Black Pearl's 'street ball'
Slam dunks, street rules and no referee - NBL hall of famer Cal Bruton wants to reinvent basketball in Canberra to attract a new generation of players to the sport. The former Canberra Cannons coach will host a one-on-one, two-on-two and three-on-three tournament at Westside Acton Park from Monday to Wednesday in a bid to reinvigorate the capital's basketball community. It's a three-day tournament with the view to building it into a bigger event in coming years, taking basketball out of indoor stadiums and on to the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. "It's a three-phase tournament. The first day it's one-on-one, then it's two-on-two to bring your mate and participate and then the three-on-three," Bruton said. "We're also looking at running a 10-week tournament in the future. This is about bringing basketball back to the streets. Reminiscing my days in the New York City parks. I think it's going to take off, the atmosphere will be unbelievable. Street ball's going to be live in Canberra." Bruton has been a leader in trying to jump-start interest in the sport as the league at a professional level struggles to maintain a profile. He was part of a bid to try to bring the NBL back to Canberra last year, but the league opted against expansion. To enter the street ball tournament, call 0405 179 729 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
York claims Masters Monday green jacket
Jordan Spieth was the runaway winner at Augusta, but the fight for Canberra's green jacket went down to the wire on Monday. The Federal Golf Club hosted its Masters Monday event for the second time this year with more than 80 golfers taking their chance to emulate Spieth's remarkable run at the US Masters. The day began with watching Spieth's win on the big screens, was followed by a ceremonial tee shot from 2014 winner Richard Manning and finished with a four-way playoff for the green jacket. The crowd gathered on the 10th tee as Antony York, Mark Sinclair, Steven Deady and Alex Stefalpoulos were locked in a stableford playoff battle. York clinched the win with a par and grabbed the green jacket. The best part is he gets to pick part of the post-round menu for next year, as is tradition at the US Masters champions dinner. Manning's choice this year won the crowd over, delivering prawns wrapped in prosciutto as the playoff began. There are four pro-am events in Canberra this week at Murrumbidgee, Federal, Queanbeyan and Gold's Creek.
Kyrgios hoping for smooth sailing on court
Canberra tennis sensation Nick Kyrgios will be hoping his return to playing is smoother than his arrival in Spain. The 19-year-old will play at the Barcelona Open to relaunch his year after being limited to just one tournament since the Australian Open in January. But when he got off his flight, he was greeted by drug testers and then his bags were lost. "So just to make things a bit more interesting ... The ITF decides to do a doping test on me, the day I arrive from Australia," Kyrgios tweeted. It was followed by: "Blood & Urine test, unbelievable, they have tested me twice in about 2 months. Would love some other players to get tested". Kyrgios will be in Europe to build towards the French Open and Wimbledon. He will also play at the prestigious Queen's Club tournaments. "I'm looking forward to it a lot," Kyrgios said. "I love playing on grass, it suits my game a lot and I'm excited. Wimbledon last year was my best experience so far and, every time I go to Britain, I feel comfortable."
Bernie supports flexible ARU contracts
ACT Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has thrown his support behind the ARU using flexible contracts to keep the best players in Australian rugby. NSW Waratahs playmaker Bernard Foley signed a three-year deal to stay in Australia, which also allows him to play two seasons in Japan to maximise his earnings. Larkham played 11 years at the Brumbies before moving to France and Japan. "It's going to help in terms of retaining experienced players," Larkham said. "It's a decision made by the ARU and we back that. Like anything that happens, you make the most of the situation. A number of players around the world go from competition to competition and sometimes that's easier. I don't mind the idea of Bernard doing that."
Flanagan running for a reason
Hockeyroos star Anna Flanagan is showing she's got plenty of heart by running in the HBF Run for a Reason for Team Donor Mate in Perth on May 24. The Canberra hockey star will help raise funds and awareness for organ donation. While it's a long way across the Great Australian Bite, Flanagan fans have the chance to run with her in the team or simply donate to a worthy cause at donormate.org.au.
No fanfare for Sweeney
Canberra Racing were hoping to honour retiring jockey Kevin Sweeney's long and distinguished career with a presentation at this week's meeting at Thoroughbred Park on Friday. Unfortunately, the widely liked hoop has decided he wants to ride off quietly into the sunset instead. He turned down the offer, preferring a low-key exit from the industry he's been a part of for the past 46 years. Hopefully he changes his mind during the week and the Canberra racing community can give him the send-off he deserves.
Rogic not forgotten, but faces battle to win Socceroos jersey
Canberra's Tom Rogic is the forgotten man of Australian soccer. Injury ruled him out of the World Cup and then the Asian Cup. But after making a successful comeback for Celtic, former Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Bosnich says the 22-year-old is still on the international radar. "These things [injuries] come around, I don't think we've forgotten about him at all," Bosnich said. "If the team does well without you, it's just a thing in sport. The reliance on recalling you isn't as great when the team has success, so Tom just has to get himself fit and force his way back in." Bosnich was in Canberra on Friday for the ACT Brumbies State of the Union lunch, sharing stories of his colourful playing career and knowledge of rugby. Rogic played his first game for Celtic in almost 18 months for the club's development squad last night. "It was a big moment for me, nothing compares to playing a game ... to not worry about my injury and get on with the match as a positive feeling," Rogic said.
Federal's new junior golf program
Former professional golfer Damon Welsford, who now works as the assistant pro at Federal Golf Club, has created a new junior golf program to start on May 3. The come-and-try day will look to cover a wider range of sporting activities, with a little bit of golf thrown in. "It's going to be a little more sport-based than golf-based. In my opinion the old method of coaching golf is a bit boring - you get the kids down and let them hit balls for a while, they just get jack of it pretty quick," Welsford said. "(We're) teaching them to throw and catch and kick and relating it back to how it links into golf."