A TIGHT-KNIT local community, a rural setting and a proximity to the sporting facilities available in Canberra have all combined to turn Queanbeyan into the sporting powerhouse it is today.
That’s according to former Queanbeyan Tigers coach and club legend Brian Quade who reckons the city holds a special appeal for its sportsmen and women.
Wagga born, Quade originally moved to the region to coach Canberra club Manuka in the local Aussie Rules competition.
But it was after crossing the border to Queanbeyan – a club he would go on to coach for the next decade – that he found his new home.
“I noticed a huge difference to Canberra when I came to Queanbeyan,” Quade said.
“Queanbeyan was much more like a rural setting. The players tended to live closer together and tended to be a bit closer knit than at the Canberra clubs.
“There are a lot of sporting families here as well who really put down roots and who tend to stay in the area which is fantastic.”
During Quade’s 10-year reign, the Tigers enjoyed their most successful period in the club’s history, qualifying for a record equalling eight successive grand finals for four premierships in 1985, 1988, 1989 and 1991.
Since retiring in 1993, Quade has remained involved in the club and is a regular presence in the Tigers’ post-match dressing sheds, deep in discussion with son and current Queanbeyan captain Ryan Quade.
The Quade family name, like those of the Furners, Faingaas, Campeses and Giteaus, is synonymous with Queanbeyan, a city marked by its numerous sporting lineages. .
And Brian said there was just something about the place that left a lasting impression on those to have come through the city’s sporting ranks – whether native born or having originally arrived from afar.
“Very rarely do you see a player leave Queanbeyan to go play in Canberra,” he said. “It’s more often the other way around.
“You tend to see a few people from Canberra cross the border but not many players go the other way.
“And once they get here they tend to stay so there’s obviously something drawing them and keeping them here which is good.”
And on the eternal question of which city – his original hometown of Wagga, or his adopted hometown of Queanbeyan – should hold the title of the state’s sportiest town?
While Quade wouldn’t be drawn on a definitive answer either way, he did suggest Queanbeyan more than held its own compared to its larger country rival.
“Wagga has all those surrounding districts where they draw a lot of players from, it’s a real regional centre which Queanbeyan isn’t,” he said.
“Here we’re a bit limited because we’ve only got a couple of small towns like Bungendore and Braidwood to draw on so I reckon Queanbeyan punches about its weight in comparison.”