Bob Turner – one of Australia’s most recognisable and respected sports personalities – has been announced as Yass Valley’s 2022 Australia Day Ambassador.

Mr Turner is best known for guiding the Canberra Cannons and Newcastle Falcons to multiple successes; resurrecting the famous Sydney Kings and introducing the Singapore Slingers to the National Basketball League (NBL).

Still to this day, he is among only a handful of coaches to have ever won more than one championship, guiding Canberra Cannons to back-to-back titles in 1983 and 1984.

He is also among a unique group of coaches who have been awarded the prestigious NBL Coach of the Year Award twice, in 1981 with Newcastle Falcons and in 1985 with Canberra Cannons.

During his four years as coach of Canberra Cannons, Mr Turner visited Yass on many occasions for coaching clinics and is pleased to be returning in 2022.

“I’ve always had a soft spot for Yass, not just for the basketball clinics conducted there, but also the many visits my wife and I had to the area looking for antique bargains. Many of those antiques remain in our home and are constant reminders of our time there,” Mr Turner said.

It takes courage to forge a new life in another country and Mr Turner was brave enough to move from the USA in 1976 to play basketball in Australia.

He stayed, became an Australian citizen, forged a highly successful career in sport and grew a family with his wife, Alison.

Alongside coaching four NBL teams, Mr Turner was also the Marketing Director of Basketball Australia and was part of the company responsible for the sponsorship programs for the Australian Olympic Committee, Commonwealth Games and Australian Swimming.

Using his experience in basketball, Mr Turner later turned his hand to baseball as Chairman of the Sydney Blue Cox and more recently, building Blacktown City Football Club.

As Executive Chairman of the proud football club, Mr Turner is channeling his talents to build the profile of a historic organisation, as he did with the Canberra Cannons all those years ago. He is also Chairman of software company, Squadnet, which assists with communications for grassroots and community sport.

“This is my 26th year as an Australia Day Ambassador for the NSW Government, a program that has taken me to all parts of NSW. It has allowed me to witness the many ‘new’ Australians who use the day to become Australian citizens. This is a real highlight for me as it reminds me of how fortunate I have been to have a country accept me and allow me to give back,” Mr Turner said.

Australia Day in Yass Valley
Where: Coronation Park, Yass
When: Wednesday, 26 January 2022
Time: Free BBQ breakfast available from 8:30 am, with official proceedings to start at 9:00 am.
Free entry to Yass Swimming Pool all day.