The Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club Incorporated is a unique ‘not for profit’ club which has a proud tradition of over 60 years involvement in the Ballarat and district sporting community. Life Members include football greats the late Lou Richards, Ron Casey and Jack Dyer, who were regular attendees and instrumental in the Club’s early beginnings. The Club supports the Ballarat Sports Foundation and the FedUni WestVic Academy of Sport Ballarat which financially and personally assist young promising athletes from this district to obtain the assistance they need along the way to achieve their goals. The Club is held in very high regard within the region. The membership of over 130 includes VFL/AFL Premiership players, top sportsmen from all forms of sport as well as a number of Olympians such as Steve Moneghetti, Ray Borner and Peter Blackburn, with former members including Olympians Bryan Thomas, the late John Vernon and the late Ray Weinberg. The Club’s signature event is the Sportsperson of the Year Gala Dinner. This event is attended by 320 to 350 people and has attracted as guest speakers many national and international leaders, not only on the sporting arena but also from various other fields such as the political, academic and social worlds. Our Guest of Honour list includes two Prime Ministers, a number of Governors and Premiers of Victoria as well as a great list of Aussie sporting icons and personalities such as John Landy, Hubert Opperman, Lionel Rose, Dawn Fraser, Herb Elliot, John Kennedy and in more recent years James Hird, Sharelle McMahon, Alicia Molik, The Hon. Hugh Delahunty, Nick Green, Frank Costa, Terry Daniher, Simon Madden, Peter Daicos, Rodney Hogg, Craig Hutchison, Simon Madden, Bill Brownless, Steven Bradbury OAM, Alistair Clarkson, Jana Pittman and Melinda Gainsford-Taylor AM. Dinner meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month of the year except for January when there is not a dinner held. Dinner meetings are currently held at the Ballarat Golf Club, 1800 Sturt Street, Ballarat commencing at 6.30pm for fellowship and dinner at 7.00pm. The Committee endeavours to arrange speakers who are entertaining and interesting to the broad membership. The main objective of the dinners is to enjoy the fellowship of the Club. The Sportsperson of the Year Awards are now held on the second Wednesday of February each year. Attendance at dinners is by invitation by club members. If you would like to attend any of our dinners, please contact the Secretary. (Details on the “Contact” page of this site).
WHAT WE DO
The main objectives of the BSC are to promote, celebrate and support sport in the Ballarat District and to provide fellowship and enjoyment for the Club's members at dinners that have a sporting theme.
An important aspect of the Club has been promotion of talented junior sportspeople. In recent years, the Club has provided strong support to the Ballarat Sports Foundation (BSF) and the WestVic Academy of Sport (WVAS) Ballarat for this purpose. The club undertakes fundraising activities to provide financial support to both of these organisations.
The Club had its genesis on April 6th, 1960 when a group of key Ballarat Sportsmen met at the home of Trev Negri. Those present were Cr. Arthur Martin, Ken Mackenzie, Ray Pierce, Rex Hollioake, Bill Dunstan, Stan Burt, Trev Negri, Keith Rawle and Dr. David Morton. The meeting was chaired by Ken Mackenzie and after general discussion it was resolved to form the ‘Ballarat Sportsmen’s Dinner Club’. Officers were elected and Arthur Martin was named as President, Ken Mackenzie Vice-President and Trev Negri Secretary/Treasurer. Craig’s Hotel was selected as the dinner venue with the Inaugural Dinner held on July 6th. 1960. Cycling entrepreneur Ted Waterford was chosen as the first Guest Speaker. The Club commenced with some 60 Members. In 1960 the Club decided to introduce the Sportsperson of the Year Award. In February 1961 the first award was presented to champion golfer Neil Titheridge. Since this time the Wunhym Trophy for the Junior Sportsperson of the year has been introduced, the Hollioake Medallion for the Team Player of the year, the Mackenzie/Valpied Award recognising those sportspeople who made a major contribution to sport outside the sphere of competition in administration and now the Widmer Award recognising the outstanding contribution by a Mentor, Coach and or Trainer. The late Ron Casey, the late Jack Dyer and the late Lou Richards MBE became involved with the Club and were honoured with Life Memberships. The 3DB and later the HSV7 Sports panel became a regular event every year for 25 years following their initial visit in August 1963; people like Ron Barassi, David Parkin, Bob Davis and other TV Football personalities became guests of the Club over the years. The Club Tie was produced in 1962 and is still required to be worn by Members at all dinners. Over the years special nights have been arranged like the Christmas Dinner/Ladies’ Night in December each year, the annual Masters Night usually held in November where the Club honours the sporting achievements of older Members or sometimes non-members, the Mick O’Neil Award made to a promising junior athlete each year at the April dinner meeting and the Arthur Martin award at the AGM each May. When there are Olympic Games on the Club usually has an Olympic Night where the current local Olympians are celebrated along with past Olympians. The Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club currently represents over 68 sports categories and has more than 130 members.