On 20 May 1860, Alexander Greenfield and fourteen others played the first game of Australian Rules Football Club at ‘Greens Paddock’ in Ballarat. Little did they realise the history they were creating.
Ballarat Football Netball Club today celebrates its 160th Birthday. A milestone to be proud of. Surviving two world wars, the great depression, resisting the temptation to take easier paths and merge clubs, the Ballarat FNC still exists today in it’s original form as ‘Ballarat’, wearing the red and white colours.
Behind Melbourne FC and Geelong FC, Ballarat is the 3rd oldest continually running club in Australia. Furthermore, behind Sheffield FC and Cambridge University FC (both european soccer clubs), Ballarat is the 5th oldest continually running football club in the world.
Today, it is worth reflecting on the positive influence the club has had on our region, sport, and the many tens of thousands of players, committee people, supporters and families who have called it their second home.
It has been a place for people to belong. You are not judged by the car you drive, or the job that you have. A football club is one of society’s great levellers. And at Ballarat, for 160 continual years the door has remained open.
Today more than ever, places like the Ballarat FNC have such a major role to play for community cohesion. As our country’s leaders navigate a path, there are very real stresses on families and communities. Ballarat FNC will always remain a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can belong. We will continue to stand tall, be resilient and as a Ballarat FNC community, we will check in on our neighbours, mates and family so we all come out of this together and further build on our rich history for following generations of people to belong and enjoy.
This video reflects on the extraordinary 160 year feat, the idea of time slowing for no-one, and Ballarat FNC remaining a constant presence providing a place for people to belong.
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