The Sandringham Amateur Athletic Club was formed at a meeting held on 8th April 1930. The first recorded event was an 880 yards handicap at the Beach Oval (now Sandringham Football Ground).
The competition moved to Tulip Street in October 1930, but Beach Oval was still the training ground. In 1941, the Club was promoted to “A” Grade and in 1951-1952, the Club won its first “A” Grade premiership and had its 1st Olympic representative in 1952 – Ken Doubleday in Hurdles. Ken also competed in 1956 Olympics.
The Club moved officially to Glamis Ave in 1960 by which time two juniors; walker, John Morrison (who stills competed for the club up to 2017) and hurdler, Roy Boyd,(who is the club’s head coach) had great success in the A Grade Premiership 1957-58.
1960-1961 saw the completion of the clubrooms and the track was officially opened in October 1962. The track was grass.
In September 1966, it was decided to start a Little Athletics centre at Glamis Avenue, similar to the one at Geelong. The first ‘Midgets’ group was established by SAAC with athletes from 10 to 13 years old competing in a range of track and field events. It was the first metropolitan club in Melbourne to establish a junior competition and the 4th oldest club in Victoria. SAAC handed control of the Little Athletics to parents the following year and with over 660 children registered in the first season of 1966, Sandringham Little Athletics was off to a flying start.
Little Athletics Victoria, was established in 1967 as the Victorian Little Athletics Association. Sandringham Little Athletics became governed by LAVic which remains today and the overriding association body
Little Athletics enjoys a supportive relationship with seniors. It provides a pathway for our athletes who complete their ‘junior’ program with us at 16 and are keen to continue in the sport. The Senior Program offers our juniors at the age of 14 to participate in their AV program which many of our athletes enjoy doing.
An snapshot history summary of our Seniors
- Seniors consisted of a Women’s Club and a Mens’s Club which in 1983 amalgamation into one body. 1983/84 saw the men’s & women’s teams (excepting A Grade) competing together for the 1st time at Glenhuntly Venue
- In 1964, Mick Ryan was a member of the Olympic Team in 400m Hurdles and can be still seen at the ground assisting athletes in this discipline.
- In 1967-1968, the grass track was badly affected by the drought. In 1968-69, Sandringham Council gave the go-ahead for clubroom extensions, which included kiosk, kitchen, additional toilet facilities, first aid and committee rooms and additional storage room. Club members erected seating along the fence, with financial help from SWAAC. The Javelin run-up was laid, and the discus cage was provided.
- In 1972, Malcolm Baird competed at the Olympics in 110m Hurdles.
- In 1973 a new rubber bitumen track was laid. The track was resurfaced again in 1975.
- 1988 finally saw the overdue resurfacing of the track.
- In 1995, the very big decision was taken to resurface the track with polyurethane surface and this was achieved with Council & State Government help in 1997. However, the Club had to contribute $30,000 towards this and were grateful for the many contributions received, especially from life and former members. The Club must pay all future maintenance and repairs to the track and so it has become a case of “users pay’.
- In 2000, Tamsyn Lewis competed in the Sydney Olympics in 800m. That year, we also had our first Paralympic representative in Don Elgin. Don came 4th in Pentathlon. In 2004, these two once again represented us in Athens – Tamsyn in 800m and 4 x 400 relay and Don winning bronze medals in the Pentathlon and 4 x 100m relay and silver in 4 x 400m relay.
- Club member Roy Boyd was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2006 for his services to athletics. Roy has been associated with the Club for 68 years and is a life Member of both Athletics Victoria [AA] the Australian Track and Field Coaches Association [ATFCA] and a Life Governor of Athletics Australia [AA]. He plays a massive part at the club and he is still coaching today.
- Don Bell is of great significance to the Senior Club. He joined the Club as an athlete in 1937 and acted as an official for the Club and at numerous State, Australian and International competitions until, at least, 2002. He was also an very active Committee Member. He is a life member of the Club and of Athletics Victoria.
Both Clubs are strong community minded and continue to enjoying welcoming athletes of all abilities and ages. We are extremely grateful for all support given by local businesses, parents, athletes and governing bodies. We would love to see you at the track, be part of our team and enjoy the benefits of being active with us.