Recently named Australia’s fittest city, Canberra has a strong sporting culture. There are social competitions in many sports right across the ACT. It’s a great way to meet new people and to get involved in the local community. Below is some information on a few select sports that have been popular with previous graduate cohorts.
Whether a seasoned pro or a casual player, AFL Canberra holds a number of competitions that suit everyone’s abilities. There is also a women’s league and an AFL9’s competition.
A number of basketball competitions are held throughout the Canberra region. Basketball ACT holds an amateur competition over the summer and winter periods and many government agencies have their own teams.
Cricket ACT provides services to all cricketers of all skillsets and levels of experience in the Canberra region. Competitions include men’s, women’s and indoor cricket.
Canberra is well-known for its mountain biking and has a wealth of cycle paths. Canberra Off-Road Cyclists offers a variety of social and competitive mountain bike events, and Pedal Power ACT has information on insurance, membership and social rides.
Canberra has a number of options for gym enthusiasts, both close to Civic and in surrounding suburbs. Prices vary with both fixed and flexible arrangements possible at many gyms.
ACT Netball has centres in Lyneham and Tuggeranong and holds evening mixed and ladies netball competitions. The level ranges from very social to very competitive, which is perfect if you’re just starting out or want a challenge.
OzTag has proven to be a great off-season sport to many different codes of sport. Played over the winter, OzTag is easy to learn and fun to play. Local teams can be found at ACT OzTag.
The Varsity Derby League (VDL) is Canberra’s gender-inclusive roller derby league. Anyone of any gender is welcome to join. Skaters and referees can progress through training at their own pace, there’s no pressure to meet skill standards within a certain timeframe. They aim to make VDL a supportive and fun ‘derby family’ while promoting good sportsmanship, positive body image and diversity.
With Lake Burley Griffin just a stone’s throw away from the major suburbs, Canberra is an excellent place for rowing, particularly in the warmer months. Canberra Rowing Club is an all-ages, all-abilities rowing club.
Rugby League is the most popular code of football in the ACT. There are nine local teams in the Canberra Region Rugby League competition that are open to all players – male and female. The season is played during the winter and training camps are provided for those new to the sport.
Rugby Union has a very strong following in the Canberra region. The ACT & Southern NSW Rugby Union has six different senior club Rugby Union competitions, which range from recreational to professional.
If you’re a keen runner make sure you enter The Colour Run held in February – it’s a 5km course and you get covered in powder! Canberra also offers the Australian Running Festival in April – which includes 5km, 10km, half marathon, marathon and ultra-marathon events and the Canberra Times Fun Run on the first Sunday of September – which includes 5km, 10km and 14km events.
Capital Football is the governing body of the men’s, women’s and Futsal competitions in the ACT. Local teams can found all over the ACT and for everyone’s abilities.
There are numerous tennis courts across the ACT that are open to all players. You can pay to get access to the courts, or you can become a member and get free all-year-round access. Check out Tennis ACT. The Diplomatic Australia Tennis Tournament is also held twice a year, in spring and autumn. It’s a great opportunity for keen tennis players to be paired with members of the diplomatic community in Canberra.
Touch Football ACT has a number of different domestic competition options held over the summer period from October to February. Many government agencies also have their own touch football teams that play during lunch time.
For those looking for a different sport, Ultimate Frisbee combines the athleticism and rules of netball, gridiron and soccer. Seasons run year round, and Canberra Ultimate is your main source of information on what’s happening.