THIS Saturday the New England Nomads AFL club will celebrate their 50th year of competition with their game against Inverell at Bellevue Oval followed by celebrations to commemorate the milestone.
Later this year, East Armidale soccer club will also celebrate their 50th anniversary.
It seems that Armidale’s sporting communities have long and proud traditions that most certainly need recognising.
My own involvement in sport as a surf lifesaver as a nipper on Sydney’s beaches has seen me involved in a sporting tradition with a surf club whose grassroots stem from the turn of the last century.
The sport of surf life saving has progressed with new technologies and new ideas like most sports in the 21st century.
But it is those aspects of the tradition of surf life saving that have weathered the tides of change that mean the most, and perhaps I am most proud of.
The pulling on of the club cap my grandfather pulled on, supporting competitors in events that were part of the foundation years of surf life saving techniques.
You only need to look at the Olympics right now to see events steeped in tradition.
The Olympic rings, synonymous with the world’s sporting elite, the rituals of the opening ceremony and the lingering pride that exists years later with our gold medal successes.
Armidale doesn’t a have surf club and we are a far-cry away from London, but community is no different, the players that take to the fields and courts all over Armidale are tomorrow’s history and the traditions that exist ensures our sport’s future.
While there are only two sporting clubs in Armidale celebrating milestones in their history, they are not alone with many other sports with traditions deeply entrenched in the life and soul of Armidale’s history.
Perhaps even more exciting is the presence of new sports and new teams taking to the fields.
Teams such as the women’s premier league sides, or the Armidale roller derby team are creating their own history and add to the sporting fabric of life in Armidale.
I would love to hear of the local sporting traditions that you are apart of.
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