Canberra celebrates two historic sporting events within 48 hours this weekend – the first Canberra match of the NAB AFL Women’s League match and the first Suncorp Super Netball round at the AIS. Not content with mastering one sport, Canberra local Jess Bibby swaps the basketball court for the footy field as she joins the GWS GIANTS in the NAB AFL Women’s League.  Head coach of GIANTS Netball Julie Fitzgerald has also shared some of her all-time favourite Canberra experiences ahead of their Canberra debut match.

Jess Bibby, GWS GIANTS

Jess Bibby
See Jess Bibby and the rest of the GWS GIANTS take on the Western Bulldogs for the NAB AFL Women's competition

My favourite autumn event is the Canberra Balloon Spectacular (11-19 March 2017). It’s definitely worth getting up early to see the sky with this one.

For the young, and young at heart, you can’t beat a FreakShake from Patissez, they’re awesome!

The best place to take in Canberra’s beautiful autumn trees is the National Arboretum Canberra. There’s lots of nice trees with a great view.

As a basketballer, I’ve always said the best place to play in Canberra is the AIS Arena...hopefully following the weekend’s game I can say Manuka Oval!

After a game, I love to grab a drink at Hale+Mary in Kingston – it’s close to Manuka Oval and they’re always showing sports on their screens.

Catch the NAB AFLW GWS Giants take on the Western Bulldogs at Manuka Oval on Saturday 18 March, 7:10pm. Free admission.

Julie Fitzgerald,  GIANTS Netball head coach

GIANTS NETBALL head coach
GIANTS Netball head coach Julie Fitzgerald hopes to lead her team to victory against the Adelaide Thunderbirds  Credit: Netball NSW/Narelle Spangher

To get me going in the morning, I love to get a coffee from Idelic in Kingston. They have a focus on using fresh and quality produce too, so you know you’re getting the best.

When friends visit Canberra, I take them for a walk around Lake Burley Griffin, then onto breakfast in Braddon, a shop in the Canberra Centre and finish the day off with dinner at any one of the outstanding local restaurants.

I think every Australian should visit Questacon – it’s fantastic for all ages, not just for the kids.

The Canberra walks with the best views are to the top of Mount Ainslie or nearby Black Mountain – it’s great being able to look across all of Canberra.

And as for my favourite autumn event? It would have to be a GIANTS Netball home game in Canberra, but a close second is seeing a GIANTS AFL game at Manuka.

See Julie coach the GIANTS Netball against the Adelaide Thunderbirds for the Suncorp Super Netball at AIS Arena on Sunday 19 March from 1pm.