Gavel / Beware, the Brumbies are under attack

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I AM at a loss to understand why the ARU is not more vocal in its support of the Brumbies with the sport’s governing body SANZAR looking at rationalisation of the 18-team competition.

Tim Gavel.

The hope is that, behind closed doors, the ARU is working to ensure the Brumbies and the other four Australian teams are safe from any planned cull. The belief among some is that fewer Australian teams will lead to a more successful Wallaby side and ensure the financial viability of the code.

For the record, the Brumbies have never sought financial assistance outside the normal funding provided by the ARU, which is in stark contrast to some of the other Australian teams. The other factor in the reasoning behind considering dropping teams is the nature of the competition.

It doesn’t require the wisdom of Solomon to see that Australian teams playing each other on a home-and-away basis should be standard. Instead, this year for instance, the Brumbies don’t play the Waratahs in Canberra.

The theory is that NSW and Queensland are safe while the other three are vulnerable if there is to be a reduction in the number of teams. Why the Brumbies are even in the same sentence as the Western Force and the Melbourne Rebels is beyond comprehension.

The Brumbies are the most successful Australian side in the history of Super Rugby. Sure, there have been off-field dramas, but the team still made the finals last year and who knows how far they would have gone had it not been for a questionable refereeing decision in the final against the Highlanders.

I humbly suggest we need to be more pro-active as a community to ensure the survival of the Brumbies.

We have been complacent in the past with Canberra sporting teams, thinking that all will be fine only to see the rug pulled from underneath. The Canberra Kookaburras and the Comets come readily to mind.

Let’s make the most of the Masters’

A NUMBER of sports in Canberra have been sounded out in the past month seeking expressions of interest in staging a Masters’ games in the ACT every two years from 2018.

It makes sense, with an ageing population, Masters’ sports continue to grow in popularity.

It makes even more sense to stage a major Masters’ event every two years in Canberra with the city boasting the highest participation rate for activity in the country.

The proposal would see up to 35 sports ranging from hockey to squash being contested. The games would essentially be run by the individual sports themselves using volunteers.

Money raised by hosting the games would be channelled back into the individual sports.

My understanding is that it would cost around $250,000 to stage the event in the first year. This would effectively be seed funding with the games generating their own funds from the first event.

The expectation is that it could attract more than 2500 competitors in the first year in 2018.

The seed funding though needs to come from somewhere. Given Masters’ participants are usually cashed up and don’t mind spending on accommodation and restaurants, it might be worth the ACT government investing some tourist dollars into this project.

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Tim Gavel
Journalist and ABC sports broadcaster

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