Tatura Football Netball Club has been named Equestrian Victoria’s Club of the Year.By Rhiannon Gavalakis
It is not every day a football-netball club wins an equestrian award, but the club at Tatura has done just that.
Tatura Football Netball Club has been named Equestrian Victoria’s Club of the Year.
The club has hosted dressage events for five years, attracting hundreds of competitors to the region and raising money for the sporting community.
Club president Daryl Eaton said the equestrian element was incorporated into the club’s agenda in 2009, as a way to promote sport in the area.
‘‘I guess it was really seen as a grouping of two sports to help promote junior activities throughout the region,’’ he said.
‘‘We are into promoting junior football and netball, so equestrian is a nice add-on to broaden our horizons and to show we are a community club.’’
The club hosts two official events each year, the Tatura Dressage Classic and Tatura Spring Showcase, with both affiliated with Equestrian Victoria.
The organisation was announced as Equestrian Victoria’s Club of the Year at a gala dinner in Werribee on Saturday.
‘‘It’s fantastic and was a big surprise to all of us,’’ Mr Eaton said.
Club equestrian co-ordinator Sue Terry said she was thrilled to hear the club had been recognised.
‘‘(The football-netball club) have done a mammoth thing, the supporters, sponsors and general members have done everything they can to learn about horses,’’ she said.
‘‘This is not the done thing. I’m exceptionally proud the club has weathered the giggles and people’s uncertainty.’’
Ms Terry said the idea for an affiliated club came from a lack of events for riders in regional Victoria.
‘‘So many of us from the area kept running into each other at Werribee and we thought, ‘Lets try to do something for regional dressage riders so they don’t have to have that expense (of travelling)’,’’ she said.
She said profit from events went back into the community and provided money for sporting scholarships.
Equestrian Victoria chief executive Greg Pratt believed this was the first time a combined football, netball and equestrian club had won the award.
‘‘They are one of a few groups who have that structure,’’ he said.
‘‘It shows the community has come together in the sporting world and worked together to bring a positive result.’’
The club will represent Victoria at the Equestrian Australia awards night in Sydney this year.
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