Canberrans have always loved their sport. By the mid-1920s, a number of football and cricket teams were established and competitions quickly organised. By 1927, the Federal Capital Commission reported that Canberra had a Tennis Association, 26 affiliated Federal Territory Cricket Association teams, four Australian rules teams, five soccer teams, seven rugby league teams and three rugby union teams.402
From 1925, organised sport on Sundays was prohibited in the Territory, primarily due to lobbying by religious groups. In March 1947, Cabinet considered a report that noted 'Canberra, as the National Capital, occupies a unique position in Australia and any consideration regarding policy should remain at a national level as well as in relation to wishes of the citizens of the Territory'. Cabinet approved the playing of competitive Sunday sport providing no charge was made for admission.403
|SELECTED RECORDS RELATING TO SPORT|
|Enclosed ovals – Canberra NC–71/01383||NC–71/01383|
|Study on provision and usage of playing fields||NC–72/00367#1|
|Kambah District Park Stage I – formerly Kambah Homestead – landscape development||NC–73/00301#1|
|Ice skating rink feasibility study||NC–74/00765#1|
|SAP national shooting complex||NC–77/00974#1|
|Canberra International Raceway Committee – motor road racing circuit||NC–79/01132#1|
|National Aquatic Centre Bruce – design||NC–80/00499#1|
|Land use policies for golf and similar sporting clubs||NC–80/01435#1|
|1985 World Cup athletics||NC–80/01724#1|
|BMX Track – Melba – construction||NC–81/00626#1|
Although an oval was established as part of the Royal Military College at Duntroon, the first sporting ground for the general public was Manuka Oval, originally known as Manuka Circle, which was established in 1923.
In 1926 and 1927, the cricket association and bodies representing football and local sporting associations made approaches to the Federal Capital Commission to have the area enclosed. The commission stated in its annual report that arrangements were being made for the ground to be fenced and for the construction of pavilions.404 It was not until March 1929, however, that the work commenced.
Manuka Oval has three principal grandstands: the Bradman Pavilion, which opened in February 1963, and was demolished in the late 1990s, to be replaced by a second Bradman Pavilion; the Menzies Stand (1987); and the Hawke Stand (1992). The latter two commemorate prime ministers who were instrumental in promoting Prime Minister's XI cricket matches.
Today, the ground is used predominantly for cricket and football matches. Each summer it hosts a cricket match involving the Prime Minister's XI and a visiting international team. The first Prime Minister's XI was held in October 1951 against a visiting team from the West Indies; the match was drawn.
Night lighting was used at the ground for the first time on 29 January 2013, during a match between the Prime Minister's XI and a team from the West Indies; the match was won by Australia.
|SELECTED RECORDS RELATING TO MANUKA OVAL|
|Manuka sports ground oval, 1936–54||A2942, 152|
|Manuka Oval grand stand, recreation grounds, 1947–52||A2942, 296|
|Manuka Oval – turf and grasses||81/4126|
|Manuka Oval – grand stand recreation grounds||A3127/296|
|Manuka Oval – upgrading Jack Fingleton scoreboard||NC–82/724#1|
|Manuka Oval – media facilities||NC–84/01942|
|Applications for the use of Manuka Oval||P&G1962/247|
|Manuka Oval – development – Part 1||P&G1962/70|
|Manuka Oval – development – Part 2||P&G1967/286|
|City Parks Administration Branch – Manuka Oval||P&G1974/107|
|Apex fireworks displays – Canberra Showground and Manuka Oval||P&G1974/92|
|Forwarding plans of Manuka Circle, 1923||A192, FCL1923/287|
|Manuka Circle recreation ground, 1924–25||A361, DSG24/1051|
|Proposal for the establishment of football ground including pavilion and fences at Manuka Circle, 1926–28||A6266, G1928/1752|
|Manuka Circle Oval, 1926–28||CP698/9, 45/5|
|Manuka Circle Sports Ground, appointment of groundsman, 1930–32||A430, G508|
|Manuka Oval, appointment of groundsman, 1936–40||A659, 1940/1/2379|
|Manuka Oval, new pavilion proposal, 1933–39||A292, C649|
|Photograph of Don Bradman opening the Bradman Pavilion, 1963||A1200, L43049|
|Manuka Oval, stage II erection of covered seating, 1968||A660, K7443|
Exhibition Park in Canberra
Image 27: Cattle on parade at the Canberra Show, 1979.
Exhibition Park in Canberra, originally known as the Canberra Showground, was established jointly by the Commonwealth government and the National Capital Agricultural Society in 1964. The venue comprises a showground and a series of exhibition buildings, including Budawang, Mallee and Coorong.
The first agricultural show at the showground opened on 6 March 1964.
The showground's name changed in 1982 to the National Exhibition Centre. Following self-government in 1989, the site was transferred to the control of the ACT Government. There was one more name change, in 1993, when the venue was renamed Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC), the name it bears today.
The venue is now home to a series of regular events, including the Summernats car festival (January), Canberra Show (February), and National Folk Festival (Easter). Several Lifeline book fairs are also held there each year.
For many years, the Budawang Pavilion has served as the National Tally Room on federal election days (previously Hawker College was used). In July 2013, however, it was announced that in an age of modern communications, a tally room was no longer needed.
|SELECTED RECORDS RELATING TO EXHIBITION PARK IN CANBERRA|
|ACT Tourism Commission – Canberra Showground Trust||90/17973|
|Development of Canberra Showground||70/3101|
|Legislation – Canberra Showground Authority||73/2618|
|Interim Management Board for the Showground – minutes of meetings||74/1491|
|Interim Management Board for Canberra Showground – correspondence||74/1541|
|Canberra Showground Trust – Inquiry by Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Government Operations||79/2404|
|Canberra Showground Trust – review||79/2647|
|Canberra Showground Trust – retail markets||82/115|
|Canberra Showground Trust – trotting facilities||CP78/0060–01|
|National Exhibition Centre||NC–74/00686#1|
|Canberra Showground – quarter horse track area – services and development||NC–79/01450|
|Canberra Showground camping area – site servicing – design||NC–80/00550#1|
|Canberra Showground – landscaping||P&G1962/245|
|National Exhibition Centre – application for additional land||88/12428|
|ACTION, National Exhibition Centre – market buses||89/881|
|National Exhibition Centre – business plan||89/19984|
|Capital Markets Section, National Exhibition Centre – review||92/6386|
|NCDC and National Exhibition Centre Trust, 1981–||NC–82/00600|
|Canberra Racecourse – National Exhibition Centre – area planning||NC–83/01321#1|
|National Exhibition Centre – sub-leases for service stations prior to 1986||NC–77/00994#1|
|Canberra Showground, sewerage pump station, 1964–65||A660, KCM6713|
|Police facilities at Canberra Showground, 1968–90||A431, 1976/928|
|Photograph of map of Canberra Showground, 1970||A7973, INT1138/1|
|Canberra Racecourse and National Exhibition Centre, draft policy plan, 1983||A9668, M7|
|Gordon Scholes – National Exhibition Centre, 1985–86||M2733, A7|
Canberra Stadium (formerly Bruce Stadium)
Canberra Stadium, located in the suburb of Bruce, was built in 1977 for the Pan-Pacific Games. The ground is home to the Canberra Raiders National Rugby League team and the Brumbies Super 15 Rugby team. The stadium has a maximum capacity of 25,000 people and is currently owned by the Commonwealth government and leased to the ACT Government.
|SELECTED RECORDS RELATING TO CANBERRA STADIUM|
|Photographs of sporting events at the stadium
AIS Arena (formerly the National Indoor Sports Centre)
The National Indoor Sports Centre was built in 1980 and opened on 26 January 1981 by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. The venue can accommodate 5200 people and is home to the Canberra Capitals basketball team.
|SELECTED RECORDS RELATING TO THE AIS ARENA|
|National Indoor Sports Centre official opening, 1977–81||A9781, 1980/3663|
|Indoor Sports Centre Bruce, construction, 1978–79||A1340, 1979/1180, parts 1–13|
|National Indoor Sports and Training Centre, minutes of coordination meetings, 1980||A1340, 1980/466|
|Official opening, National Indoor Sports Centre, 1980–81||A9781, 1981/1388|
|Malcolm Fraser – opening of National Indoor Sports Centre, speech notes, 1981–82||M1263, 1264|
|Audio tape – opening of the National Indoor Sports Centre, 1981||M1338, 55|