Mr MATT KEAN (Hornsby—Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation) (19:10): Today I pay tribute to one of the great football clubs in the Hornsby district, the Hornsby Heights Football Club. The club comprises players aged from under six all the way to seniors and is one of the largest clubs in the Hornsby shire. It first started in 1962 when the Ku-ring-gai and District Soccer Association approached Ray Menser about forming a junior soccer team in the area. Ray called around to some residents and with the assistance of Jack Berry from the Mount Colah Football Club went about fielding a team. The first Hornsby Heights team formed was the under 10s, which was quickly followed by an under 14s team. They wore donated jerseys and chose the colours bottle green and orange, as they were as close to the Australian national sporting colours as they were allowed.
It did not take long for the club to grow and in two years there were seven registered teams. It was also the year that four players were picked for representative teams—two from the under nines and two from the under 10s. The community was important in those early years in helping to promote and raise money for the club. The community helped with raffles by selling club memorabilia, and secretary John Tollman even donated a Morris LC3 panel van for the teams to be driven around in. The club chose the hornet as its mascot in 1966, and it is still part of the club's identity to this day.
This is truly a grassroots soccer community and club, where community members got together to ensure there was a place for the kids to play and learn the game that they loved. This community spirit has continued, with Hornsby Heights Football Club taking a "team first" approach. There is no individual on the pitch who is more important than any other, no matter their grade or age. Players have a never-say-die attitude but they play to the rules and respect their opponents, coaches, referees and teammates at all times. This philosophy is important to give kids a good foundation in sportsmanship and leadership.
Hornsby Heights is exceptionally proud of its girls teams, who compete in the Diamond League. This league is for girls who want to play competitive soccer and are ready to take their skills to the next level. In 2018 the club was pleased to have Chloe Logarzo, current Matilda and Sydney FC player taking on the role of technical director for the girls football. She is an amazing role model and mentor for these young footy players. Female soccer is one of the fastest developing sports and Hornsby Heights is certainly leading the way. Hornsby Heights is known as the home of development. Every team from the under sixes to the under 11s takes part in a T3 professional coaching session one afternoon a week across the entire season. This is included in the registration and helps to develop the players confidence, ball skills and one-on-one skills.
The club is run by a dedicated group of volunteers who go above and beyond for their local footy club. The job of chairman is shared by the great Adam Buttenshaw and Stuart Dever, while Marcis Morgan and Glenn Frost act as secretary and treasurer. Caroline Buttenshaw and Nerys Thompson are the all-important registrars, ensuring all kids are put into a team. Ian Fowler, Craig Becchio and Campbell Watt make up the rest of the committee. Looking after all aspects of girls football is my mate and coaching coordinator Mick Da Silva. Chad Lawrence is technical director for the MiniRoos and Gavin Oliver looks after junior football. The mens all ages coach is Ken Wyper.
As I read through the list of committee members and helpers in this club, I am blown away by how many have put up their hands to get in and help. This can sometimes be a battle at a community organisation but not for Hornsby Heights. The club's age coordinators are Marcis Morgan, Kevin Cherry, Barry Westgarth, Michael Howard, Patrick Kiss, Adam Buttenshaw, Tom Saunders, Rod Matthews and Peter Thomsett. Peter also looks after the referees. Maxine Edwards looks after publicity and also makes up part of the committee for girls football, which includes Trudi Stook, Lisa Dunne and Mick Da Silva, while Nicole Stack, Phil Wilkinson, Sudesh Chander, Mike Hall, Phil Brooks, Matt Kennelly, Oliver Ross and Frank Melissari make up the general committee.
It was with great pleasure that I was able to join members of the committee and players to announce the club would be receiving a grant of $125,000, thanks to the Asian Legacy Fund, an initiative of Football NSW and the New South Wales Government. The money will go towards improving the lights at Montview Oval. Montview Oval has one of the best playing surfaces in the league and has been the home of the Hornsby Heights Football Club since its humble beginnings in the 1960s. We were able to upgrade the playing surface at the oval through the efforts of Campbell Watt and Malcolm Waldock working with me and the State Government. Indeed, this has made it one of the best pitches in the whole Northern Suburbs Football Association. The improved lighting will make a real difference on those cold, dark winter nights. I have truly enjoyed being the patron of the Hornsby Heights Football Club. It certainly is one of the greatest clubs that I am able to represent. I look forward to seeing its continued success on the pitch and its growth as a club off the pitch. The volunteer and community spirit at Hornsby Heights Football Club is without question. Go, Hornsby Heights Hornets!