No seats to see golden cyclists

By DARRYN NUFER THE PARENTS of champion Gracemere cyclists Anna and Kerrie Meares cannot get tickets to watch their daughters compete at next year's Commonwealth Games.

Tony and Marilyn Meares were happy to pay for tickets, but that was not an option.

Instead they were forced to apply through the Commonwealth Games Corporation balloting system, which they did as early as possible, and were unsuccessful.

The proud parents, who were unable to travel to Athens last year when Anna won Olympic gold and bronze medals, may have to watch the Commonwealth Games from their living room.

They had already booked flights to Melbourne for the March spectacle.

"It's just not fair,'' Mrs Meares said yesterday. "We've put a lot of time and mileage into getting them to their dreams and where they want to go and when it (Games) came to our own country we can't go.''

Member for Fitzroy Jim Pearce raised the matter in Parliament in Rockhampton.

He described it as an "appalling and absolutely outrageous situation''.

"That so-called fair and unbiased system has ensured that Tony and Marilyn, the parents of two of Australia's shining stars on the track, have missed out on tickets to the one and only sport they wished to attend.''

In fact, to rub salt into the wound, the Commonwealth Games Corporation had written to Mr and Mrs Meares and offered tickets to other events.

"Why should we go and watch someone else's kids, some other sport, when we want to go watch ours?'' Mrs Meares said.

Commonwealth Games dual gold medallist Kerrie Meares said the problem was widespread.

"It's pretty much the same for all cyclists. It's going to be pretty disappointing if mum and dad can't make it.



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