STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS – Mount Gambier Pioneers

Mr PASIN (Barker) (13:50): Last month I spoke in this place about the tremendous success of CASTEC Rural Pioneers basketball team in Mount Gambier. Today I rise to update the House on their continued success. The last time that I spoke on this topic the Pioneers had just won the first semi-final in the east conference of the South East Australian Basketball League against the Nunawading Spectres. They went on to beat that same team again in the conference grand final on 25 August, with the match being decided in the final seconds of the contest. It was a nail-biting contest, as my colleague across the border the member for Deakin will appreciate. The Pioneers snuck home by three points against Nunawading, 79-76, making the Pioneers the SEABL east men’s champions—their fifth conference championship in a row. The Pioneers then went on to play the league’s national men’s final last Saturday night in Melbourne, beating the Dandenong rangers 92-85.

The Pioneers have been extremely successful in recent years. This win is their third championship in four years, with their only blemish over that period being a runner-up finish in 2016. The Pioneers’ fifth consecutive conference crown and now third championship win in four years places them as, arguably, South Australia’s most successful sporting team competing on a national stage. Whilst the Pioneers have always been the toast of Mount Gambier, to borrow a phrase from another South Australian sporting team the Pioneers really are the pride of South Australia.