Gavel / Canberra’s not ready to play Games

“Doubtless, there are enough volunteers here, but to stage the Commonwealth Games there would need to be a major facilities and infrastructure overhaul,” says sports commentator TIM GAVEL

WITH Glasgow basking in the afterglow of one of the most successful Commonwealth Games ever staged, it’s worth asking if Canberra would be capable of hosting such an event.

Tim Gavel.

Tim Gavel.

The simple answer is “no”; but it is not just because of the lack of facilities. I don’t think our city has an appetite for major multi-sport events. Doubtless, there are enough volunteers here, but to stage the Commonwealth Games there would need to be a major facilities and infrastructure overhaul.

To start with, we don’t have a competition swimming pool able to cope with the crowd size; we are flat out hosting major school swimming events. Not do we have a stadium capable of staging track and field… and the list goes on.

It’s at this point you realise even contemplating bidding for an event of this size is an exercise in futility.

Which brings me to the point: Why doesn’t Canberra look at establishing itself as a centre capable of hosting more mid-level, multi-sports events such as the Masters Games or the Pacific Schools Games?

We have hosted them in the past, but it’s becoming obvious that other centres around Australia have realised there is a gap for multi-sport events and have established the facilities to match.

It’s fair to say that right now the community doesn’t have a mindset to host such an event; the budget is always tight and every time there is talk about a new sporting facility there is likely to be significant opposition.

But, as we have seen in Glasgow and no doubt will see on the Gold Coast in four years’ time, it’s essential to have a whole-of-community approach to stage such an event.

THE coaching duo of Laurie Fisher and Steve Larkham is the most understated in the history of the Brumbies. Throughout the season there was little in the way of mind games. It was a “getting-on-with-the-job” approach but in the end injuries played a large role. The loss of David Pocock was also significant with no George Smith as a back up. Even more telling was the injury to Stephen Moore. But the players really stepped up as a team.

Back to Fisher, the hope is that he won’t be lost to Australian rugby forever. The appointment of his replacement as forwards’ coach will be one of the most important in the Brumbies recent history, and having to fill big shoes.

THE crowds were not great for Brumbies’ matches this season. Hosting a semi-final was a bonus, but the bottom line has taken a hit.

The feedback from season ticket holders is that the Brumbies need to do things better and members shouldn’t face constant problems ranging from late membership packages because of issues in China or ticketing stuff ups. Let’s see how it goes next year.


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