ACT Sport name top award after renowned administrator Harry Marr

ACT Sport founding general manager Harry Marr has had an award named after him.
ACT Sport founding general manager Harry Marr has had an award named after him. Photo: Supplied

ACT Sport inaugural general manager Harry Marr organised for Australian football legend Ron Barassi to talk to an ACT team that included Alex Jesaulenko before their historic win over the VFL in 1980.

It was just one of a number of achievements the renowned sports administrator has on his resume and why ACT Sport's new award has been named after him.

The Harry Marr Award will be given to the best "home grown talent" competing on the national or international stage. Brad Haddin, Patrick Mills, Ryan Carters and Jason Behrendorff are the first nominees.

 But ACT Sport's top award will still be the Sportstar of the Year for athletes still based in Canberra.

"The Harry Marr Award is the award that replaces the AIS Award," ACT Sport president Jim Roberts said.

"The AIS always had an award, but with the restructure it probably is not relevant any more, but we've always had this difficulty where players like Wally Masur, Brad Haddin, Mark Webber and people like this that have had to leave Canberra to further their sporting careers and have become world greats ... so these people tend to slip through the net because there wasn't a category for them.


"What we decided to do was make an award for that category and it couldn't be more fitting than to name it after Harry Marr, who was an absolute driving force behind the ACT Sportstar of the Year and Hall of Fame."

Marr, who now lives in Tuncurry, said he was stunned when Roberts told him of the honour.

He was given the old Hackett school to set up what was then called ACT Sports House, which became the administrative home for many ACT and Australian sporting bodies.

Marr also instigated the ACT Hall of Fame and the ACT Sport awards.

He approached then prime minister Bob Hawke, who helped furnish the building with public service furniture.

"When Jim rang me I was just stunned, more so stunned that jumping out of my skin," Marr said.

"I said, 'What for Jim?' and he said, 'You've been recognised' – he probably built it up a bit big."


January – Brad Haddin  (cricket)

February – Patrick Mills (basketball)

March – Ryan Carters and Jason Behrendorff (cricket)


Male: Jesse Taws – Softball

Female: Rebecca Henderson- Mountain Biking

Junior: Caraz Grzeskowiak – Rowing

Special Achievement: Mikayla Rose - BMX

Team: ACT 89ers Men’s Softball Team

Coach:  Laing Harrow – Softball


Male: Matthew Wickham – Softball

Female: Melissa Breen - athletics

Junior: Josh McGovern- Softball

Special achievement: Felicia Thomas – BMX

Team: Canberra Meteors – Cricket - and Canberra Cavalry- Baseball

Coach: Matt Beckenham – Athletics

Community: Queanbeyan Cricket Club – Cricket


Male: Nathan Haas – Cycling

Female: Gracie Elvin – Cycling

Junior: Jackson Frew – Mountain Biking

Special Achievement: Mikayla Rose – BMX

Team: ACT Men’s Futsal Team

Coach: Kristian Collins - Football

Masters: Ros Balodis – Tennis

Community: Ethan Bartlett - Cricket