Sport in the Australian Capital Territory
Sport in the Australian Capital Territory refers to the sports played in the Australian Capital Territory. Many sports are played in the territory. There are a number of teams in national leagues for several sports although the Rugby League and rugby union teams receive far more local coverage than any of the other teams and are considered the main sports of the territory. The Australian Institute of Sport was set up in 1981, where many Olympic and other athletes are trained.
Rugby League is one of the main sports in the A.C.T in terms of attendances and media coverage. The Canberra Raiders are Canberra's National Rugby League team and play the most matches in the capital out of any single sport, having been admitted to the competition in 1982. They are Canberra's most successful sports team and have won the premiership on three occasions - in 1989, 1990 and 1994. The team's current home ground is Canberra Stadium.
At a local level teams play for the Canberra Raiders Cup, covering the sports program of tens of thousands of local juniors. Players developed through the system are then eligible to play for the Country Origin team and the New South Wales Blues at representative level.
The Prime Minister's XI started by Robert Menzies in the 1950s, was revived by Bob Hawke in 1984, and has since been played every year at Manuka Oval. The Canberra Comets once represented Canberra in the Mercantile Mutual Cup, but are now in the lower level Futures League. The ACT women's team has also been granted entry into the Women's National Cricket League and national Twenty20 competitions for the 2009/10 season.
The Brumbies are Canberra's Super Rugby team, founded in 1996. Their home ground is Canberra Stadium. They have won the competition twice, first in 2001 and then 2004 making them the most successful Australian franchise in Super Rugby history despite their relatively small population and player base.
Rugby union at a junior level is very strong in the ACT. The sport is played in clubs and some schools also take part in the junior leagues. A major rivalry is between St Edmund's and Marist, in 2009 a brawl between the two teams occurred in the under 18s division one final which saw the game called off during the second half. Rugby union clubs include Easts, Gungahlin Eagles, Queanbeyan Whites, Canberra Royals, Tuggeranong Vikings, Uni-Norths Owls and Wests Lions and school teams include St Edmund's, Marist, Canberra Grammar School and Daramalan College.
The Canberra Cosmos represented Canberra between 1995 and 2001 in the National Soccer League. There are official plans to have a team in the A-league at the moment. Canberra United FC competes in the W-League, and have won a championship (2011-12) and two minor premierships (2011-12 and 2013-14). As an addition to the 2009 sporting calendar an international Asian Cup qualifier was scheduled between Australia and Kuwait at Canberra Stadium. It is the first international soccer game in Canberra in many years.
Australian rules football
Australian Football League clubs have irregularly played matches at Manuka Oval since 2001 although there is still no official Canberra-based AFL team. From 2012 onwards the new Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL team will play three regular season matches a year and one pre-season match in Canberra at Manuka Oval. There is the local AFL Canberra competition and the new North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) competition in which both the Sydney Swans and Greater Western Sydney Giants reserves teams compete against clubs from Canberra, Sydney and South East Queensland. The Barassi International Australian Football Youth Tournament is also held in Canberra.
The Canberra Capitals are the WNBL team for Canberra founded in 1984, they play at the AIS Arena. The Canberra Cannons was a former NBL team, one of the founding clubs, which competed between 1979 and 2002. They won the championship three times in the 1980s. The Canberra Gunners are the premier men's basketball team in Canberra currently, which play in the South East Australian Basketball League.
|AIS Arena||Belconnen Football Centre||Canberra Stadium||Manuka Oval||Narrabundah Ballpark||Viking Park|
|Capacity: 5,050||Capacity: 2,000||Capacity: 25,011||Capacity: 15,000||Capacity: 1,500||Capacity: 8,000|
|Basketball||Football||Rugby league, Rugby union||Cricket, Australian rules football||Baseball||Rugby union|
Several Canberra sporting trams have won national championships and leagues. These teams include:
- Baseball – Canberra Cavalry - 2012/2013
- Basketball – Canberra Capitals (Women) - 1999/20000, 2001/2002, 2002/2003, 2005/2006, 2006/2007, 2008/2009, 2009/2010 ;Canberra Cannons (Men - last season 2002/2003)- 1983, 1984, 1988
- Football (Soccer) - Canberra United (Women) - 2011/2012
- Rugby League – Canberra Raiders – 1989, 1990, 1994
- Rugby Union – Brumbies – 2001, 2004
- Softball – John Reid Shield (Men) – 1989, 1990, 1993, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 ; Gilleys Shield (Women) – 1978, 1979, 1863
- Canberra Knights, Ice hockey team in the Australian Ice Hockey League.
- AIS Canberra Darters, netball team that had competed in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy.
- Canberra Lakers (Men) and Canberra Strikers (Women), hockey teams in the Australian Hockey League.
- Canberra Bushrangers, baseball team that had competed in the Australian Baseball League.
- Canberra Cavalry, baseball team in the Australian Baseball League.
- ACT Gridiron, governing body for gridiron in the Australian Capital Territory.
- Canberra Roller Derby League (women) and Varsity Derby League (women and men), the Australian Capital Territory's flat track roller derby leagues.