Caroline Buchanan, Michael Matthews, Schoolboy rugby big winners at ACT sport awards
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Caroline Buchanan, Michael Matthews, Schoolboy rugby big winners at ACT sport awards

BMX star Caroline Buchanan won her eighth world title in another sparkling year, but the Canberra cyclist says watching childhood friend Michael Matthews at the Tour de France was her 2017 sporting highlight.

Buchanan and Matthews were named Canberra's male and female athletes of the year at an awards function on Friday night, capping a whirlwind journey from schoolmates to international success.

Caroline Buchanan was the ACT female athlete of the year.

Caroline Buchanan was the ACT female athlete of the year.Credit:AP

The pair grew up together on their bikes in the capital and were fitting winners after individual glory this year.

Buchanan won the mountain bike four cross world title in Italy and added a Crankworx crown to her trophy cabinet, erasing the disappointing of failing to secure a medal at the Olympic Games last year.

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Matthews shocked everyone when he won the Tour de France green jersey in the world's most famous cycling race.

"From Canberra sport, one of my highlights of watching was seeing Michael Matthews win the green jersey at the Tour de France," Buchanan said via video on Friday.

"It was such an amazing achievement. From going to school with him, to growing up through the ACT Academy of Sport, to now seeing him on that world stage ... Canberra needs to be proud of always punching above our weight with sporting achievements.

"I wish I was there to have the goose-bump moments. It's a massive honour to win the female athlete of the year award.

"My highlights were winning the mountain bike world championships in Italy and claiming my eighth world championship title to be 0.08 seconds in a photo finish to almost winning a ninth world title in BMX.

"I'm already on the train to Tokyo [Olympic Games]. We punch above our weight and I'm proud to be a Canberran."

Javelin thrower Jayden Sawyer beat a hot field of Cameron Crombie and Scott Reardon to win the para athlete of the year after a world-record through at the world championships this year.

Sawyer's throw was 4.5 metres further than his pervious personal best, winning gold with a 52.96 metres effort.

The ACT Schoolboys rugby union side was named team of the year after clinching Canberra's first national title in 29 years at a tournament in Sydney.

The ACT side, coached by Dan Hawke, beat Queensland II in the final 30-11 for a stunning victory and the first Canberra triumph since 1988.

The ACT Schoolboys rugby team won after almost 30 years.

The ACT Schoolboys rugby team won after almost 30 years.Credit:

Netball referee Carmel Weatherburn was recognised for her efforts with the outstanding service to sport prize, while the Canberra Region Rugby League and Canberra Football won Minister's awards for inclusion and excellence respectively.

Crombie was named the people's choice winner after winning gold at the para world championships.

Hockey champion Peta MacKinnon and volleyball veteran Ben Hardy were inducted as full members into the ACT Sport Hall of Fame and basketball guru Phil Brown and rowing coach Paul Thompson were added as associate members.

ACT SPORT AWARD WINNERS

Male athlete of the year: Michael Matthews

Female athlete of the year: Caroline Buchanan

Para sport athlete of the year: Jayden Sawyer

Team of the year: ACT Schoolboys rugby union

Outstanding service to sport: Carmel Weatherburn

People's sporting champion: Cameron Crombie

Minister's award for inclusion: Canberra Region Rugby League

Minister's award for innovation: Canberra/Broulee Nippers Club

Minister's award for event excellence: Capital Football

ACT Sport Hall of Fame: Peta MacKinnon, Ben Hardy, Phil Brown (associate member), Paul Thompson (associate member)