Canberra’s sporting bonanza

The CBRbound clan likes a bit of sport – we’ve trekked across Europe to see the World Equestrian Games, had season tickets for our favourite football teams, seen the royals play polo, and even been to Wimbledon on men’s semi-finals day, to say nothing of all the sporting activities that the kids actually participated in. But nothing quite prepared us for the feast of sporting activity that is on offer in and around Canberra this southern summer.

This week, the England cricket team will be in town to play the Australian Prime Minister’s XI at Manuka Oval. In a fortnight, Manuka will host the final of cricket’s T20 Big Bash. Meanwhile, football’s AFC Asian Cup is in full swing, with Canberra hosting seven games over the next few weeks.

Players gather for a free-kick during the AFC Asian Cup match between the UAE and Qatar in Canberra.

The AFC Asian Cup is the first major football tournament to be held in Australia, and Canberra is a host city.

Both codes of rugby are about to get their season underway – Canberra is home to the Brumbies rugby union side and the Raiders rugby league team. We have gone for season tickets for the latter.

Next month, the ICC Cricket World Cup comes to Australia, and Manuka Oval will host a few of those games too, including one featuring the legendary West Indies. Come autumn, the Aussie Rules Football season gets underway and Manuka will be the venue for several ‘home’ games for the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

Interior view of AAMI Park at sunset.

AAMI Park in Melbourne, home to Hyundai A-League teams Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City.

If you’re willing to travel further afield (and we will be), there’s A-League football to be had in both Sydney and Melbourne, as well as the Australian Open tennis championships and Formula 1’s Australian Grand Prix, also both in Melbourne. There seems to be an active rodeo circuit too and, never having seen one, I’m determined to go and check one out before the season ends (do they even have seasons in rodeo?)

As new arrivals, we feel a little like children in a sweetshop – what to choose, what to choose… oh, we’ll just have everything. And the same has been true for our two boys in trying to choose which sports to actually participate in.

In our old neighbourhood, in Denmark, the choice was pretty simple – football, handball, tennis, a few martial arts maybe, but for anything more exotic (say, rugby, baseball or cricket) you had to go into central Copenhagen and join one of the expat teams.

Now, the kids are awash with opportunities and, probably inspired by this wall-to-wall vista of sporting endeavours, they want to do everything. Mini-CBRbound wants to do football, cricket, rugby league, horse-riding and AFL. Maxi-CBR-bound wants to do water-polo, tennis and surfing – and that’s just today’s list.

A boy surfing a wave.

The kids tried surfing near Batemans Bay last week and now they’re hooked.

Over the summer holidays, and in between all the events we’ll be attending, mini-CBRbound has signed up for a week-long football skills camp and a pony camp, while maxi-CBRbound is doing a week’s tennis camp. Last week they both went to a week of summer swimming club. In the 10 weeks since we arrived, our arm-band using youngest has progressed to become a confident aid-free swimmer.

Canberra seems to have sports running through its veins, and thanks to its influence, so do my kids now.

10 thoughts on “Canberra’s sporting bonanza

  1. Great post! Here’s a stat to back up your observations, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, ACT has the highest rate of participation in sports and recreation of all the states and territories, an amazing 80% of people aged 15 years and over!


  2. Intersting CBR bound but CBR does have sport running through its veins I think as well as culture and politics. I think we score well on participation. Not that I participate much – yoga, bushwalking and dancing are the extent of my physical activity BUT in January I am glued to the tennis on TV. Love it. One day I will go down to the Australian Open, particularly now that our son lives there. Glad your boys are finding good things to do here.


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