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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 19 May 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 19 MAY 2018 25 SPORT Channeling Labor’s successful 1972 federal election campaign, Victorian Minister Martin Foley (R), joins Bill Papastergiadis (L) on the South Melbourne A-League bid team. PHOTOS: KOSTAS DEVES State MP Foley joins South’s A-League bid team It's nearly 14 years since South Melbourne FC was part of a national league, and as the competition intensifies to join an expanded A-League as one of two new clubs, South has announced the recruitment of a senior Victorian Government minister to its ALeague bid team. Martin Foley holds an impressive number of portfolios in the Andrews Government including Minister for Housing, Disability & Ageing; Mental Health; Equality; Creative Industries. Having been the Member for Albert Park for 11 years now, Foley has worked closely with the club over a number of years particularly in helping it secure a beneficial stadium deal at Lakeside. In a club media state- ment, South Melbourne's A-League Advisory Panel chair Bill Papastergiadis commented on Foley joining the South bid team, "Martin has worked closely with the club for over eight years. He was instrumental in SMFC achieving its 40year lease deal. He regularly attends games. He is at many of our events. “His presence on the bid team reflects his deep connection to the club. This appointment is not symbolic as he has been deeply involved in the club for many years." Speaking in a club media statement, Foley said of his recruitment to the team, "I'm down here at the South Melbourne club to be part of its ground-breaking ALeague bid. I'm proud to be part of the bid board. This club does not just have a proud history but has more than a fantastic coming together of boys, girls, men's, and women's clubs today, it's got a fantastic future and that future is in the ALeague. So I'm really proud to be part of this support for the South Melbourne ALeague Bid. "I'm the State Member for Albert Park and the club is located right here in the heart of Albert Park Reserve where it's been part of the community for over half a century. It's an integral part of this community, it drives right across the south-east of Melbourne so much of the football ecology and it's a really dynamic club. Not just locally but increasingly internationally. Its groundbreaking work with Chinese football is something to be admired. Its engagement with all of our schools, all of our kids, and its work in women's football is just inspirational. This is a club which has got its act together and has a bright future and that future is in the A-League. "I've worked really closely with the bid board committee, we have secured this site here at Albert Park for decades to come. There's not many clubs in the A-League that can point to the kind of security that this club has at this facility. Close to public transport, plenty of parking, close to facilities; this is a venue of the future and the South Melbourne Football Club is at the heart of this community right here and it's the key tenant of this facility and it can only get better once that club is an A-League." Foley joins former Federal Sports Minister Andrew Thompson, who, together with Papastergiadis, Gabrielle Guiliano, and Louisa Chen, form the South Melbourne FC A-League Advisory Panel. Papastergiadis says the SMFC have put together a bid team unrivalled in Australian football in terms of expertise and bipartisan support. "SMFC has, for years, attracted the best talent on the field. Off the field, with the addition of Martin Foley to its bid team, SMFC can boast the best bid team.” He says the addition of a senior Victorian Minister to the A-League bid team cements SMFC as the team with the talent necessary to win the next A-League spot. Following in the steps of Pheidippides Italian-born Luca Turrini aims to achieve best time for Australia at the Spartathlon ALEXANDROS ANYFANTIS Luca Turrini, having participated in several 12- and 24hour marathons, now sets his sights on the Spartathlon on 28-29 September, seeking a top-5 position and record for an Australian athlete. Luca's career in marathon running has been rather recent. Having moved to Australia in 2009, and not being successful in finding work in his first days here, it wasn't until one of his neighbours spurred him to get out of the house and go out for a run to get his mind off things that Luca got into running at all. From that initial run, he began to shift into a better lifestyle, giving up his bad habits like smoking and getting into a more healthy diet. The young Italian-born kept running short distances for the next few years. When he lost his mother to cancer in 2011, he pushed himself to run even further. As he says, it was his way of handling the situation. This event also urged him to create his not-for-profit organisation Outrun Cancer, through which he helps people battling with the disease. along with fundraisers. Luca's story will be part of The Meraki Project, a short film he is creating with a few associates that will tell the tale of how he deals with everyday life to reach the Spartathlon. Luca says he is crafting the film to help inspire other people who might be in a similar situation in their lives and could use the help. Beyond Luca's personal story, The Meraki Project will also speak about the ancient messenger Pheidippides, the importance of that historical figure, and how he ran from ancient Sparta all the way to Athens within a day and a half to request the aid of the Athenians in the war against the Persians. The Spartathlon is an annual 246 km ultra-distance race held in honour of the run made by Pheidipiddes. Participants in the 36-hour race from Athens to Sparta are chosen according to very specific criteria. An athlete must have completed one of the following three requirements to be eligible: • To have completed a 100- km race in 10 hours (for men) or 10 hours 30 minutes (for women) • To have participated in a 200-km race and have completed it in 20 hours (for men) or 20 hours 30 minutes (for women) • To have participated in one of the two previous Spartathlon races, reaching at least the Nestani checkpoint. Luca is currently seeking funding for the production of The Meraki Project which will begin shooting in July/August. It is slated to feature in next year's national Run Nation Film Festival, an annual film event that takes place in locations around Australia from August to October, and celebrates human stories told through running. Neos Kosmos wishes the very best for Luca. Find out more about the Spar- tathlon at spartathlon.gr/en/ Follow Luca’s story at lucaturrini.com "We all unite for what is best for the game. Attracting the best talent, who can make the best decisions for the game and for the club reflects the maturity and strength of SMFC, which has a strong brand and almost 60 years of history. It has a strong reputation both on and off the field." Over the next few months, the FFA is expected to evaluate applications from up to a dozen various clubs and consortiums nationwide, before finalising its decision on the two successful bids in October. Adding to the intrigue over the last month or so has been the uncertain future of existing A-League club Wellington Phoenix, which may open up a pathway to A-League involvement for a third successful bid.
12 May 2018
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