role models to many throughout the country.
So, in collaboration with John, I am keen to acknowledge outstanding contributions. We have called this the ‘Patrons Awards’.
The Patron Awards are in recognition of an individual or individuals who have captured the imagination of the nation. Who have shown great leadership. Who have demonstrated strong cultural values. Who, as sportsmen and women, are outstanding role models for the country, particularly but not only, for our young. As I said earlier this evening, each of our Olympic swimmers are deserving of a Patrons award.
However, I am only permitted a few. So in this Olympic Year, it is my great pleasure to announce three Patrons Awards for tonight, one for ladies, one for Paralympian’s, and one for men.
The first Patrons Award goes in fact to two outstanding young ladies…. Sisters. These girls are an inspiration. They have shown what hard work, determination and resilience are all about. They have demonstrated on the world stage what it is to be a champion. Champions our country can be very proud of.
Ladies and gentlemen…. Cate and Bronte Campbell.
The second of my Patrons Awards goes to a Paralympian, Tanya Huebner. After completing her competition half way through the Games (with a Personal Best time), Tanya led the way in supporting her fellow team mates, led the team in the grand stands and supported her team mates to maximise their Rio experience. Tanya is a full time school teacher and balances her career with her high performance training at Melbourne Vic Centre club.
Tanya has been recognised for her selfless dedication to the team.
Ladies and gentlemen, Tanya Huebner!
And my third Patrons Award goes to a young gentleman, Olympic gold medallist Mack Horton. Mack stood up when no other athlete at the Olympics did. He called for clean sport. He called out the drug cheats who are blighting the sport. Mack demonstrated and continues to demonstrate character, conviction, courage and values. In addition to hard work, determination and resilience, indeed I could go on, he’s simply remarkable. A truly wonderful young gentleman. Mack truly is a world champion on many fronts.
Ladies and gentlemen…Mack Horton!
In conclusion let me say what a pleasure and honour it is to be Patron of the Australian Swim Team. Your ambitions and dreams are exciting to all. You are all role models in your own right. You have an opportunity to do great things. It is up to you.
And finally, I look forward with great enthusiasm to the world championships, Commonwealth Games and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
As John and the team says… Go Australia!