In a shock announcement last week the Burramine Sports Club said there would be no running of the Burramine Gift in 2015.FIONA BLICK July 22, 2014 2:19pm
This iconic sporting carnival has been a must-see event for the past 63 years, drawing elite athletes from across the country on the third Saturday in March each year.
Burramine Sports Club secretary Frances Connell told the Yarrawonga Chronicle there were fewer people with the time to maintain the Burramine tradition and reputation as one of the best athletics meetings on the Victorian Athletic League calendar.
“At the AGM last Wednesday, July 16 it was moved and carried that there be no Burramine Gift Carnival in 2015,” Frances said.
“The present committee realises that there are fewer people with the time to maintain the Burramine tradition so it's been decided to go out on top.
“The Burramine committee is grateful for the support of the sponsors over many years.
“That support has helped us to promote local tourism by bringing several hundred people to Yarrawonga Mulwala on our Carnival weekend each year by creating a venue for local youngsters to begin and further their athletic careers and by supporting local charities.
“Despite approaches from out of town businesses, we have maintained our aim to shop locally for our printing, food for our catering and buying our trophies and promotional clothing.
“Burramine Sports Club will remain an entity and will give annual donations to young people who are chosen to travel to further their sporting careers.”
President Peter Lawless said the Burramine Sports Club would remain an entity and would continue to support local sportspeople who needed to travel to further their sporting careers.
“Another meeting will be held on August 20 to set up a committee to set a direction for donations in the future,” Peter said.
“Any monies left over will be given to Yarrawonga Health and Friends in Common.”
Peter and Frances agreed there was both sadness and relief at the decision to not run the carnival next year.
“We are facing the same challenges that most service clubs do which is to find the next generation of administrators,” Peter said.
“We however have not finished as a club and will be keeping the heritage alive which the Burramine people have contributed and worked for over the years.”
The Burramine Sports Club was formed in 1947 to benefit the Burramine farming community and since 1952 the club has held a successful Gift Carnival in Yarrawonga with the Carnival not only being acclaimed as a top meeting by competitors and judges, but winning several prestigious community awards.
The Burramine Sports Club was named Moira Shire’s Australia Day Community Organisation of the Year for 2013, honouring the club’s proud heritage and its ability to provide a strong platform for promoting health and wellbeing through participation levels in the community.
The Carnival has also taken out the Victorian Runners’ and Trainers’ Association’s “Meeting of the Year” in 1983, 1988 and 2008, beating the likes of the prestigious Stawell Gift.
In augural secretary, Tom Hopkins, was given life membership of the Victorian Athletic League in 1990 and current secretary, Frances Connell, is the only female in the state to be given life membership.
The most recent recognition for the Burramine Sports Club was the Victorian Athletic League (VAL) President’s Award presented to the club in May.
President of VAL Mathew Boyes told the Chronicle he had the “honour of awarding the President’s Award to the recipient who I deem to have provided services to the VAL, both in the current and past seasons, to strengthen and enhance the VAL”.
“This recipient can be anyone in VAL community,” Mathew said.
“This year I awarded it to the Burramine Sports Club Committee for its long standing commitment to both the VAL and the local community and to recognise the commitment this small band volunteers has, which includes members of the Lawless family and Frances Connell, for continuing to run the Burramine Gift now for many decades.”
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