21 December 2022

2022 Year in Review: the local sports stories that got us talking this year

| Kim Treasure
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Sport is an integral part of Canberran life and over the years we’ve turned out our share of champions.

Take a look back at some of the sporting giants we lost in 2022 and some of the youngsters who have started to make their mark.

14. Legendary Canberra swim teacher reflects on love for the pool and helping others
by Tim Gavel

Carol Gathercole.

Carol Gathercole has taught thousands of young people to swim over the years. Photo: Supplied.

Carol Gathercole is Australian swimming royalty. Once part of a formidable partnership with legendary coach and husband Terry, she has taught thousands of young Aussies to swim.

Region’s Tim Gavel, who knows first-hand what Carol means to the sport, caught up with the hall of famer.

13. World champion ignites Sarah’s BMX Olympic dream
by Katrina Condie

Sarah Nicki

BMX Freestyle rider Sarah Nicki is honing her skills and hopes to represent Australia in the sport which debuted at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Photo: Rob Nicki.

Up-and-coming Freestyle BMX rider Sarah Nicki has her sights firmly locked on Olympic gold, and she’s found the perfect mentor to help get her there.

The 14-year-old Canberra athlete is reaching new heights after winning a $5000 Rubik3 Ignite scholarship from Caroline Buchanan, one of Australia’s most popular female athletes.

12. How Canberra has grown to love the Narrabundah Velodrome
by Tim Gavel


The design of the Narrabundah Velodrome created tough racing and tougher cyclists. Photo: Bundahdome Facebook page.

Once considered a white elephant and a deathtrap, cyclists have learned to love the Narrabundah Velodrome and the special breed of riders it creates.

On the first day it was open for racing in 1972, one of the first to crash was a very young Neil Stephens who went on to win a stage of the Tour de France in 1997.

11. The CBR Brave overcame more than just Newcastle to win the Goodall Cup
by Tim Gavel

CBR Brave after winning the Goodall Cup in Melbourne

CBR Brave after winning the Goodall Cup in Melbourne. Photo: Phil Taylor.

CBR Brave Ice Hockey added more silverware to the cabinet this year taking out the Goodall Cup, the most prestigious trophy in Australian ice hockey.

10. Fifteen-year-old Canberra tennis player Charlie Camus is on track to become a champion
by Tim Gavel

Charlie Camus

Charlie Camus playing at this year’s Canberra Pro Tour. Photo: Anastasia Kachalkova.

Remember the name Charlie Camus. The talented 15-year-old Canberran is making his name on the junior tennis tour and is one to watch.

9. Former Queanbeyan lad announces to the world he’s arrived on the biggest stage
by Tim Gavel

Stephen Peios ground announcer

Stephen Peios has been a ground announcer at major football events in Australia and overseas. Photo: Supplied.

Stephen Peios isn’t short on self-belief. In many respects his confidence is a necessary ingredient in his chosen profession.

Getting into the middle of a boxing ring as an announcer or to host live World Cup soccer matches takes a fair degree of courage.

8. Fifteen Eastlake/Manuka Football Club champions to be inducted into the Hall of Fame
by Tim Gavel

Guy Cannon. Photo: Supplied.

Guy Cannon dreamed of playing for Manuka but found a home at Eastlake when they merged. Photo: Supplied.

Fifteen local legends have been inducted into the Eastlake Football Club/Manuka Hall of Fame. Tim Gavel previewed a night for champions.

7. Vale Bob Harrow: A legend of Canberra sport
by Tim Gavel

Bob Harrow

Bob Harrow coached the Australian men’s team, the Steelers, to the world title in 2009. Photo: ACT Sports Hall of Fame.

Bob Harrow, who coached the Australian men’s softball team, the Steelers, to the world title in 2009, died aged 77.

To a certain extent, Canberra was a microcosm of Bob’s influence on softball in Australia.

6. Des helps ACT athletes reach new personal bests – whatever the sport
by Tim Gavel

Athletes in training coached by Des Proctor.

Des Proctor’s training squad. Photo: @the.athlete.collection (Flynn Hopkins).

He’s turned runners into Tour de France champs and soccer players into Australian cross-country reps. Meet Des Proctor: Canberra’s ‘athlete whisperer’.

5. Plans for indoor stadium on the site of the Civic Olympic Pool reignited
by Tim Gavel

Imagining the new Civic stadium. Photo: GHDWoodhead.

Imagining the new Civic stadium. Photo: GHDWoodhead.

Just as it looked as though the proposed 30,000-seat indoor sporting stadium on the site of the Civic Olympic Pool was on the verge of being cremated, the concept has been resurrected.

A consortium of Canberra businesses, sporting organisations and the Convention Bureau have developed a 36-page proposal addressing the issue of ageing infrastructure in the ACT.

The document, which has been presented to the Prime Minister and the ACT Chief Minister as well as Canberra’s Members of Parliament and ACT MLAs, outlines a way forward to build a new Civic indoor stadium and a new convention centre, as well as a proposal for the AIS Arena.

4. We’re at crisis point: the ACT needs a sports facilities strategy
by Tim Gavel

AIS Arena

AIS Arena isn’t an option for major sports events, including the UC Caps finals games. Photo: Tim Gavel.

The University of Canberra Capitals aren’t the only ones to lose out because the ACT doesn’t have a stadium strategy – it all affects rugby, netball and football. And as Tim Gavel says, it’s just plain embarrassing.

3. Is Canberra capable of supporting an NBL team or has the window of opportunity passed?
by Tim Gavel

The Canberra Cannons

The Canberra Cannons in 1990. Photo: File.

The Canberra Cannons in their prime were a sight to behold: capacity crowds, premierships and an entertainment experience that provided a template for other sports codes to follow.

At the peak of the Cannon’s popularity, it was standing room only at the Palace, now re-badged the AIS Arena. There was even a cannon that blasted mini basketballs and merchandise into the crowd.

2. Why the death of Canberra AFLW star Heather Anderson has impacted so many people
by Tim Gavel

Heather Anderson. Photo: Supplied.

Heather Anderson loved sport and participated in everything. Photo: Supplied.

AFL Women’s star Heather Anderson had an incredible impact on the staff and students at Lake Ginninderra College, as well as the wider community. Here she is remembered by Tim Gavel.

1. It’s been six years but Tuggeranong finally has the ‘Dome’ back again
by Lottie Twyford

Woman standing under basketball hoop

Fiona Hannan is about to relaunch half of The Dome – an indoor sports facility in Fadden that’s been sitting almost empty for six years. Photo: Lottie Twyford.

A two-time former Olympian and Canberra Capitals player headed up the reopening of the much-beloved Dome (formally the mpowerdome) in Tuggeranong.

Fiona Hannan is pledging to do community sport differently.

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