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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Christmas Carnivals A Focal Point For The Community -

Christmas Carnivals A Focal Point For The Community - Jim Cox, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Minister for Sport and Recreation Jim Cox says Tasmania?s Christmas Sporting Carnivals are an important part of the community?s social fabric summer time culture.

Mr Cox today launched this summer?s Christmas carnival series.

?The Christmas carnivals are a focal point for Tasmanian communities,? Mr Cox said.

?They evoke excitement, passion, fierce competition and are steeped in heritage and tradition.

?In many respects they also take us back to a more innocent time in sport.

?That?s a time when enjoyment was paramount, where you competed hard during the day and had time to have a chat and a drink with your fellow competitors after the day?s battles.

?We?ve been very fortunate over the years to have some of the world?s best compete at our carnivals.

?Not long ago The Mercury newspaper ran a series of articles highlighting 10 of the most outstanding moments in Tasmanian sport.

?John Briggs? superb piece on Danny Clark?s epic ride in the 1977 Burnie Wheel, when the boy from George Town won from scratch, not only captured Clark?s moment of pure sporting genius but also what the Christmas Carnivals mean to Tasmanians.

?He captured superbly the frenzy of the crowd, the electric atmosphere at West Park that day, Craig Price?s disappointment, and the wild excitement in the voice of commentator Harold ?Tiger? Dowling, who could utter no more than ?Danny Clark?, ?Danny Clark?, ?Danny Clark? at the end of the crazy last lap and surely didn?t need to say anything else.

?This year the State Government will contribute $35,000 towards the running of the Christmas carnivals, which is $15,000 more than last year.

?The increase recognises the inclusion for the first the Rosebery, St Helens and Hobart events under the umbrella of the Sports Carnivals Association of Tasmania and means it will be a bumper series.

?There will be many well known Tasmanian sportspeople competing.

?In cycling we?ll see Nathan Clarke, Darren Young, Stephen Rossendell, Matthew Goss and Mark Jamieson.

?In running we?ll see Melissa Kay, Morgan Whiley, Madeline Poke, Robbie Young, Owen Jones, Tao Baker and Shaun Bailey.

?And in the wood chopping events this year we?ll see the one and only, ?umpteen? times world champion David Foster, Stephen Foster, Dale Beams and Matthew Gurr.

?As usual the organising committee has also secured a number of international cyclists from Canada, Scotland, Germany and the United States of America.

?The carnivals are also important for promoting Tasmania?s unique attractions and our wonderful lifestyle to the many people that visit our State as part of the series.

?I can?t wait for the carnivals to start and reckon we?re in for a bumper series,? Mr Cox said.


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