THE Australian Catholic bishops’ focus on the topic of sport for their 2014-15 Social Justice Statement has proved a perfect fit for Townsville diocese.
Townsville Social Justice Committee chair Joan Neal said the diocese “called on some of our local sporting stars to chat about the reality of social justice in the sporting arena”.
“We had former Townsville WNBL (Women’s National Basketball League) player Aneka Davis and Q-Cup Rugby League player Anthony Mitchell on hand to chat about their experiences during their careers,” she said.
“In Townsville especially, sport is a regular use of free time for families.
“Whether it’s one of the three national sporting codes, watching sport on TV or just watching the kids kick a footy around in the park, every person is involved in sport in some shape or form.
“So what better way to launch the annual statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference than with students and a couple of their sporting role models?”
The Australian Catholic bishops’ statement – A Crown for Australia: Striving for the best in our sporting nation – was released ahead of Social Justice Sunday which is held on the last Sunday of September each year.
Mrs Neal said the sportspeople had made some insightful comments.
“Aneka Davis spoke of a wonderful experience while playing for the New Zealand Tall Ferns in Cuba,” she said.
“They had just finished training and were taking off sweaty strapping tape when some locals who were there to watch collected the tape.
“They were collecting the tape to re-use.
“Aneka said the players were all amazed that something taken for granted and discarded, was seen by these people as a product too good to throw away.”
Mrs Neal said all attending the Townsville launch took a message of equality, inclusiveness, fairness and sportsmanship away.
“My hope is that each student who came along went back to the playground/sports field and applied the messages they heard,” she said.