14 April 2023

Sunny Singh calls time at the Cavalry

| Tim Gavel
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Canberra Cavalry Pride Night: Sunny Singh

Sunny Singh rose through the ranks to become boss of the Braves and the Cavalry. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

At one stage, Sunny Singh was leading the Canberra Cavalry and the CBR Brave at the same time as both sports navigated their way through the COVID pandemic.

With travel effectively shut down, it proved to be a challenging time for all sports in Canberra, especially when teams are part of a national competition, such as the Australian Baseball League (ABL) and the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL).

The focus was as much about survival as it was on-field success.

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It is a testament to Sunny’s management skills fulfilling the dual roles for a time during the pandemic as general manager of the Canberra Cavalry and CEO of the Brave that both teams emerged intact from the pandemic.

More recently, his focus has been on the Canberra Cavalry as general manager. But he says after six-and-a-half years with the organisation, it’s time to move on.

“I love the club through and through, but I feel like I’ve given it all I possibly can,” he says.

“There’ll always be that nagging feeling that I’ve got unfinished business with the club, but personally, a new challenge is due at this stage of my career, and I feel as though the club could benefit from different voices to go to that next level.”

It ends a long association with the Cavalry.

Sunny Singh with Cavalry jersey

Sunny Singh; Always committed to the Canberra Cavalry. Photo: Supplied.

After completing a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in marketing, management and international business, Sunny worked in IT-related businesses.

But his real passion was sport, and at 27, he applied for an internship with the Cavalry.

“They were more looking for university students, but fortunately, there was an opening for a role in ticketing and membership,” remembers Sunny.

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He eventually became head of ticketing and membership sales.

“I like to get my hands dirty, so throwing myself into everything that makes a sports club tick was the best way to learn the trick of the trade. Being under-resourced, I got to try my hand at so many different aspects of the club, and eventually, I was doing enough of the work to justify the call-up to the general manager role. It was a great show of faith from those before and present, and an opportunity that I’m eternally grateful for.”

And with the same organisation owning the Cavalry and the Brave at the time, he took on the same position with the ice hockey team.

Canberra Cavalry training at MIT Ballpark Photo: Michelle Kroll.

“Being a Canberran, it was always a boyhood dream to become involved in sport in this city,” says Sunny.

“My wardrobe was 95 per cent lime green growing up, and if you put the word Canberra in front of a sports team, you can best believe that I’ll get behind it. The Brave and Cavalry partnership at the time was a great opportunity to live out that dream.”

But it was a steep learning curve.

“Every sports team and club is different, and you’ve got to find that balance of bringing in new ideas and knowing when not to fix what isn’t broken. You’ve got to be flexible and gain the trust of players, fans, volunteers, and those that have been there before you, which doesn’t happen overnight.

“I’m lucky to have been able to do this, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done to keep the clubs alive in a challenging climate. The fans deserve nothing but the best, and I can whole-heartedly say I tried to give it during my tenure.”

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What he has learned is the importance of teamwork within a sporting organisation such as the Cavalry.

“The people you see putting blood, sweat and tears into these clubs are what makes Canberra sport such an incredible environment. We’re all pulling in the same direction to achieve the same goal, and the sacrifices everybody makes to make the magic happen is nothing short of extraordinary. Neither club would be around post-COVID had they not provided the level of support they did. They’re who I’ll miss most!”

So after guiding both teams, with the focus being on the Cavalry over the past year, at 33 years of age, he is looking to the future.

“There are a few options on the table, but it’ll be nice to get some work-life balance for a hot minute. I’m keen to continue doing what I love in sport – something fresh and challenging that scares me a little.”

On the back of his success with both the Cavalry and the Brave, there will be no shortage of options.

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