2017 Tour de France green jersey winner Michael Matthews and eight-time BMX world title star Caroline Buchanan have been crowned the Athletes of the Year at the 2017 Canberra Sport Awards.
At an awards function on Friday night at the National Arboretum, the Canberran born and bred Matthews capped off a stunning year by being awarded male athlete of the year.
In a brilliant run, Matthews has won the Tour de France green jersey and the Cycling Australia triple crown of awards, which includes the Sir Hubert Opperman Medal last month.
— Australian Sport (@Ausport) November 29, 2017
Matthews was only the third Australian – and the first since 2006 – to win the Tour de France green jersey, which many regard as the ultimate achievement for a road cycling sprinter.
His wins were among the many excellent achievements for Canberra athletes on a national and international scale with tennis star Nick Krygios and motorcross young gun Harry Blink also being nominated for the male athlete award.
Fellow cyclist Buchanan was crowned female athlete of the year after winning the mountain bike four cross world title at Val di Sole in Italy and winning the 2017 Crankworks Challenge in New Zealand.
The ACT Schoolboys rugby side won the team prize after ending the 29-year national title drought. The ACT side, coached by Dan Hawke, beat Queensland II in the final 30-11 for a victory and became the ACT’s first national title since a side featuring Rod Kafer and Matt O’Connor defeated NSW to be crowned champions in 1988.
Other notable winners included Paralympian javelin thrower, Jayden Sawyer who was named Athlete of the Year – Para-Sport for smashing his PB with a record-breaking throw at the World Para Athletics Championships in London this year.
The Minister for Sport and Recreation Yvette Berry said the awards ceremony was a chance to “celebrate not only the winners but diversity, participation, empowerment, and achievement in sport as we continue to build on our status as Australia’s most active community”.
Below is a full list of all the award winners of the 2017 Canberra Sport Award Winners:
- Athlete of the Year – Men’s Sport – Michael Matthews (Cycling);
- Athlete of the Year – Women’s Sport – Caroline Buchanan (BMX);
- Athlete of the Year – Para-Sport – Jayden Sawyer (Athletics);
- Konica Minolta Team of the Year – ACT Schoolboys Rugby Union;
- WIN News Outstanding Service to Sport – Carmel Weatherburn (Netball);
- People’s Sporting Champion presented by Canberra Milk – Cameron Crombie (Athletics);
- Minister for Sport and Recreation’s Award for Inclusion – Canberra Region Rugby League;
- Minister for Sport and Recreation’s Award for Innovation – Canberra/Broulee Nippers Club;
- Minister for Sport and Recreation’s Award for Event Excellence – Capital Football;
- ActewAGL ACT Sport Hall of Fame:
- Peta MacKinnon – Hockey (full member);
- Ben Hardy – Volleyball (full member);
- Phil Brown – Basketball (associate member);
- Paul Thompson – Rowing (associate member).
Do you think Yvette Berry is correct in referring to Canberra as ‘Australia’s most active community’? Give us your thoughts and feedback.