More than 20 of Canberra’s local sports teams and athletes have made it to the list of finalists for this year’s CBR Sport Awards.
The annual CBR Sport Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of Canberra’s top athletes and teams, while also recognising special contributors – very often behind the scenes – who make our local sporting community.
Nominations were open to the public for a month, from 1 September 2022. The act of greatness had to occur sometime in the past year.
In total, 22 finalists have made it across six categories, including Athlete of the Year – Para Sport, Athlete of the Year – Women’s Sport, Athlete of the Year – Men’s Sport, Team of the Year, Rising Star and Minister’s Award.
ACT Minister for Sport and Recreation Yvette Berry said the awards highlighted the incredible sporting talent in Canberra and the diverse range of sports in which local athletes excelled.
“Congratulations to all who were nominated and, in particular, I’d like to acknowledge the finalists for their remarkable achievements,” Minister Berry said.
“There is a real depth of talent in Canberra’s sporting community and I’m thrilled to recognise the outstanding achievements of so many athletes and sporting teams.”
It’s the second year in a row for the Stromlo Running Festival (SRF), Canberra’s biggest trail-running festival, has been a finalist. Co-founded by Australia’s marathon great Robert de Castella in 2009, the SRF has attracted participants from near and far to compete in the 10 km, 30 km and 50 km courses at the Stromlo Forest Park. Organisers are now gearing up for their 13th event from 19 to 20 November.
SRF race director Mellita Bingley described the nomination as a great acknowledgment of all the work that went into the annual event.
“It’s great recognition for all of us – the event team, the volunteers, the runners, the participants and our supporting partners,” she said.
“I’m thrilled to be among some amazing athletes, at both local and national sporting levels. Canberra is a fantastic epicentre for talent.”
Mellita said each year’s SRF attracted a half-and-half mix of those returning and those coming to it for the first time, and that “it’s going from strength to strength”.
“It’s so inexpensive and affordable to trail run – all you need is a pair of runners. Canberra already has a great trail network.”
Mellita said she was busily refreshing the long-range weather forecasts ahead of next weekend’s event.
“As an outdoor event, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature, but it’s one of those things we plan in detail. In the past we’ve had 40 degrees, but we’re looking at a mild 20 and a bit of cloud cover, which is great running weather.”
Samuel Harding has been nominated for Athlete of the Year – Para Sport. Despite having a rare eye condition that reduces his vision to a narrow tunnel directly in front of him, he is preparing to compete at the 2022 World Triathlon Championship finals in Abu Dhabi.
“It’s super cool to be nominated so soon,” he said.
“I have been transitioning to triathlon for the past year from an athletics background, after moving to Canberra in 2010.”
Samuel has already gone up against several greats of the triathlon world in the Commonwealth Games over the past year, with the help of his faithful friend Luke.
“Most people might have 210 degrees of vision, whereas I only have eight,” he said.
“The triathlon is fully guided, so Luke and I complete the swimming segment with a tether connecting our legs, the cycling segment is done on a tandem bike, and running is done with a tether around both of our hips.”
The world championship finals kick off on 24 November.
“We still have a bit of work to do to be up there, but we’ll see how it goes,” Samuel said.
The full list of finalists for the 2022 CBR Sport Awards (in no particular order) is:
Athlete of the Year – Para Sport
Kathryn Ross – Rowing
Jaydon Page – Athletics
Samuel Harding – Triathlon
Athlete of the Year – Women’s Sport
Laura Peel – Snowsports
Kelsey-Lee Barber – Athletics
Rebecca McConnell – Cycling, Mountain Bike
Athlete of the Year – Men’s Sport
Michael Matthews – Cycling, Road
Nick Kyrgios – Tennis
Joseph Tapine – Rugby League
Team of the Year
Canberra Gunners – Basketball
ACT Griffins – Rugby Union
Tuggeranong Vikings Masters Swimming Club – Swimming
CBR Brave – Ice Hockey
Cameron Rogers – Cycling, Road
Kayla Harding – Swimming
Alex Toohey – Basketball
Hockey ACT – Pride in Sport Program
Manuka Tennis Club – Carbon-Neutral Sustainability Project
Abilities Unlimited Australia/Royal Life Saving ACT – Waterabilities
Volleyball ACT – ACT Beach Series
Canberra Region Rugby League – Score Raiders
Stromlo Running Festival – 2022 Event
The 2022 CBR Sport Awards ceremony will be held at 6:45 pm on Friday, 25 November, at the Hotel Realm ballroom.