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Issue #30 december 2013


Cover: Canberra Cavalry. Photo Nigel Hawkins.

ConTents 4. Cricket - Dean and Oakley charge into the BBL 6. Tennis - Velocity into the finals 7. AFL - GWS hit the Capital 8. AIS - Athlete’s of the Year Awards 10. Feature - What a year for the Cavalry! 12. ACT Government - The Centenary of Sport 14. State of the play - Union 16. Socials - Around the traps in Canberra 17. Fitness - The Easy Way Out 18. NRL - The Raiders Pre-Season 20. ACTSPORT - Sportstar of the Year Awards 21. Events calendar - ACTEWAGL December Events 22. WNBL - Alex Bunton Always Sunny Side Up 24. Cricket - Sledging Par for the Course 26. Menslink - Joe Roff Talks Balance 28. Summer Sport -Lake Crackenback 29. Cycling - Caroline Buchanan Reflects on 2013 30. Crossword - The PLAY Canberra Sports Crossword 31. Fitness - Steve runs us through some more exercises

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & COLLABORATORS: Antony Perry Josh Matic Brett McKay Todd Davey Christopher Clarke Joshua Mercer Brendan Parnell Lyndall Parker Russ Gibbs Liz McPherson PHOTOGRAPHERS: Ben Coughlan Ben Southall: Nudgepix Photography: Fiona Brammall Joseph Purdam


CONTACT EDITORIAL Nathan Minerds - 0452 220 100 ADVERTISING Ad Guys - 0452 220 100

DISCLAIMER PLAY Canberra is a monthly magazine distributed to over 500 locations in Canberra on the first Thursday of the month. The opinions, view and comments expressed in PLAY do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or publisher. PLAY Canberra is not responsible for the information submitted in the ads by the advertisers. Issue #30 december 2013

2013 PLAY Magazine Honour List By Antony Perry. Twitter: @antonyperry That’s it. It’s done. The votes are in and they’ve been tallied. 2013 was a remarkable year for sport in Canberra. Some teams exceeded expectations and some individuals blossomed. For others, plans didn’t quite fall into place. Canberrans were hooked up to a non-stop adrenaline pump, riding a collective wave of emotion, passion, triumph and despair. And while we can’t possibly get around to it all, we thought we ought to honour those who impressed us the most. We’re calling it The Honour List.

TEAM OF THE YEAR Canberra Cavalry

A humble beginning is often the platform from which greatness is achieved. Throughout 2013, there was no greater point in case than the Canberra Cavalry and their transformation from cellar dwellers to world-beaters – or eastern hemisphere-beaters – in just 12 short months. The Australian Baseball League (ABL) franchise is yet to topple the might of Major League Baseball’s elite, but the Cavalry’s feats in 2013 have them perched high above their immediate rivals. It’s a position they are in having completed two extraordinary deeds. Claiming the Claxton Shield – the club’s first – as ABL 2012-13 champions was the first. It was no easy task given they were made to overcome two-time and reigning champions Perth Heat. But the Cavs did it with ease, brushing their highly fancied opponents aside in the championship series without dropping a game. Then, in November, they triumphed in the Asia Series. Canberra swatted aside Taiwanese team the Uni-President Lions 14-4 in the final of the lucrative tournament. They created history in the process by becoming the first ABL side to not only win a game at the event but by becoming the first team from outside of Japan, Taiwan and Korea to reach the final – and win it. It’s a hugely impressive list of achievements for a club with a modest payroll of $47,000 and who was unable to lift itself off the bottom of the ABL in the two years that preceded this one. Hats off to you, lads, PLAY’s top gong is all yours. Honorary mentions: ACT Mens Softball Team and The ACT Brumbies.

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR Caroline Buchanan

There is perhaps no greater measure of an athlete’s desire to succeed than one’s ability to pick themselves out from the jaws of defeat and carry on as if they What a year in sport 2013 was! Canberra’s Centenary year saw many highlights: Manuka Oval got lights opening it up to bigger events in the future and the successful Day/Night PM’s XI format. The Cavalry won the ABL. The British and Irish Lions came to the Capital and the Rugby League Anzac test proved Canberra has what it takes to host international matches.

were never knocked down. Caroline Buchanan, in 2013, certainly showed that her level of desire is perhaps greater than most. The 23-year-old fell agonisingly short of winning an Olympic Games gold medal last year when she failed to make the podium in the female BMX event at the London Games. She was the red-hot, almost unbackable favourite, a status which went a long way to justifying her – and her nation’s – utter devastation at her failed attempt. Fast forward 15 months and Buchanan has rebounded in the best possible way. Her return to the summit is complete. She claimed two world championships this year – the BMX world title in New Zealand in August and the UCI Four Cross World Championship in Austria three weeks later – and became the youngest winner of Cycling Australia’s athlete of the year award, the Sir Hubert ‘Oppy’ Opperman Medal & Trophy. It’s almost as if the heartbreaking end to her London Olympics campaign never happened, but Buchanan says she owes everything to “losing that medal race in London last year”. Bravo, Caroline Buchanan. Honorary mentions: Nick Kyrgios (Tennis), Josh Papalii (Rugby League), Justin Trabinger (Water Polo).


He may not be Canberra’s favourite person given the acrimonious nature of his departure from the ACT Brumbies earlier this year, but to discount Jake White on that basis would be doing the South African a cruel injustice. White was outstanding this year with the Brumbies. He went within one step of delivering on his promise to return the club to the top perch in half the time he said he required, which was four years – the length of his contract. The Brumbies fell agonisingly short of defeating the Hamilton Chiefs in this year’s Super Rugby final. It was a match they deserved to win. And, although he decided to walk out on the club half way through his four-year contract, few would pour cold water on the suggestion that the club’s turnaround was due to his time at the helm. White managed to transform a bunch of promising individuals into a formidable unit. He did what his predecessors had failed to do since the Brumbies last won the competition in 2004. White’s a great coach, and he’s our coach of the year. Honorary mentions: Michael Collins (Canberra Cavalry), Matthew Lokan (NEAFL). PLAY Canberra was privileged to be a part of the Canberra sporting landscape for 2013 and can’t wait to get cracking on 2014!! A huge thanks to all our readers, advertisers and magazine stockist. Have a safe holiday period and see you in the new year.

Nathan Minerds


with the Comets to play South Australia in the Futures League tournament. The meeting confirmed details, and further reinforced the roles required of them should they get a run in this year’s BBL. “My job’s to go hard at the top of the batting order, and Benny’s role would be to maybe bowl one over early, and then bowl well at the death. It’s good to have such a specific role and responsibility, and to have a really good idea of what’s required of us. We’ve just to go about doing the business when we get the opportunity now,” Dean said And now it becomes a matter of getting that opportunity to shine on the biggest T20 stage in the country, under the bright lights, in front of big crowds, and now with in front of big free-to-air television audiences.

Dean and Oakley lead the ACT charge into BBL|03 ACT Comets’ Captain Jono Dean and left-arm quick Ben Oakley will head the list of Cricket ACT representatives in the 2013/2014 Big Bash League, with both local players included in the Adelaide Strikers 18-man squad this summer. By Brett McKay. Twitter: @BMcSport While plenty of ex-ACT players have appeared in the BBL’s first two seasons, and in the old state-based Twenty20 competition that preceded it, BBL|03 signifies the first time Canberra-based players have been picked up by one of the eight city-based teams. It’s a massive compliment to the quality of cricketers being produced by the Cricket ACT catchment area, which now covers more than a million people. No longer do Canberra cricketers need to move interstate for opportunity; those opportunities are now coming to Canberra cricketers. And it represents a development process that can surely only result in a Canberra team as soon as the BBL looks to expand beyond the current eight teams. In the case of both Dean and Oakley, they have been ‘in the system’ for the past few years. Oakley has been on the Strikers’ supplementary list for the past two seasons, while Dean was on the Melbourne Renegades supplementary list last season, and had previously attracted the interest of both the Sydney Thunder and Perth Scorchers.

Dean’s hard-hitting 51 from 40 balls in the Prime Minister’s XI match against the West Indies last summer couldn’t have come at a better time, while BBL|02 was in its final weeks. “That sort of launched me out into the open, out into the eyes of people who probably didn’t have their eye on me initially,” Dean admits. “That was the one point in time that opened things up for me.” Oakley had thought his BBL involvement might have been done, and was pleasantly surprised to get the call. “I was on the Strikers’ supplementary list for the last two seasons,” Oakley said last month. “I had the opportunity present itself in the first BBL season where I might have been able to come into the squad, but I got injured myself, so I’d just been going around in the Comets’ games.”

Both are under no illusion what their own performances in the BBL could mean for ACT cricket in the immediate future. Suddenly ACT cricket and cricketers are being noticed. “There’s a lot of [ex-ACT players] going around [in other state squads], and I’d say a lot of them would be involved in the BBL as well, it’s just me and Jono being based here still and getting selected without having to make the move is the main difference,” Oakley explains. “Hopefully it just opens the eyes for the younger fellows around the squad that you don’t get picked up go move interstate, there are still opportunities to be involved in the Comets program and be involved in the BBL from here.” Deans sees a similar opportunity. “For ACT cricket in general, it just opens doors. That’s what the Big Bash League has done; it’s a pathway that hasn’t been one of the traditional pathways in recent years. It’s creating a really big opportunity for some of the guys who aren’t on the normal pathway of First Class cricket in states like New South Wales and Victoria,” he says. Beyond that comes the bigger carrot of a local BBL side playing out of Manuka Oval, and both Dean and Oakley are convinced that the ACT region is well-equipped to compete. All it will take is some courageous decisionmaking in the Cricket Australia boardroom.

“I honestly thought the opportunity might have passed me by, but the phone call came in from the Strikers selectors, and everything just flowed on from there.”

Sell-out crowds for day/night cricket at Manuka last summer proved that the demand for top class cricket is there, and the current redevelopment will make it one of best boutique grounds in the country. The facilities are ready for a team, the people are a ready for a team.

Both Dean and Oakley were able to meet up with Strikers Coach Darren Berry in Adelaide recently, when in town

This month and next, Dean and Oakley plan to show that Canberra cricketers are ready for a team, too.

the Meteors see major benefits FROM Nicola Browne Browne, who is also the most capped player in White Ferns history, and was the Player of the Tournament at the 2010 ICC Twenty20 World Cup, has signed with the Meteors on a part-time arrangement when her work and cricket commitments in New Zealand allow.

and was among the Meteors best in the defeats to New South Wales, played in Wagga Wagga.

Browne was instrumental in the Meteors’ series win over Tasmania at Chisholm Oval early last month,

Her batting has been the major contribution, though, making significant runs in four of the six games she’s


While not taking as many wickets as she’d perhaps like, Browne’s bowling has still been doing the business for the Meteors at the start and at the end of bowling innings.

played so far, batting in the middle order. She’s also proving to be a gun fielder, too, with four runouts and a catch in her six matches. Browne will be back in Meteors’ colours in the week before Christmas, when they take on Queensland at Allan Border Field, and the ‘Gabba in Brisbane, the latter game part of a T20 double-header before the Brisbane Heat v Perth Scorchers BBL match. Issue #30 december 2013

Canberra to host the Future Stars of Australian Hockey

With hockey dominating the international stage over the next few month, Hockey ACT is pleased to be hosting the future stars of Australian hockey this month. The U18 Futures Camp will be once again be hosted in Canberra over a one week period, and this year will also include a four game International Series against the Japan Junior Squad. The 2013 Futures Group was selected from the Be the Influence Under 18 Women’s National Championships, hosted in Canberra in July earlier this year. Following a strong finish at the tournament in fourth place, ACT will be represented by three athletes at the upcoming camp. Tina Taseska will be returning to the camp for her second year, securing her place with a strong performance at the recent Australia Hockey League with the Canberra Labor Club Strikers. Laura Gray and Tamika Bostock will join the squad for the first time, both playing significant roles in the ACT team at the Under 18 Nationals, with Bostock earning the Asics Player of the Tournament Award. All three athletes also competed earlier in the year at the Under 21 National Championships, where ACT finished in fourth place.

Sunday 15th December. The Japanese squad will arrive in Canberra on Tuesday ahead of the games commencing at the National Hockey Centre on Wednesday 11th at 6pm. This will be followed with a second game on Thursday, and two games held over the weekend in conjunction with Anna Flanagan’s fundraising efforts for the Canberra Celebrity Charity Apprentice, raising money for the ACT Cerebral Palsy Alliance. This will be a fantastic opportunity for the Canberra community to get behind the future of Australian hockey and experience some quality international hockey. Australia Futures v Japan National Hockey Centre in Lyneham Wednesday 11th December 6:00pm Thursday 12th December 5:30pm Saturday 14th December 2:00pm Sunday 15th December 10:00am Anna Flanagan Canberra Celebrity Charity Apprentice Fundraiser Friday 13th December 5:30-6:30pm – Drag Flicking Clinic

The Futures Group will arrive in Canberra on the 8th December, with a full training and game schedule for the week, prior to departing on

Saturday 14th December 8:30-10:30am – Under12 Skills Clinic 10:30-12:30pm – 12 -15 Years Skills Clinic 3:30 – 5:30pm – 15+ Years Skills Clinic

The Mozzies bring home some gold By Joshua Matic. Twitter: @MaticJm It is a knife-edge sport that could frighten all parents alike, but junior playing numbers in this exciting sport are on the rise at record levels. In seven years, one junior fencing club has turned into five, and recently the ACT Mozzies junior representative team travelled to Sydney with a record 22 participants to compete in the Koala Cup. This proved great international exposure for the sport in the ACT too- the Koala Cup being a fully international competition with teams from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Japan.

competitions and specific embassy sponsored competitions for the U13 age group.” “There’s also been the use of an U13 Fencing demonstrations group at clubs and exhibitions and the inclusion of U13 fencers in national competitions held in the ACT.” The Mozzies team is a representative squad made up of the best 22 players from ACT Fencing Association clubs Canberra Dance Development Centre, Engarde at Mackillop, Queanbeyan Duel Fencing Club, Swordplay Fencing club, and the Lancaster Fencing Club.

The team consisted of children aged seven to 13 years of age, and was the second largest team to enter the competition.

The team meets only once a year for the Koala Cup, held in Marrickville, which has been running now for three years.

They returned home with three gold medals and a bronze medal in team events.

In the Koala Cup the Mozzies made 8 teams of 3-4 members to compete in team competition on the Saturday, while all competitors went solo on the Sunday.

Mozzies team manager Letitia Abela said the growth of the sport in the ACT has been instrumental in keeping junior talent in the territory. “Seven years ago all fencers wishing to compete competitively in the age groups of U13, U11 and U9 went interstate,” said Abela. “ACT Fencing has been actively growing fencers in the U13 age category through the running of tri-state Issue #30 december 2013

The team trains at the senior level ANU Fencing Club.

Teams consisted of an U13 Boys Sabre Team, U13 Boys Epee Team, U11 Boys Epee Team, U13 Boys Foil Team, U13 Girls Epee Team, U11 Girls Epee Team, U13 Girls Foil Team, and an U11 Girls and Boys mixed Foil Team. All competitors performed well on the day with some Mozzies representatives ranked in the top 10 of their divisions nationally.

It is a sport on the rise in the Capital and for concerned parents, Abela says: “Beginner fencers train with a ball on the end of their weapon, so there is no point, but competitive fencers, like the Mozzies train with electric weapons which do have a point.” “From an early age the fencers learn to respect their weapons, not to point them at others when not fencing, waive them around, to have a space around them when training - all the safety info is learnt at an early age they are very safe to be around.”


The new-age tennis format consists of shortened games and modified scoring, which has drawn past players back into competition and made it more exciting for spectators. A healthy crowd came to see Kyrgios, who became the 103rd player to represent Australia in Davis Cup in September, star in the home ties at North Woden as part of Canberra’s Centenary celebrations. For the second year Canberra Velocity women’s team vied for the conference title and a spot at the national final. Velocity’s women, who lost the final in controversial circumstances last year, made sure history didn’t repeat with an emphatic victory against the Wyverns at Sydney Olympic Park.

upsets to continue

Canberra Velocity hopes its ability to cause an upset will continue when it faces the best teams in the country in the national final of the AsiaPacific Tennis League in January. By Lyndall Parker. The under-strength men’s team stunned conference favourites Next Gen Rebels four rubbers to two in the NSW/ACT final, while Velocity’s women shocked the undefeated Stanmore Wyverns, also winning 4-2. Team manager Alun Jones said both the teams were confident about their chances in the national final in Melbourne. “We’re hoping to have full-strength teams with everyone down there playing some kind of role,” he said. “We’re a strong chance to do well. On paper our men’s team is one of the strongest teams, while our women are evenly matched.” With Canberra’s rising star Nick Kyrgios (illness) and world No.350 Alex Bolt (training commitments) unavailable to play the conference final at Sydney’s Olympic Park, Jones said the men’s team had to make the most of any opportunities they received. He said the momentum of the tie swung in the opening rubber when local talent James Frawley shocked seasoned professional Adam Feeney, 4-0, 4-3 (5-3). “We felt like we were massive underdogs against the Rebels,” he says. “James pulled off a great upset which

put pressure on them early and changed the dynamics of the tie.” In the deciding rubber – and with Velocity only one set away from a national finals berth - Jones combined with Canberra’s Jake Eames to snare the winning set and then the match in a super-tiebreak against Ryan Henry and Luke Bourgeois, 3-4 (4-5), 4-3 (5-3), (10-8). The Velocity duo came from 3-4, 2-3 down with Bourgeois serving for the match. “At 2-3 down in the second set in the doubles, I went to the sidelines to find out what the equation was, and the boys told me we had to win the set or we’d lose the tie,” he said. “Jake and I just went into the zone and hardly missed a ball from that point on.” It was the second year in a row the Rebels and Velocity met in the NSW/ACT Conference men’s final, with the Rebels convincing winners last year. The ATL domestic competition featured the likes of dual US Open champion Pat Rafter, former Davis Cup players Richard Fromberg and Scott Draper, and three-time Grand Slam doubles finalist Casey Dellacqua.

Canberra’s Alison Bai, who reached five ITF Pro Tour quarter-finals this year, dropped only one game against Nicole Kriz, and Ashley Keir, who missed the opening tie against the Wyverns due to a scheduling clash, won seven games straight to beat Deon Mladin 4-3 (5-3), 4-0. When Tyra Calderwood received a walkover against Julia Morairty (who was stuck in traffic due to the Justin Bieber concert), the tie was virtually assured. Team manager Simon Tankey said the walkover gave the girls, who lost their first round tie against the Wyverns 4-2, the early boost they needed. “It was huge to go up 1-0 at the start. Everyone just gained confidence from that,” Tankey said. He also liked Velocity’s women’s team chances in January. “If we can field a full-strength team we definitely have a strong chance of winning the title in Melbourne,” he said. “In singles we’re competitive against any team from positions one to four, but we definitely need to continue to improve our doubles. It’s crucial.” Jones said the winning double was a great boost for the Canberra tennis community, already revelling in the success of local teenager Kyrgios, who, at 18, is the youngest player to be ranked inside the world’s top 200. “We couldn’t have asked for a better result with both teams getting up,” he says. “It’s great for tennis in Canberra, and a good chance to play in front of some crowds and soak in the atmosphere in Melbourne.” The national finals will be held at Melbourne Park in January during the Australian Open.

DFO Shop T102 I 337 Canberra Ave Fyshwick 2609 0403734739 I 6

Issue #30 december 2013


The GWS Giants will be visiting Canberra this month to hold their Australia Post AFL Community Camp in Canberra.

“We’ve always had fantastic support from the people of Canberra and they’re an integral part of the Giants.” Cameron said

The entire Giants playing list and coaching staff will be in Canberra to visit local schools, clubs and conduct information and coaching sessions.

“I also want to thank the ACT Government and Sports Minister Andrew Barr for its support of the Giants and for establishing a genuine AFL club presence in the nation’s capital.”

Head Coach Leon Cameron made the announcement at a media conference at StarTrack Oval last month, with former swan and new GWS recruit Shane Mumford along for support. The Giants, through their partnership with the ACT Government, have established a long-term presence in the Nations Capital since their introduction to the league in 2012. Along with their commitments, the players and staff will also have the opportunity to visit local attractions and really get a feel of the Canberra community.

Barr said it was great initiative by the Giants, and was looking forward to their visit “Footy fans from Canberra and the region have embraced the Giants as evidenced by the strong crowds the team has attracted to its matches at StarTrack Oval Canberra and the Community Camp will be a great chance for fans to connect with their local team,” Barr said. It won’t be a long time in between visits for the Giants, who will be back again on February 20 for their NAB cup clash against the Sydney Swans.

The two Sydney based rivals will face off at Star Track Oval in what is sure to attract a big crowd, if big names such as Buddy Franklin, Heath Shaw, Kurt Tippet and Mumford all make an appearance. “It will be a strange feeling playing against my old team mates” Mumford said “However I won’t be holding back and I know they won’t be either so it’s sure to be a cracking contest” The Giants will be playing four games in Canberra next year, with matches against the Western Bulldogs, Port Adelaide and North Melbourne. Cameron put the call out to all Canberra fans to get behind the Giants in 2014 “We had over 3500 members from the ACT this year and we’re looking to build on that in 2014 with four big games in Canberra, starting with a NAB Challenge match against the Swans on February 20. “If you haven’t signed up as a member for 2014 yet make sure you get on board now to reserve your seat at StarTrack Oval for what we hope will be an exciting year for the club.” will come in and ask what we have different to the Yankees, so we can show them around and they can get something unique.” Gone are the days of having to settle for one hat per team in Canberra as Ali explains, “You’ve got so many teams between the NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL and each team will have a minimum of 6 different styles - the Yankees have about 80 different styles. But it means you can walk in here and go “I don’t know who they are but I like that hat” and walk out with a cool different hat.”

If the cap fits! I’ve got a problem I need to share with you. I’m obsessed with hats. NBA, NFL, NHL NRL you name it. So when CAPZ opened up in DFO I was in heaven. With rows and rows of hats from all major sporting leagues you’ll be spoiled for choice. And the beauty

of being an Australian sports fan we aren’t limited to one team, I’ve got Celtic hats, Nets hats, Steelers and Chargers hats to name a few. “Yes we have a lot of people who don’t know the teams and pick the hats on logos they like, which is great,“ said storeowner Ali (pictured) when we dropped in last week. “We have a big range of teams, sometimes people

Aside from the sporting brands CAPZ also stock a good variety of street brands, “we have Crooks and Castles, Diamond Supply Company, DOPE, Wu-Tang and OBEY. These are the brands that everyone is wearing these days. That street brand look is very popular. We also stock Booger Kids which is a really popular brand at the moment and we are one of only two stockist in Canberra” If you’re heading up to Sydney for the MLB season opener – be sure to head into CAPZ to get all you LA Dodger and Arizona Diamondbacks supporter gear – The team at CAPZ have ordered in a mountain of gear for the game!!

DFO Shop T102 I 337 Canberra Ave Fyshwick 2609 0403734739 I Issue #30 december 2013


Buchanan had an outstanding year in 2013 claiming two world championships, the BMX world title in New Zealand and the UCI Four Cross World Championship in Austria. Crow created history by becoming the first Australian to win a gold medal in the women’s single scull at the 2013 World Rowing Championships in South Korea. That win came just 14 months after her first single scull race and is another successful milestone for the former 400 metre hurdler. AIS Director Matt Favier congratulated Buchanan and Crow on their outstanding years and winning the award. “Given the calibre of the finalists and the successful year they have all had in 2013 it was again a very difficult task to pull out a winner,” Favier said. “In the end we couldn’t split the performances of Caroline and Kim. “It demonstrates the strength of our sporting women in Australia and the contribution they are making to Australia’s Winning Edge.” In line with Australia’s Winning Edge 2012-2022 strategy for high performance sport, the award categories have been expanded in 2013.

Buchanan and Crow share athlete of the year honours at the AIS BMX world champion Caroline Buchanan and rowing world champion Kim Crow have been crowned joint winners of the 2013 athlete of the year award at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra.

Buchanan and Crow were chosen from a very strong list of finalists that included Matthew Cowdrey (swimming), Cate Campbell (swimming), Evan O’Hanlon (athletics) and Alex “Chumpy” Pullin (snowboard).

Eligible athletes include either those who were on an AIS scholarship at the time of their sporting achievement or were eligible for Direct Athlete Support. Other major awards presented at the AIS Included: Junior Athlete of the Year – Dante Exum (Basketball) Team of the Year – Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan (Sailing) Coach of the Year – Simon Cusack (Swimming) Performance of the Year – Alex Pullin (Snowboard) Leadership Award – Geoff Lipshut (Olympic Winter Institute).



Issue #30 december 2013

be on top of things and communicate strongly. It was a great experience, but there’s no place like home.” With Super Rugby a giant leap from the club level, McKellar joining the Brumbies in 2012 could have been a premature step in his development as a coach. Such steps often prove detrimental – in one way or another – to the individual or the organisation they join. That’s why McKellar is grateful for the opportunity he had at NTT Docomo. He says it was a vital stepping stone in his professional development, one that adequately prepared him for the job he now holds at the Brumbies. “I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason and the opportunity to go to Japan was a great one,” McKellar says. “Going from the Vikings to Japan was a step up because I was involved in a professional program in Japan. The Brumbies is an even bigger step up because the club’s standards are very high. My past experience obviously helped get me the [Brumbies] job.”

McKellar and the Brumbies a perfect match Dan McKellar is a likeable man. He’s amiable, humorous and open-minded. He’s 37 years of age, accomplished and talented. By Antony Perry @antonyperry. His repertoire is impressive, as is the way in which he has two feet firmly on the ground, which is somewhat rare for someone who has enjoyed such a rapid career progression.

It all started in Wicklow, a small town just outside of Dublin, Ireland 12 years ago. McKellar was playing club rugby and acting as his side’s assistant coach.

McKellar has just joined the ACT Brumbies as the club’s defence and skills coach. He’s the final piece of the club’s coaching revamp following the departure of former head coach Jake White earlier this year.

“[My team] got promoted and I got the coaching bug... it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do.”

White’s departure has allowed the ACT franchise to reinvent its coaching structure. Former attack coach Stephen Larkham has taken the reins as head coach, while Laurie Fisher, the former forwards specialist, is now operating as the club’s director of rugby. McKellar fits in somewhere below the pair and considers himself fortunate to be in the position he is. “There are a lot of coaches who have been coaching for a lot longer than I have and are yet to reach the sort of position I’m in,” McKellar says. “I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. I’m only worried about doing a good job and working hard.” The former Queensland Reds squad member has earned his place, though. At an age when most rugby players playing abroad indulge in the culture of their surroundings and adopt a lavish lifestyle, McKellar spent his mid-20s learning the art of coaching and building the foundations of what is now a successful career. Issue #30 december 2013

“I was 25 years old,” he says.

That infectious “bug” has taken him from Ireland, to Brisbane, to Canberra, to Japan, and to Canberra again. After three years in the top job at Brisbane-based club side Souths, McKellar took over at the helm of Canberra John I Dent Cup side the Tuggeranong Vikings in 2011 and 2012. He guided the Vikings to back-to-back premiership wins, developed a relationship with the Brumbies, and established himself as a great coach. He achieved a lot in Canberra, so much that there was talk of him stepping into a role at the Brumbies after the 2012 John I Dent Cup season, but things never eventuated on that front. Instead he left to take an assistant coaching job at Japanese club NTT Docomo. “I’d spoken with Jake [White] about potentially being involved, but for one reason or another it didn’t eventuate and I took the opportunity to go to Japan,” McKellar says. “It’s different coaching in a country where you don’t speak the language, so from a coaching perspective I think it definitely improves you because you need to

The Brumbies are Australia’s most successful Super Rugby franchise – they won titles in 2001 and 2004 against the Natal Sharks and Canterbury Crusaders respectively – and there is pressure on the current crop of coaching staff to return the club to the heights it once scaled. At Tuggeranong, McKellar had his charges playing symphonic and rhythmic running rugby, an attractive brand of play that saw him drop only a handful of games across two campaigns. His new role deals with the fast, abrasive and technically demanding side of the game. It comes with the territory of being the defence coach, and McKellar is aware of the challenges that await him. “There’s going to be challenges every week,” he says. “I have no doubt there will be things popping up that I’ve never dealt with before, challenges I’ve never encountered, but it’s all part of the learning process.” McKellar’s quick to point out, however, that the will to succeed mustn’t only lie with the coaching staff. “You need talent to play at the professional level, but talent only goes so far,” he says. “A lot of hard work and sacrifice has to go into being a professional rugby player. In most cases it comes back to the individual because they’ve got to be prepared to put in the hard work, to put themselves in a position where they’re prepared to do what it takes. [Players] have got to be ready to put their best foot forward. It comes down to making sure players have got a strong work ethic as well as the talent.” It’s important for a coach to fit the mould of a club. The values held by the individual need to go hand in hand with that of the organisation they are a part of. McKellar is successful and hard-working. He is talented, driven and is hungry for success. McKellar embodies everything the Brumbies are about. He is a Brumbies man through and through.


A Champion TEAM!

The Canberra Cavalry stormed onto the National and then International sporting stage in 2013. Few would have predicted the success the team would enjoy. Fortunately among those few were the ones that matter – the Players, the coaches and the staff of the Cavalry. By PLAY Canberra. They came into the 2012/13 ABL season as massive underdogs, but those in the Cavalry inner-circle soon became aware that they had the team to give the league a shake. And when I say team, I’m not necessarily talking about the players, while being able to assemble a very capable playing roster other teams had a better looking roster on paper. What the Cavalry had was a TEAM. As Head Coach Michael Collins was quick to point out when we caught up at “The Fort” in Narrabundah, “They are a good team. A lot of people say it and it’s a bit of a cliché but this is a good team, a group of good mates that play for each other. We set out to create that atmosphere at the start of the last season and to the player’s credit, they all bought into it.” One of the more notable faces on the team is Florida native Jack Murphy and Collins was full of praise for the attitude of his star catcher. “Jack has bought into it the most and I’ve heard him say this is one of the best teams he has played on and I must admit it’s definitely the best team I’ve been involved in as a player or a coach.” “A lot of our success comes from that team mentality. As much as guys want to play for themselves, everyone 10

wants to have success in any sport they play, I think they genuinely get excitement from each others success as well as their own.” Cavalry General Manager Thom Carter backs up Collin’s claim. He also added the coaching staff can take a lot credit for the teams bond and with that the self-belief that is such a key ingredient of the cavalry’s success. “I think a lot of credit must go to the coaches, we have a good group of players, but the coaches, Michael specifically have been able to take these individual ball players and turn them into a quality baseball team. Baseball is one of the more individualized team games. The result depends on everyone playing their position well, pitchers pitching well and hitters hitting, But there is something about the way Michael goes

“so we had 3 different flights scheduled (by the organizers) back to Canberra because no one thought we were going to win a game, let alone the whole thing.”

about his business and deals with the players so they are able to not only believe in themselves but they also believe as a team they are going to win. “You only have to look at the grand final, the Perth team was better on paper, they had guy that had played in the Majors for years in the states and at the highest levels in the minors, and our guys weren’t intimidated at all.” There is no greater example of the team’s self-belief than their recent stunning victory at the Asia Series a competition that pits the best teams in Asia against each other to see who is the best team in the Asia area. It is important to bare in mind that baseball is HUGE in Asia. The value of some of the teams is 851 times more that the value of the Cavalry roster. Yes you read that right – the Japanese team that the Cavalry played against, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, is worth $40,000,000!! Despite this the Cavalry knew they could win each game. Catcher and eventual Asia Series MVP Jack Murphy said as the competition progressed and the players got a chance to watch the other teams play their confidence grew. “We knew we could win”. It’s a good thing the team had confidence as it seems the organizers didn’t give them much chance. “Haha yes” laughed GM Thom Carter “The organizers had scheduled our flights to come back after the round play, so it was thought that we would come and play 2 games and fly home. Well, sorry we won through. So they moved our flights back so we would leave after the semi-final, because we were going to loss that as well, and we won that game too – so Issue #30 december 2013

that of the much higher profile Asia Series victory. Partly because of all the work by countless volunteers that went on behind the scenes to get a Canberra team in the ABL in the first place. Despite the fact that the Asia Series victory would have no doubt raised his profile on the international stage as a coach, Michael feels the victory at home was more satisfying. “Winning the Asia Series really was a huge thing but winning the ABL season last year was definitely big, I played here and I understood how far behind Canberra had been for a long time. We had never really been able to put the kind of ball team together that had a real chance. Last year we had that opportunity with a good team and it came together at the right time. I think that was really special. we had 3 different flights scheduled back to Canberra because no one thought we were going to win a game, let alone the whole thing.”

staff and players and we knew what our task was and we set out to accomplish that. We knew we could win. I don’t think anyone else necessarily believed that was a reality, but at the end of it all, all we can do is go out there and take care of our business.

“They didn’t give us much chance, but we thought we could do it, we went over there quietly optimistic and when Tubby (Coach Michael Collins) sat with the players he said – you know we are going to win these games and they did.” Recalls Carter obviously still very proud of the teams performance.

“We are a unique team, we have what we have and we do what we do, there’s no tricks we just go out there and play our game and fortunately it came together at the right times, like the Asia series and last years Grand final.”

Collins also has fond memories of the victories. “We went into that Asian series as a team, as a coaching

As an indication of Collin’s character he puts the season long effort to win the ABL competition above

Issue #30 december 2013

“That was a building, the whole season was building and we finally got there and finally won. The Asia series was quick – 4 games it was more like a sprint, we won, we won again and again and it’s over, great job! “I got into coaching because I couldn’t play anymore and I love to be around the game and now I get satisfaction out of watching people achieve the things that maybe I couldn’t do.”

For all the great Canberra Cavalry action head to


Club of the month The final club of the month for 2013 goes to the local cycling club 3FIDI. 3FIDI are a group of men (in tights) and women (also in tights) from Canberra, they also contain some interstate and international members. Many of the members have years of solo and combined sporting achievements under their belts, ranging from scrabble to adventure racing, including numerous training and planning sessions at pubs and cafes. To celebrate the Centenary of Canberra the team designed a commemorative Canberra100 cycling jersey which they wore in numerous races throughout the year including the biggest event in cycling for 2013 - the Centenary trail blaze. The team rode the trail in November with 19 riders riding the half course, approximately 65km’s and 5 riders completing the full trail an impressive 145km ride. The Centenary Trail is a 145 kilometre self-guided, non-motorised loop trail for walkers and touring cyclists that showcases Canberra and takes users on a journey between urban and rural environments past iconic sites and hidden treasures. The Centenary Trail is divided into daily sections,

spaced for walkers and bike riders. Users are able to join or leave the trail in many locations. The trail is designed to be accessible for as many walkers and cyclists as possible. It follows fire trails, walking tracks and shared paths in urban and natural areas and is open to everyone. The trail is designed for low intensity use by all walkers and cyclists of moderate ability and is generally less than 10 percent gradient. Centenary Trail maps showing the full trail alignment as well as general information about the trail, are available from: Canberra Connect shopfronts Canberra Visitor’s Centre, 330 Northbourne Ave, Dickson ACT Civic Library. For more information head to the Thanks Awards since their inception in 2001 with a over half of the volunteers recognised at the Awards having dedicated more than 20 years to their club or organisation. The evening also saw the presentation of the Centenary Club of the Month and Club of the Year awards by Capitals Head Coach, Carrie Graf. These awards were presented to clubs who have actively celebrated the Centenary of Canberra and promoted it throughout their networks this year. Centenary Club of the Month winners from February through to September were eligible to win the Club of the Year award, with Vikings Squash Club taking out the title.

The 13th Thanks Awards On Wednesday 16 October, the annual Thanks Award presented by Sport and Recreation Services, ACT Government was held at the National Press Club of Australia. The Thanks Awards program recognises the consistent contribution and dedication volunteers within the sport and recreation industry provide to their chosen clubs and organisations. The evening saw the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Mr Andrew Barr, Canberra United player Ellie Brush and Canberra Darters player Megan Kelly present 36 volunteers with awards to recognise their efforts. 12

Approximately 27,000 Canberran’s volunteer their time in a ‘non-playing’ role each year, equating to over 3 million hours of labour valued at over $40 million to our economy. We lead such busy lives, it is often hard to find the time to volunteer, meaning we should take any opportunity we can to say ‘Thanks’ to our volunteers, to support and recognise their efforts, Minister Barr said. More than 230 volunteers from 50 local sport and recreation organisations have been recognised through

The Vikings Squash Club hosted ‘Yellow Day’ to celebrate Canberra’s Centenary which pitted the region’s Senior players against the Juniors. Competitors battled it out for bragging rights in a tournament filled with intensely good-natured rivalry in an atmosphere of fun and celebration. Players dressed in yellow to reflect Canberra’s Centenary, either demonstrating a flair for fashion or a sense of the ridiculous, including bumble bee and tiger costumes. The last award of the evening saw the Good Sports Award being presented to the Canberra Royals Rugby Union Football Club. The award rewards the efforts of outstanding community sports clubs that work to provide safer, healthier and more family friendly environments, particularly in relation to alcohol and tobacco. Issue #30 december 2013

the ARC in 2014 will come a more expensive budget for RPR which means a further need for success to attract sponsorship. Mr Pink Beverages, a natural energy drink company, saw the light in the team, and will assist them throughout their ARC ambitions in 2014. Partnerships with Damesa Industries, Southern Automotives and Revell Steering will continue off the back of good showings this season.

New car, new sponsors, same self belief By Joshua Matic. Twitter: @MaticJm Canberra-based rally motorsport team Rhys Pinter Rally Sport is all set to ride a wave of confidence to the Australian Rally Championship next year after another successful season of regional competition. And while the team experienced a roll-out at this years National Capital rally- and ARC round- a new car and sponsorship from a national company are testaments to their success this year which saw them finish second in the NSW Hyundai XL series. But with the team now having two years of competition up their sleeve, they have retired their Hyundai XL and invested in a more modern Ford Fiesta R2 which will boost their chances in the Australian Rally

Championship next year. “I’m striving to be in a really professional rally team for next year, and the first round next year is at the National Capital Rally,” said team founder Rhys Pinter. “The way we’re trying to structure this is to do a review of what we did this year.” “We’ve managed to secure a new car which was what Adrian Coppin [Canberra rally star] ran in the Australian Rally Championship this year which is a brand new car and there’s less than half a dozen in the country at the moment.” With a current model car and more expensive events in

I want a place that has the biggest schnitty in town.

The team will be looking at racing in at least two ARC rounds next year, including the National Capital in Canberra and the Coffs Harbour round. The ultimate goal is to take out the Junior Australian Rally Championship, and one good result will qualify Pinter for the Victorian Rally too. “Rather than just trying to wing it at the Nat Cap [National Capital Rally] and say ‘oh yeah I’ll win that’, I want to try and dip my toes into as many ARC’s as I can because the next year I’d like to turn around and do every round of the ARC,” said Pinter. Pinter will still be in search of more sponsorship to make this possible, and knows success in the ARC next year is the gate way to that. The team will still compete in the Batemans Bay and Tumut regional races to get the most out of their new car. It all starts on February 28 at the National Capital Rally in Canberra.

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was always going to struggle. For the Lions series, the Wallabies scored just four tries for the three Tests, with two of them to Israel Folau before halftime of the First Test in Brisbane. The try-scoring didn’t necessarily improve that much when McKenzie first took over, either. Battling to implement a more attacking style of play within a limited timeframe, and perhaps without the talent required to play it, the Wallabies could only manage a one-try-per game average in the second identified portion of the season, while at the same time conceding a worrying 16 tries. It wasn’t a happy time for Wallabies supporters, and if they weren’t being asked out loud, the questions of whether McKenzie was the right man for the job were certainly being thought.

Wallabies finish 2013 on a high

It must have seemed unlikely even only two months ago, but the Wallabies finished 2013 in a good place. Of course, “good” is still somewhat relative, and the scorecard for the year will still show a win rate of less than half, and an inability to beat New Zealand, South Africa, and England. As good a place as the Wallabies may have finished the year - they’re back to no.3 on the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Rankings the Wallabies will always have a question mark hanging over them while ever they can’t beat the best teams in the world. And regardless, whether it’s by design or inadvertently, the fortunes of the Wallabies will always be judged by their performances against the All Blacks. On that regard, the Bledisloe Cup hasn’t moved for eleven years now, and continues to gather dust in the overly full trophy cabinet at NZRU headquarters in Wellington. But it’s worth noting that the performances improved greatly across the three Bledisloe outings in 2013. Outplayed fairly comfortably in the opening Test in Sydney, in August, the Wallabies had a very good second half in Wellington a week later, and then pushed New Zealand all the way in the final Test in Dunedin, in October. The latter Bledisloe clash fell into the third, greatly improved portion of the Wallabies season, which can be broken down to three distant parts. The three-Test series against the British and Irish Lions is the first part of the season, and would ultimately be the last Tests under the tenure of former coach, Robbie Deans. Deans stood down, according to the official word at the time, and Ewen McKenzie was appointed after the Lions Series defeat through until the 2015 Rugby World Cup. 14


McKenzie’s first five games in charge - the first five games of The Rugby Championship - can be identified as the second part of the Wallabies season, and include the first two Bledisloe losses, and the losses at home and away to South Africa, either side of the narrow 14-13 win over Argentina in the pouring rain in Perth. The final part of the season began with the impressive win over Argentina in Rosario, and continued through to the completion of the Spring Tour to Europe, which wrapped up late last month with consecutive wins over Italy, Ireland, Sctoand, and Wales. The loss to England, in the first match on tour, killed off the chance of achieving the Grand Slam of wins against the Home Nations. The three matches in the Lions series were played with a very distinct game plan under Robbie Deans, not unlike the attritional gameplan he implemented for the knockout stages of the 2011 RWC. Knowing the Lions would look to play a safety-first forwards-led game, Deans looked to play a similar style that would hopefully succeed with a dominant breakdown. Though the plan might have worked for the first two games, to force the series into a decider, once the Lions got out to a lead in Sydney, this limited plan

The 54-17 win in Argentina marked the beginning of the final part of the season, and even though only a week separates the second and third parts of the season, the contrast could not be greater. Where the Wallabies seemed stuck in a try drought that showed no signs of being broken, suddenly it began raining tries in Rosario, and more importantly thankfully - it continued right through Europe. The Wallabies had scored just nine tries in the first eight games of the season - the first two parts, as I’ve outlined here - but then scored a comparatively amazing 27 tries in the last seven games of 2013. And with the turnaround in points came some starch in defence. Having conceded 22 tries in the first eight games, the Wallabies only let in 13 in the last seven games, and conceded only seven tries on the five-game Spring Tour to Europe. ‘Clean sheets’ were maintained in the games against Ireland and Scotland. Perhaps the best measure of how well the Wallabies have finished the year is not just the depth that has been created in numbers - new players used by choice, or forced by injury - but the improvement in individuals. Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore, for example, now looks a genuinely world class player. Queensland flyhalf Quade Cooper is arguably playing even better than when the Reds won the Super Rugby title in 2011, and has clearly relished the extra responsibility of the vicecaptaincy. Scrumhalf Will Genia, and lock and former Captain, James Horwill, have both bounced back from disappointment to regain form. Folau looks more and more like a Test rugby player with every outing, and it’s scary to think how good he might be by the next World Cup. Brumbies Scott Fardy and Matt Toomua have starred so much in a Wallabies jersey that their absence was immediately noticed. Even better, players on the long-term injury list are no longer walk-up starts on their return to fitness. There is legitimate competition for spots across the board. It certainly didn’t look like it in July and August, but 2013 could well go down in the annals as the year the Wallabies turned the corner. And in the grand scheme of Australian rugby, it’s been a long time coming. Issue #30 december 2013

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Ronnie Coleman visits Gold’s gym fyshwick Image: Ben Coughlan

Chris Andrade and Scott Hall

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E S T A U R A N T Issue #30 december 2013

The easy way out Time for a hard truth: People are lazy. By Alan Romero, Advanced Performance Coaching. Not just you and the people you know, but humans in general are lazy. It’s an evolutionary thing; basically it comes down to energy, any extra energy we expend

means more food we have to consume to maintain our existence.

• Time • Energy • Commitment • • Persistence • Dedication •

While this doesn’t seem like a big problem to the modern civilised person, if you go back in time a few hundred thousand years to where we don’t have a virtually unlimited supply of calories at our fingertips, you might be a little more conservative with your energy expenditure, but I digress…

When a person uses a shortcut to reduce the required amount of one of these factors, often times the goal is never reached, and if one does reach the goal, the achievement is cheapened. This means not only is the satisfaction not as great for having reached the goal, but the most important aspects of the journey, the things you are forced to learn, are compromised.

This is one possible theory for our inherent laziness, and while this trait has certainly been responsible for almost every significant invention in history, it is also something that can hold us back from achieving our potential, people are drawn to the path of least resistance and often will look for a shortcut, especially in this modern environment of instant gratification, there is often an option people can take to reduce the time or effort required to achieve something, while this can be considered a step forward when it comes to simplifying mundane or time consuming tasks, people also have this attitude towards personal development, and this is a mistake. The act of shortcutting a personal goal takes away from some of the most important aspects of the achievement. Anything of worth that is achieved, whether it is a new personal best sporting performance, a project that you have been working on, or that new promotion you have been shooting for, requires the following:

The problem is that with anything that you do, there is always more to it than just the doing. There is growth and learning to be had at every turn, the fact that you have to endure hardships, persevere with seemingly impossible tasks, commit to finishing the job and dedicate your time and energy to a project, means that you has gained much more out of this than just achieving a goal. All of the seemingly annoying/ difficult/arduous/time-consuming things you have to do in order to achieve a goal carry with them a lot more than just the task itself. All these lessons carry on and serve you in all the other areas of your life, the traits that are developed when overcoming adversity are too numerous to mention, and their importance in your success cannot be overstated. So do yourself a favour and don’t take the easy way out, hard work pays off, one way or another. Until next time…

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Issue #30 december 2013


people. We’ve just got rid of that element and we need to move forward,” he said in November. Already Stuart has decided to fix the Raiders’ lackluster defence of 2013 - when it conceded a mammoth 624 points, which was 190 higher than their points scored. Dean Pay will work with Milton Dymock- brother of former Kangaroo Jim Dymock and well known for wrestling tactics in rugby league circles- to ensure his huge forward pack bring out their best at the ruck. Local Mixed Martial Artist Steve Babic has also been recruited by Stuart one day a week to work with Pay and Dymock. These three have already put players through drills to erase their points differential next season.

Pre-season indicates an up tempo 2014

New Canberra Raiders head coach Ricky Stuart is now in full swing with his new team at Raiders HQ, as he looks to establish a better platform for the future. By Joshua Matic. Twitter: @MaticJm The Green Machine began their pre-season at the start of November, and running in line with traditional preseasons, training has focused on fitness and strength building.

A 13th place finish in the 2013 season with six straight losses to end it was a representation of the distractions faced. Stuart’s ambition is to ensure there is no chance of that happening again.

Young star forward Jarred Kennedy has already been in awe of what the former Raiders great has brought to the squad.

He has already used strong words to indicate this:

“Everyone’s training really hard, and it’s been really positive- the whole club just seems to have taken a change,” he said. With Stuart has come Dean Pay and Matt Parish from the Parramatta Eels and halfback great Brett Kimmorley has kept his position as assistant despite reported conflicts of interest with Stuart when he was playing for the Cronulla Sharks when Stuart coached them. What has unraveled in recent months has certainly been the most significant shake-up in the Raiders’ near 33-year history, and all at the club are keen to move on for a better 2014.

“You can’t have dickheads in a football team. To see two fabulous, talented football players [Dugan and Ferguson] sitting on a roof, drinking alcohol in the morning… it was the most embarrassing moment for me in terms of being an ex-Raider,” he told Fairfax Media in November. The “no dickheads” policy is Stuart’s foremost goal at the club, and should players in the future start misbehaving, he will seek to act straight away.

Raiders prop Dane Tilse is a huge fan of the moves Stuart has already made, and said a fresh start with new ideas has brought a positive vibe to the squad. “It’s good to have a fresh voice…there’s a real spring in the step,” he said. “Ricky’s learnt a bit about us, and we’ve learnt a bit about him.” “He’s come in running things the way he wants, so it’s good having a strong leader at the top.” In other Raiders news, 19-year old superstar Anthony Milford will stay at the club in 2014 but has signed a two year deal with the Brisbane Broncos for 2015-16. Stuart has already raged over the issue and became another influential voice to call for the NRL to make home-made player concessions in the salary cap. Machine-like lock Shaun Fensom is back into full training 14 weeks after surgery on his thumb. The club has re-signed centre Jack Wighton and Kennedy until the end of 2015 and young stars Kyle O’Donnell and Kurt Baptiste, from the Penrith Panthers and Brisbane Broncos respectively, were signed for one season each.

He has stated that no player will put themselves before the team under his coaching.

Training will break for two weeks over Christmas, and international representatives in the UK for the World Cup Brett White, Josh Papalii and Anthony Milford will rejoin the squad then.

“You have to get rid of people who think about themselves. You can’t get team results with greedy

Tilse expects an even greater hype around the squad once these players return.

Raiders to conduct High Performance Review The Canberra Raiders have engaged the services of highly regarded sports physician and administrator Dr Peter Fricker OAM, to conduct a high performance review of the club’s football operations ahead of the 2014 season. The review will be conducted over the next few weeks, with recommendations to be presented to the Raiders in the early stages of 2014. 18

Raiders Football Manager John Bonasera said the purpose of the review was to see where the Raiders can best improve all aspects of their football operations.

and will be a wonderful asset in this area, having worked with a number of talented elite sporting people and organisations throughout his career.

“As a club we are showing that we want to give our performance managers and team the best chance of learning and developing in their line of operations. “ Bonasera said. “Dr Peter Fricker has been a team Doctor with several Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams

“Professional sport is about preparation and performance and we see this appointment as a key component in furthering our capacity to gain information and advice for our staff and players to perform at their optimum level”. Issue #30 december 2013

event is only possible through the support of Soldier On. “Often Rugby League players are viewed as sources of inspiration in their local communities but Heath and Seamus are truly an inspiration to us all. We train hard to play and to win but these guys are training and racing for much more – to get their lives back after war and to inspire their mates to never give in to the challenges that confront us. “Heath and Seamus are inspirational men who risked their lives while in the service of our country and now they, and the many other physically and mentally wounded soldiers need our support.” The Raiders players will support Seamus and Heath and Soldier On by using thier pre-season training to help raise funds and awareness so that Soldier On can help and inspire more wounded.

Raiders support Soldier on

The Canberra Raiders have thrown their full support behind the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge. This event is an initiative by Solider On to raise much needed funds for the wounded ex-servicemen and women who have bravely served our country with distinction and honour. In an open letter to Fellow NRL Club Coaches and CEO Ricky Stuart explained the Reasons for the Raiders support.

“This week two recovering wounded soldiers, Corporal Seamus Donaghue of Brisbane and Private Heath Jamieson of Sydney, will set off on the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge. The boys will join His Royal Highness Prince Harry and 10 other wounded soldiers from the USA, UK and Canada in a race to the geographic South Pole. Their participation in this


Issue #30 december 2013

The on-field training distances will be recorded by GPS units and will be tracked against the South Pole course. The Raiders have created fundraising accounts at and have asked the community to get behind their worthy challenge by either sponsoring the players or by doing a challenge of their own. You can find out more about the South Pole Challenge and how to support Seamus and Heath and Soldier On at

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ratified by the Australian Ultra Runners’ Association (AURA) and the International Association of Ultra runners (IAU), will represent a M50 Australian record as well as a M50 World’s Best Performance. Additionally, four other Australian M50 records will likely be ratified (100k, 12hr, 100M, 200k).

Coach of the Year: Michael Collins [Baseball] Michael Collins, in his first season as the head coach of the Canberra Cavalry, led the team to their first Championship. He grew up in Belconnen playing for the Bandits baseball club before going overseas and playing in the Angels and Padres organisations. He is now a coach in the San Diego Padres organisation and a member of the Australian National Team coaching staff.

Team of the Year: ACT Open Men’s Softball Team [Softball]

KYRGIOS TAKES ACT SPORT’S TOP PRIZE ACT Tennis sensation Nick Kyrgios has won the Tradies ACT Sportstar of the Year in a red hot year. Kyrgios fought off strong competition to claim the award for 2013, including BMX & Moutain Bike champion Caroline Buchanan, Championship ABL coach Michael Collins and Tour of Utah Winner Michael Matthews.

assessor for the Australian Sports Commission sanctioned Rowing Coach accreditation in the ACT, An ACT state selector 2013 and a member of the Council of Rowing Australia.

Nick enjoyed another stellar year on with the racket. Nick won the singles title of the Mayor’s Cup World Super Junior Tennis Championship in Osaka, Japan. Kyrgios the tournaments No.1 seed didn’t drop a set all tournament.

Michael Frost played his 500th game for the Queanbeyan Cricket Club during December. He has compiled nearly 12,000runs for the Bluebags with almost 7000 of those coming in first grade. That’s where the 45 year old made his name, featuring prominently in Queanbeyan’s era of dominance in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Queanbeyan won five of the six premierships on offer from 1985-86 to 1991-92. Michael became a regular in the Canberra representative team playing a part in two victorious National Country Championship campaigns.

In an all Australian Final of the Australian Junior Open Grand Slam held in Melbourne Nick defeated his good friend and doubles partner Kokkinakis. Nick increased his World Junior ranking to No. 1 in the World after Nick’s first win of the Australian Junior Open Grand Slam. Nick continued his incredible rise with victory at the Sydney Tennis International at Sydney Olympic Park, claiming his maiden ATP Challenger title.

Volunteer of the Year: David Bagnall [Rowing] David over the last 12 months has fulfilled voluntary functions like chairing Rowing ACT to one of its most successful seasons financially, coached Marist College under 17 rowers to a third place at the NSW Championships. Bagnall is an unpaid Marist Coach. He has also been a volunteer educator/lecturer/facilitator/ 20

Community Award: Michael Frost [Cricket]

AIS Sportstar of the Year: Evan O’Hanlon [Athletics] At the IPC Athletics World Championships in France Evan O’Hanlon made it a hat trick of gold medals, taking out the men’s T38 cerebral palsy 400metres, 100m and 200m events.

Masters Sportstar of the Year: Martin Fryer [Ultra Running] At the Soochow International Ultra-Marathon (invitation only event; international field) on 8-9 December 2012, Martin Fryer ran 247.590km. This distance, when

IThe ACT won a record 12th John Reid Shield with a 7-2 trouncing of NSW, Making the Territory the most successful team at state level. The ACT has won the last three National Championships and seven of the last eight going undefeated in its last two campaigns. Eight members of the ACT Open Men’s Team were selected in the Australian Squad to compete at the World Championships in New Zealand in 2013.

Junior Sportstar of the Year: Nick Kyrgios [Tennis] NCanberra’s Nick Kyrgios won the singles title of the Mayor’s Cup World Super Junior Tennis Championship in Osaka, Japan. Kyrgios the tournaments No.1 seed didn’t drop a set all tournament. In an all Australian Final of the Australian Junior Open Grand Slam held in Melbourne Nick defeated his good friend and doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis. Nick increased his World Junior ranking to No. 1 in the World after Nick’s first win of the Australian Junior Open Grand Slam. He continued his incredible rise with victory at the Sydney Tennis International at Sydney Olympic Park, claiming his maiden ATP Challenger title.

Female Sportstar of the Year: Caroline Buchanan [BMX & Mountain Biking] Putting the heart-break of the London Olympics behind her in phenomenal fashion, Caroline had an historic 2013 - becoming one of a hand-full of athletes to hold 2 World Championships at the one time. By winning the Mountain bike 4X and the BMX world titles, as well as performing well in the Mountain bike downhill category, Caroline proved she is truly one of the world’s elite sports stars. Caroline will now turn her attention towards RIO 2016.

Male Sportstar of the Year: Michael Matthews [Cycling] Michael Matthews riding for Orica GreenEdge at the Tour of Utah had a stellar performance at the Tour, coming away with two wins in Stage 2 & 4, as well as the Sprint jersey. Issue #30 december 2013

ACTEWAGL December EVENTS CALENDAR Week 1: 1-8 december

Week 3: 16-22 december

Tuesday 3/12


Bandits V Bears Narrabundah 7.00pm

Tuesday 17/12


Indians V Bears Narrabundah 7.00pm

Wednesday 4/12


Vikings V ACTAS Narrabundah 7.00pm

Wednesday 18/12


Bandits V ACTAS Narrabundah 7.00pm

Saturday 7/12

Tuggeranong Valley V ANU ANU North Oval 11.00am Eastlake V Western Districts Kingston Oval 11.00am North Canberra Gungahlin v Queanbeyan District Harrison 11.00am Ginninderra V Weston Creek Freebody 11.00am





CANBERRA Capitals V LOGan thunder 7.00PM




Rebels V Bandits Aranda 3.00pm Indians V Vikings Viking Park 3.00pm Eagles V Bears Majura 3.00pm


Eastlake V Queanbeyan District Kingston Oval 11.00am Ginninderra V Tuggeranong Valley Kippax 1 11.00am Western Districts V ANU Stirling 11.00am North Canberra Gungahlin V Weston Creek Harrison 11.00am




Bears V Bandits Aranda 3.00pm Eagles V Vikings Vikings Park 3.00pm Indians V Rebels North Curtin 3.00pm

Sunday 8/12



Week 2: 9-15 december Tuesday 10/12 Wednesday 11/12 Thursday 12/12

Saturday 14/12

Sunday 15/12


Eagles V Bandits Narrabundah 7.00pm


ACTAS V Rebels Narrabundah 7.00pm


Australian Futures V Japan National Hockey Centre Lyneham 6pm


Indians V Bandits Narrabundah 7.00pm


Australian Futures V Japan National Hockey Centre Lyneham 5pm


North Canberra Gungahlin V Eastlake Harrison 11.00am Tuggeranong Valley V Western District UC Chisholm 1 11.00am ANU v Ginninderra ANU North 11.00am Queanbeyan District V Weston Creek Freebody 11.00am


Australian Futures V Japan National Hockey Centre Lyneham 2pm


Eastlake V Ginninderra Kingston 11.00am Tuggeranong Valley V Queanbeyan District Chisholm 1 11.00am Western District UC v Weston Creek Jamison 11.00am North Canberra Gungahlin V ANU Harrison 11.00am


Bandits V Indians Stirling 3.00pm Vikings V Bears Majura 3.00pm Rebels V Eagles Kambah 3.00pm


Australian Futures V Japan National Hockey Centre Lyneham 10am

BASE: ACT Baseball Competition ABL: Australian Baseball League CRIC: First Grade Cricket

Friday 20/12 Saturday 21/12 Saturday 21/12

Sunday 22/12

*All details correct at time of printing

ActewAGL Athlete on the rise

Josh McGovern - Softball & Australian Rules. 16 year Josh represents the ACT in softball in the U17 boys and U19 men’s National Championships and he has also been named in the ACT 89ers (open men) squad. A true all-rounder Josh is also a member of the GWS development squad. ACT will be hosting the 3 National Softball Championships in January the U17 boys being held from 5 – 11 and the combined U19s taking place from 16 – 22. THE ActewAGL Athlete on the Rise recognises and rewards the achievements of our rising sporting talent. The award caters for athletes at all levels of competition. It is not only results that count, but good sportsmanship as well. Do you know someone that qualifies as an ActewAGL Athlete on the Rise? Send all nominations to

WNBL: Women’s National Basketball League HOCK: Hockey WL: W-League Soccer

ActewAGL Retail ABN 46 221 314 841.

More reasons to follow us.

Issue #30 december 2013

As Principal Partner of the Centenary of Canberra, we will be able to offer access to upcoming major events. Keep up with what’s happening locally, win tickets and access exclusive events on our Facebook page.


It’s always sunny side up for Alex By Brendan Parnell @brendanparnell. There’s something pretty special about Alexandra Caitlin Bunton you can’t help but notice. Whilst many might initially be struck by her impressively athletic 196 cm frame, it’s the impenetrable smile and optimistic view of just about everything, that leaves by far the most lasting impression.

Being close to home has been something she’s welcomed and it’s allowed her to see more of her year younger brother Kieran, who she describes as her best friend.

The Bunton family was in England when Alex was born and after a stint in America settled in Canberra about ten years ago. It was at about that time that Alex hit her first growth spurt.

In somewhat of a stereotypical reaction, some of her friends then suggested she start playing basketball and her journey had begun. Part of the strange duality of having such a positive sunny disposition and playing team sport, is that as the sport becomes more competitive, it demands a certain aggression and almost ruthlessness which can be rather confusing for any youngster.

“I didn’t really feel any pain and just thought here goes another six months of rehab work,” she said. “That’s probably the part of I’m most proud of, that I didn’t even think that it meant I can’t play again,” she said. At just 20 years of age, Alex still has a long way to go in her development with the Capitals. However her dramatic improvement in the current WNBL season undoubtedly traces back to a full season with the Capitals Academy in the underpinning winter SEABL league.

“I never really felt tall and sort of didn’t realise I was bigger than everyone else” Alex explains in her typically effusive way.

“I started growing madly and was soon way taller than my brother. He was worried he was never going to grow and I was thinking I’m never going to stop growing!” Alex said.

couple of Junior World Championship campaigns she was finally making her mark on an AIS tour of Japan when her right, or “good” knee, gave way in one of the trip’s last games.

hurt a fly and inevitably I’ve been told I’m a fairy or that I’m way too nice and have no grunt, but part of my development is to keep working on my aggression and awareness,” she said. The other huge part of Alex’s young career to date has been her battle with no fewer than five knee surgeries since the age of fifteen. She started on scholarship at the AIS just after one of her rehabilitation sequences and was in her own words “very nervous and unfit”.

“I like to be happy, figuring that otherwise I’m sort of wasting the day for me and everyone around me,” she reveals in a moment of clarity that is both stark and thought provoking.

Despite the constant support of the ACT Academy of Sport prior to her entry to the AIS, her body just simply wasn’t ready for the rigours of a full time training environment and it was a long and arduous process to get up to speed with the mainly older squad members.

“Bish [Capitals team mate Abby Bishop] says I can’t

Eventually though, things started to turn and after a

“Now that he’s not involved in sport, he [Kieran] and I hang out and talk about other things, which has helped with balance away from the game” she said. “As far as the Caps go, I’m trying to perform, but I know that if I don’t always get it right at practice or in the games that Carrie [Graf] understands and that as long as I’m going forward then it’s all good.” When the future is brought up, Bunton smiles a little cautiously but soon finds a train of thought that includes remaining injury free and the possibility of a European or an American team or even the Opals. “Often there’s the inference that you only made this or that team or squad because you’re big,” she points out quite passionately, “and I want to be able to say and know there is no reason I shouldn’t reach any level, simply because of who I am and what I bring.” The Capitals are back home at the AIS Arena on Friday the 20th December in a special Christmas game against the Logan Thunder.

Caps sponsors networking event


Issue #30 december 2013

to be only local ladies but now we are branching out and seeking people in bigger areas like Canberra.

is it mainly Mountain biking? Yes we mainly do mountain bike clinics, but we have a few ladies that have gone on and started road riding. This is done through the Jindbine cycling club, they do a Sunday social ride.

is the emphasis is on development? Absolutely, it’s a very social group we operate from a face book page and because of that girls will join up and post “who wants to go for a ride today?” and suddenly all these women they have meet through the clinic will be able to meet up and go for a ride.

Jindy Girl Riders

A group that is having a lot of success in the Snowy Mountains is the female riding group Jindy Girl Riders. I recently went for a ride with Vanessa Knee and we had a chat about the group. Tell us a little about the Jindy Girl Riders? The Jindy Girl Riders is all about getting females on a bike - any kind of bike. We run clinics that cater to all levels. We start right at the beginning and do small basic riding schools on how to use gears, how to use brakes and things like that. It’s about getting confidence opn the bike. I think because we only take women its quite inspiring for them, they come in a little nervous

and think “oh I can’t do it” and they realise that they can. Our aim is to get everyone confidently riding single track.

And it’s gained in popularity? We started 2 years ago just with local ladies and I thought – I wonder how many people will come and we had 17-20 girls show up on these old bikes, it was great to see and we have grown from there. It used

That’s the first step, exposing yourself to riders in the area. We have so many great trials around here, it’s all about getting the locals involved and them getting their friends involved.

And if Canberra riders want to get involved? Yeah they can jump on the face book page - it’s call Jindy Girl Riders - and come down on the weekend or during the week and go for a ride. We have our own riding area called Bungarra. You can ride there Wednesday nights and all weekend from Friday night to Sunday – its got a skills course, a pump track and 20km’s of single trail which is perfect for beginner riders. The Eddie’s House Project, is an initiative of the St Edmund’s College Canberra Scholarship Fund (The Fund). Its purpose is to raise funds through building and selling a house in Canberra with the help of sponsors and donors from both the Old Boys’ of the College and across the Canberra community. St Edmund’s College has a broad based school population and like the broader society, there are families who find themselves in difficult circumstances. These families are the focus of The Fund. Consistent with the charism of Edmund Rice, founder of the Christian Brothers, St Edmund’s College is committed to the tradition of the education, care and nurture for young men from all walks of life.

Build a house – Create an opportunity

St Edmunds College old boy Ricky Stuart accepts role as Eddie’s house ambassador. To celebrate the launch of the Eddies’s House Project Ricky Stuart spoke at a reception about the importance of inclusion and about his time as a Student at the school. Issue #30 december 2013

Sadly, the current demand for financial assistance from disadvantaged families in our community exceeds The Fund’s current capacity. The Fund requires additional capital to continue its work. The Eddie’s House Project (fund raising) will ensure that the ideals of Edmund Rice continue at St Edmund’s College. It’s an interesting fact that 3 current NRL coaches are St Eddie’s old boys. The South Sydney Rabbitohs Michael Maguire, The Canberra Raiders Ricky Stuart and the North Queensland Cowboy’s and current Australian Assistant coach David Furner all attend St Edmund’s College. Not bad for a Rugby Union school.


Sledging par for the course in Ashes contests

The steam was still rising in the middle of the ‘Gabba, as Australian took the final English wicket to wrap up the first Test of the Ashes series, but the first steps toward the moral high ground had already been taken. By Brett McKay. Twitter: @BMcSport “Quite simply it teaches our children to become idiots,” was one of the thousands of online and social media comments offered in the aftermath. Of course, like a good number of moral crusades, the full context of the whole brouhaha between Australian Captain Michael Clarke and English paceman, Jimmy Anderson, was quickly lost as the overly vocal types hurried aboard their high horses.

Channel Nine have apologised to Clarke, for it was their “accidental” broadcast of the language that brought about the farm. And the faux outrage from the highhorsers.

Complete hogwash. For starters, there was so much more to the exchange than just that. Mind you, it’s been more than enough for many people to assume their positions as judge, jury, and executioner.

But Anderson is not averse to roughing up tail-enders himself, and you can only imagine George Bailey at short leg was reminding him of this, while inviting Anderson to take guard and prepare for what was coming.

Having endured four short balls in Johnson’s previous over, it’s fair to assume Anderson knew what was coming anyway. But never short a word himself, Anderson chirped back at Bailey, uttering something that had Bailey chuckling while maintaining that broad smile that seems permanently painted on his face. We can only assume that this was the point, as commentator and Clarke confidant, Shane Warne, alluded to post-match, that Anderson allegedly told Bailey he wanted to punch him in the face. Considering the size and the heavy-duty construction of the specialist fielding grille on Bailey’s helmet at time, perhaps that’s why the Tasmanian was laughing so obviously.

MORTIMERS THE WINE OF CHOICE FOR CRICKET IN THE CAPITAL Cricket ACT have announced a three year sponsorship deal with Mortimers Wines of Orange. The Prime Minister’s Xl against England on January 14, will be the first of many matches with Cricket ACT where Mortimers Wines will have exclusivity over the wine-list. “We’re really looking forward to putting Mortimers Wines on the map in the ACT. And to kick start the relationship with Cricket ACT at the PM’s XI, such an iconic event, is terrific,” said Founder Peter Mortimer. Mortimers Wines is a family-run business that is all too familiar with high-level sport. The Orange based winery is the product of former Canterbury Bankstown Bulldog Peter Mortimer, his wife Julie and their five sons. Mortimers Wines will also be the naming rights sponsor of the corporate wine and tapas bar at the Prime Minister’s XI. The event is expected to attract a sell-out crowd of 15,000, given the Australians are taking on the old enemy, England. “With so many wineries in our region producing great wines, it’s very competitive. So when the opportunity came up to introduce our wines to a brand new crowd, we jumped at it,” said Peter. 24

“Face up, and get ready for a broken f***ing arm,” Clarke continues.

The ICC jumped into action with unprecedented haste (when you consider they still can’t bring India into line with DRS, four years on), and fined Clarke 20% of his match fee for a Code of Conduct breach, specifically “language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting”.

The greatest misconception and misinterpretation of the events in Brisbane, is that in telling Anderson to “get ready for a broken f***ing arm”, Clarke was threatening the English no.11 batsman with violence.

Like the rest of the Australian team on the verge of only their second Test win for 2013, Johnson really had his tail up by this late stage of the game as they fought hard for the win, and the early series momentum.

“Face up,” Clarke tells Anderson.

And this was where he also committed his only error in the whole episode. After finishing with the umpires, and in beginning to talk to Anderson, Clarke moved backwards to toward the slips. By the time he uttered the now infamous words, he was standing directly over the top of the stump mic at the batsmen’s end.

Won’t somebody, please, think of the children?

In truth, the broader context of the verbal battle was in relation to Anderson taking his sweet time in between balls before facing up to a rampant Mitchell Johnson. There is perhaps some sympathy to be had in this regard for Anderson; Johnson had been bowling consistently into the mid-140kph range all Test, and this is seriously quick for an accomplished batsman, let alone a lowly no.11.

The umpires stepped in at this stage, trying to get the game moving, while also attempting to simmer tensions, and this was where Clarke became involved in the discussion. After discussing the situation with the umpires, presumably about the time Anderson was taking to take guard, Clarke’s attention turned to Anderson. And the context is important.

This is complete balderdash too, in my humble opinion. For starters, it wasn’t in between balls, when Nine are required to turn their stump mics down. Knowing that something potentially dramatic was happening out in the middle between the players and the umpires, Nine didn’t even go to their usual ad break at the end of the over. They’ve completely stitched Clarke up in this case, and given the incident will almost certainly be used in promotion of the series from here on, they should be paying the $3000 fine for him. Regardless, criticisms of this incident have been completely overblown. Clarke’s comment to Anderson was nothing like a threat of violence, and was simply a case of good, old fashioned sledging no different to anything dished out in the 136 years of Test cricket before it. Clarke telling Anderson to “get ready for a broken f***ing arm” is no different to Billy Twelve-year-old telling his little brother, “this one’s coming at your head” in the back yard. Neither are a threat of violence; they’re both challenges to the batsman to prepare for the biggest test of their innings to date. What’s more, in Clarke’s case, it’s exactly the kind of aggression that so many have assumed was missing from his game. But here he was, sticking up for his team out on the field, and returning fire with interest in the face of a worthy opponent. It doesn’t matter that Clarke and Anderson have a bit of a history, and that they probably won’t be on each other Christmas card list. It’s just part of Test cricket, the toughest, harshest, and most trying format of the game there is. It’s part and parcel of Australia-England contests, and it’s brought this latest instalment of The Ashes alive. Issue #30 december 2013

Brett Lee to captain PM’s XI

Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbot and the Cricket ACT Chairman Ian McNamee launched the PM’s XI match where it was announced that Australian Cricket icon Brett Lee will captain the team. The match will be played against the old foe England on Tuesday 14 January at Manuka Oval and a capacity crowd in expected.

four Australians to take more than 300 test wickets and one of just two Australians to take more than 300 One Day International wickets.

In a stellar international career, including 76 test and 221 One Day internationals for Australia, Lee is one of only

“It’s a great honor for me to be selected as captain of the Prime Minister’s XI to take on England,” said Lee.

“I Know first hand how this important fixture on the Australian cricketing calendar can help propel the careers of young aspiring cricketers. “I first played in the Prime Minister’s XI against India in 1999. I was fortunate enough to take four wickets in that match, and less than three weeks later found myself on the biggest stage of all playing at the MCG on Boxing Day in my first Test match for Australia. “More than 14 years on, I’m proud to lead what I’m sure will be an emerging team of stars here net month at the magnificent Manuka Oval,” Lee concluded. The rest of the team will also be selected by Cricket Australia’s National Selection Panel with input from the Prime Minister, and will be announced this month. Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said he was looking forward to the Prime Minister’s XI fixture, which will again be played as a Day-nighter. “The Prime Minister’s XI match is a great fixture full of tradition, and we encourage all cricket fans from the ACT and surrounds to come along and support it,” Sutherland said. Cricket ACT Chairman Ian McNamee is confident Canberra fans will support the match. “Last year we had about 10,000 people in attendance and this time we are confident it will be a sellout, so cricket fans need to get in quick to avoid disappointment,” McNamee said.

Don’t let your clients get lost in the crowd. The Prime Minister’s XI is set to take place in Canberra on Tuesday 14th January against the old enemy England in a day/night 50-over fixture. Another sell-out crowd is expected for Manuka Oval’s first international match under lights in 2014. The PM’s XI has become Canberra’s iconic corporate entertaining event of the year, with a range of packages available for all group sizes and budgets. The day/night match starts at 2:20pm, so there is no need to take the day off work for the “must attend” corporate event in Canberra. Contact Maree Philip Ph: (02) 6126 5900 M: 0435 835 815 or regarding corporate hospitality packages. Or visit to download package details.

Issue #30 december 2013


Brumby great Joe Roff talks balance

Joe Roff has been many things. Brumby. Wallaby. Oxford Blue. CEO of the University of Canberra Union. Board member. Former Lifeline executive. But being a dad to two young sons (and a husband) is what gives his life balance and meaning. He talks here to Menslink CEO Martin Fisk about balance and what it means to be a role model for today’s young people. “I really grappled with the definition of a role model when I was younger. I was expected to be this Australian role model at age nineteen and, at that age, you really don’t know what you’re supposed to do. You’re put on a pedestal for doing something that you enjoy and that comes naturally to you….it was a bit strange.” Coming off that pedestal was particularly hard. Joe describes an all-consuming, 24x7, inescapable environment, even in the days before the social media spotlight that current players live in. “Professional rugby became the thing that defined me as a person. And when that stopped, it was a huge adjustment. It’s like you spend your entire life climbing a mountain, you reach the top and then in an instant you’re at the bottom again. You’ve then got another mountain, called the rest of your life, ahead of you; steeper and higher than the last one.” Joe spent the first few years of retirement trying to deny his rugby links; desperate to stand on his own two feet climbing the new mountain, without the support of the rugby network and past fame to fall back on. “These days, I’ve learned to be more comfortable with it all. It’s still a part of me and I’m proud of my rugby achievements but they no longer define who I am like they did in the old days.” It’s this sense of balance – of being comfortable in his own skin and not just a Brumbies or Wallaby jersey – that strikes you when you meet Joe these days. He exudes confidence; a confidence he tells me that he really learned by being a dad. He talks about being a role model to his kids and trying to impart values he believes are really important: things like loyalty, integrity and that all-important balance in life. Joe talks about how balance has got him and his

not his past or present successes, not anything in the media. “You can’t let yourself be defined by what other people say about you; good or bad. But you can, I can, be defined by every conversation you have, every minute you spend with your kids or your loved ones, every action and behaviour you display. For me, my wife and kids help define me now, because I spend most of my time with them.” These relationships are also an important part of being a role model. For Joe, that’s about exhibiting good behaviours when dealing with other people – behaviours and values like loyalty, integrity, courage and yes, balance. He’s really proud that his sons wear the Number 2 and Number 6 Brumbies jerseys. “While it would be nice if they wore 11 [Joe’s number], these guys [Stephen Moore and Ben Mowen] are great role models and I’m proud my boys are wearing their numbers. They’re not fuelled by their ego and they always put the team first. They work hard and are disciplined, but they also have perspective on what’s important in life.” Sounds like that balance thing again…. Perspective is important to Joe, even when it comes to values. While things like loyalty are important, when it’s not balanced, he’s seen it turn into blindness or even unhealthy nationalism at its extreme level. Another important virtue, especially on the football field, courage, can turn into recklessness unless it’s balanced with realism. Integrity can become stubbornness. At University, he’s seen first-hand how dedication and a focus on results can become unbalanced and lead to incredible stress. He encourages students to take a holistic approach, ensuring they balance the mental, physical and spiritual things in life. For joe, that includes having a real appreciation of life, beauty, people and solitude.

mates through tough times; knowing when to let go of something, or that when times are really tough there’s going to be something good around the corner. When things aren’t balanced, when you’ve got all your eggs in one basket – that’s when you can lose your perspective and can run into trouble. Whether it’s professional football, a University degree or even a relationship, it’s important to find balance and other things in your life. For Joe these days, it’s the interactions in his life – his relationships – that really define him as a person and allow him to be a role model to others. Not his job,

He saved his best advice till last – that it doesn’t work to always be looking in the rear vision mirror (whether your past was good or bad). You must believe the best is always in front of you in your future. And for Joe, that advice may well be true….. Joe Roff spoke at the Menslink’s December Midweeker. Our next guest speaker will be Roman Quaedvlieg, Deputy CEO at Customs and Border Protection, on February 5th at Gryphons. More information about the Midweeker series or Menslink is available from



Issue #30 december 2013

While Ponting has not played a lot of cricket in Canberra, he is a huge fan of the typically batsmen-friendly Manuka Oval pitch. He last played at the ground back in January, when he captained the Prime Minister’s XI side for the first time, against the West Indies. He said that with the recently upgraded facilities at the ground, it should be utilised more by Cricket Australia. “Academy teams used to come here when the Comets were in, and I played a few one dayers, and obviously I had the chance to captain the PM’s XI this year,” he said. “The wicket that we played on this year was very, very good, as were refelected by the scores that were made that night. The ground surface has always been terrific.”

Ricky talks straight

He is arguably the most successful Australian cricketer ever, and Canberra was lucky enough to host the former Australian captain for the second in 2013. By Joshua Matic. Twitter: @MaticJm Batting and captaincy legend Ricky Ponting made a one day whirlwind visit to the nation’s capital to promote his highly anticipated autobiography, At The Close Of Play, as part of his national tour with Harper Collins publishing.

While Ponting believes Michael Clarke is the right man to captain Australia for now, he criticised him for putting himself before the team from time to time.

Thousands of Canberra cricket fans lined up at Dymocks book stores in Tuggeranong and Belconnen to meet their hero, while he also attended a ticketed lunch in Narrubundah where he fielded questions from the limited fan and media numbers at the function.

“He’d have a big group of friends that he’s want to go out and see, but the closest friends that you have, or at least I’ve had anyway, are the guys inside the dressing room walls.”

While Ponting spoke mainly about his autobiography and his relationships with teammates and his family, what struck one most about him was just how humble and down-to-Earth he is. He will not hesitate to answer questions with the honest truth. He will say things as they are, but at the same time, comes across as the nicest man one could meet. Ponting discussed two of the most controversial issues he has seen Cricket Australia deal with, in the sacking of former coach Mickey Arthur and the appointment of Michael Clarke as captain. Ponting agreed with Arthur’s sacking. “You could even read in the papers there was a lot of disharmony around the team, and I don’t ever like to hear news like that coming out about a team.” “I don’t think we could have afforded to wait any longer. Some of the relationships weren’t in place and were broken down.” “As a coach, I would’ve thought that’s your first priority. You’ve got to have everyone on the same page working together.” “If you can’t do that as a coach, the you shouldn’t be a coach in the first place.” Issue #30 december 2013

“[Mark] Higgs [ACT Cricket head coach] is under the impression now that things are probably not as strong as they used to be in Canberra,” he said. “The smaller populations will always go strong and keep producing lots of highly talented players.” “But with a facility like what you’ve got, there’s no reason why more cricket can’t come back here.”

“That test match was Matthew Hayden’s last. I wouldn’t be rushing off anywhere for anything.” Ponting named his personal XI to start in the first Ashes test, at the ‘Gabba on November 21, and much preferred Phil Hughes over controversial opener David Warner. Ponting said Warner’s offfield misdemeanors and his inconsistent form at test level should be undermined by Hughes’ first class experience. “He’s obviously playing really well at the moment, but I still have some doubts about him at test level,” Ponting said. “The cold hard facts in there are that Phil Hughes has scored 20-odd first class centuries and he’s 23 or 24. The boy knows how to bat and how to score runs.”

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PLAY Canberra had the privilege of speaking to Australian crickets most successful captain and greatest run scorer on both test and one day international cricket.

“For me that’s something I can’t ever accept,” said Ponting.

He said that with the success of Australian cricket teams being not as high at the current time as what it has previously, smaller regions like the Australian Capital Territory could benefit from an increased chance in producing great young cricketers and filling smaller venues with fans.

For more information visit or phone (02) 6207 3188.


weekend escape

the current champion as a coach and demonstrating his skills on the trails was a real treat.

It’s no secret that Canberra has the highest sporting participation rate for any state in Australia. We are an active population and love the outdoors. We have at our doorsteps the best outdoor recreation areas in the country and as the weather heats up our thoughts often turn to the coast, but there are alternatives, healthy alternatives and none better than the clean air and pristine environment that is the snowy mountains. By PLAY Canberra

Twitter: @playcanberra.

One resort that is taking full advantage of the summer sporting options is Lake Crakenback and I was lucky enough to head down to the resort for their annual Movember Sportman’s dinner and managed to squeeze in as many activities as possible for a man of my humble abilities. The beauty of the area became apparent as we drove down the driveway into the resort and energized me for the active weekend ahead. I dropped my bag in my chalet and made my way to the first activity planned Trail running.

Trail Running First stop was a trail running course lead by 2 of Australia’s best ultra distant runners. The inspirational Brendan Davies and World Orienteering Champion Hanny Allston. This was my first taste of trail running but it won’t be my last. The tips I received during my short time in the course were phenomenal. Running

technique, hydration, nutrition, physiology and diet were covered and were as interesting as they were informative. Now time for a run. The crew, consisting of all levels, from the world class to the novice runners to, well … me. We were all catered for and stuck together as team as we hit the unspoiled trails surrounding Lake Crakenback. The beautiful scenery took my mind of the physical nature of the running, helping me push on as we learnt correct trail running technique from the current North Face 100 champion and record holder (in a time of 9 hours 16 minutes 12 seconds) Brendan Davies. For those unfamiliar with the North Face 100 it is a 100km competitive ultra-trail running event in the Blue Mountains rated by Dean Karnazes, the Ultra-Marathon Man, as “the toughest 100km he’s ever done”. It is the pinnacle of trail running events in Australia and to have

WHAT’S ON Yoga Retreat With Kris McIntyre

31 JAN - 2 FEB 2014 Good Digestion, weight loss, improving energy levels and kicking sugar cravings.

Trail Running Weekend With Brendan Davies & Hanny Allston

7-9 FEB 2014 Optimize your trail running techniques with two of the best trail runners in the world.

Movember Sportman’s dinner After a quick shower it was off to the Sportsman’s dinner hosted by Lake Crackenback General Manager Scott O’Nelle and MC’d by the very entertaining Ben Iken. Speaking guests included three-time Olympic walking medalist Jared Tallent, the former Wallaby Captain and very witty Nick Farr-Johns and Ultra Runner Brendan Davis. The guys, food, drinks and views were fantastic and the event is already in the calendar for 2014!!

Mountain biking Early next morning I hit the trails again, this time on the more familiar setting of a bike. The ride was amazing, easily the best single track I have experienced, with the mainly flat route chosen (by me) it was a leisurely ride beside the river, again the view help take my mind of the riding making the trip a very pleasurable one. During the ride we took in Lake Crackenback’s very own obstacle course, and I tried my hand at the custom built pump track used by Caroline Buchanan for training purposes. I was reasonably unsuccessful, but I will endeavour to master it on my next visit, which hopefully won’t be too far away. I’ve already got my itinerary sorted out for my next summer visit to Lake Crackenback resort (in late January I hope). This time a combination of activity and relaxation is on the cards, another longer ride followed by learning to fly-fish from the experts on hand at the resort and some stand up paddle boarding on the lake.

Fly Fishing Weekends With Peter Morse 14-16 FEB 2014 Chase wild trout with fly fishing experts & expand a deeper understanding of fly casting.

2014 Australian Cross Triathlon Championships & Multisport Festival 22-23 FEB 2014 Lake Crackenback is home to the 2014 Australian Cross Triathlon Championship & Multisport festival.

For more information visit & please call 02 6451 3000 to book into an event 28

Issue #30 december 2013

Big goals = big results

Setting the goal to win 3 World Championships in different disciplines within the one year (56 days to be exact) even had her parents questioning the idea. But after winning 2 World Championships, 6 major awards and spending the equivalent of 15 days in the air on a plane, her lofty goals for 2013 have produced one of the greatest individual performances in Australian sport. By PLAY Canberra Twitter: @playcanberra. I am of course talking about Caroline Buchanan and as we finish 2013 she has had time to reflect on her achievements of the year past, but she won’t be rushing to repeat them as her focus shifts back to BMX and Rio 2016. “No I don’t think I’ll be doing that again,” laughed Buchanan over the phone from Los Angeles. “I’m going to look at my calendar over the next month and I’m thinking of doing the Crankworx in Whistler next year. I raced it this year and it’s a big festival and a lot of fun. If that fits in the calendar I will race that, but generally no, I won’t be racing mountain bike next year. That was a challenge I set for this year and I ticked it off and don’t think I’ll be doing that again.” Buchanan’s lists of achievement in 2013 were nothing short of amazing. She won the BMX World Championship, a watershed moment that helped erase the pain she still felt from missing out on a medal at Issue #30 december 2013

the London Olympics in 2012. She then competed in the Mountain Bike Downhill World Championships in South Africa finishing a credible 5th and then off the Austria to compete in the Mountain Bike 4X World Championships, where she won and rewrote the history books, becoming only the second female athlete to be World Champion in 2 separate disciplines at the same time. Following on from this, on her return to Australia, Buchanan took out an unprecedented 4 awards at the Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards: Elite Female Mountain Bike, BMX Cyclist of the Year, the highest honour in Australian cycling, the Sir Hubert ‘Oppy’ Opperman Medal for Australian Cyclist of the year and the all important SBS people’s choice award. Buchanan puts forward her unusual journey in 2013 as the reason she won the people’s choice award. “I think by setting my goals so high, not following that

typical path and creating my own trail was really what won me those cycling awards. “It was such a different journey and to be honest I wasn’t sure I would be able to win against the road cyclists or the track cyclists in the overall cyclist of the year. “But I think breaking that mould and being the first BMX or mountain biker to win the Australian Cyclist of the year set in stone in my head that I need to continue to think outside the box and continue to do things differently”. The awards didn’t end there; Buchanan later took out the Australian Athlete of the Year Award and while admitting awards and accolades aren’t the reason for competing, they give her a chance to sit back and reflect on her achievements. “Performance was the big focus of mine this year. It was more about challenging myself, that was my goal at the start of the year. The awards and setting history isn’t really my motivation. “It took that 2 weeks of awards in Australia, frocking-up and getting the heels on at all those events, to help let this year sink in and remind me of how successful and busy it’s been. I’m normally a couple of months behind, it took that time in Australia to catch-up on the year and what has been achieved … and pinch myself to make sure it was real.” Amazingly the road to Rio 2016 kicks off next year and while this year has helped put the disappointment of London behind her Buchanan’s focus is already switching to winning that gold on the biggest stage.



crossword 1





24 5













1 Wise man (5) 4 Robert ___, retired England spinner (5)

1 and 8 Dn Famed female tennis player (7,11)

7 Home country of runner Kibet (5)

2 Big hitting batsman Chris (5)

9 ___ Simmons, of Penrith Panthers fame (5) 3 Clay-pigeon shooting (5) 4 Mouthy rugby player David (7) 10 ___ Sharapova (5) 11 At rest (5)

5 Boat pole (3)

12 Peter ___, ill-fated cricket journalist (7)

6 ___ and field (5)

13 Mr Agassi (5)

8 See 1 Dn

15 Two under the card (5)

14 Wild and dangerous (sports) (7)

17 English football team ___ Palace (7)

16 Football teams, for instance (7)

18 Ski path (5)

17 Mr Evans (5)

20 Forty-forty (5)

18 City of the 1900 Summer Olympics (5)

22 Golf driving area (5)

19 ___ Henie, Norwegian figure skater (5)

23 The Dolphins (5)

21 That little Ashes prize (3)

24 Discredited cyclist Armstrong (5)






22 23







Crossword #23 solutions


25 The big tournaments (5)

“Sport has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”

Jason Lancsar

COERVER Coaching Master Class Series.

COERVER® Coaching Asia Pacific Director

We hope you enjoy our Coerver Coaching Play Magazine homework designed to improve your game but above all have fun while practicing. Coerver Coaching has been a global leader in 1v1, this month we look Step Wave. Over Scissors. at the High

Step Over Topic: The High WaveScissors

This is a double each foot must be quick so theit whole move happens at • Keep your foot asfeint nearand to the ball asaction possible without touching to make it look like you’re speedtotostop prevent the opponent from stepping in and stealing the ball. going it or strike it. • Bend Use this in slightly front of and yourlean opponent’s yourmove knees over thegoal. ball a little so you can accelerate away quickly. • Use And this usemove this move when your opponent is inopponent’s front of you.goal or down the wings and when going across the front of your your opponent is running at your side.

Step 1: Step 1:forward. As you run As you are running toward your opponent, fake to kick the ball.

Step 2: Step 2:a little and wave Slow down

your footstep overaround the ballthe as ball. if Instead, you’re going to stop it with the your sole.

Step 3: Step 3: your foot back Instead, bring behind the ball. Then, step around it again with the same foot.

- Nelson Mandela.

Step 4: Step 5: Step 4: Accelerate5: away from your Push it forward with the instep Step part of other your foot. To the side of the ball.

opponent. Push the ball with the outside of your opposite foot and accelerate away.

See next issue for more tips from Coerver Coaching or for further information please visit our website


Issue #30 december 2013

Issue #30 december 2013




Issue #30 december 2013

Play Canberra Issue 30 December 2013  
Play Canberra Issue 30 December 2013  

The Cavalry were undoubtedly the team of the Centenary Year in Canberra. We catch up with the guys for the December issue.