It is fantastic that we now have our very own book of records to set and achieve goals, thanks to the dedication of Helen and John Taylor.
Record holders in their own right, having broken 93 world driving records as well as world records for running and cycling, Helen and John Taylor founded the Singapore Book of Records in 2004, which is still prospering today (now owned by a Singaporean publishing company).
They have recently published The Australian Book of Records, which holds some remarkable and jaw-dropping feats including Jessica Watson, who at 16 years old became the youngest person to sail solo around the world and Catherine Fenech, who managed to consume 50 smarties with chopsticks in 26 seconds.
I am also pleased that the Mornington Peninsula holds some records in the book, including the Sorrento Nippers, who covered 80.9km in an indoor pool relay marathon.
More than just a way of cementing yourself into the pages of history, record breaking encourages a sense of community and camaraderie that brings people together in pursuit of a common interest. It can improve not only our physical health but our mental health as well. Record breaking can inspire us to set goals, achieve those goals and continue to push the boundaries.
As Minister for Sport, I want to see as many people involved in sport as possible – across all ages and disciplines – which is why I applaud The Australian Book of Records and its commitment to helping more Australians reach their goals not just in the sporting arena but in a diverse array of fields.
What is especially pleasing about The Australian Book of Records is that you do not need to be an athlete to make it into the pages of this book; many of its stars are ordinary people achieving great things on an extraordinary scale.
I am in awe of some of the records that have been broken in this book and I commend all of the record holders on their discipline and willpower in reaching their goals.
I look forward to seeing many subsequent editions published, as people across Australia continue to break records and fulfil their dreams.