The Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club celebrated 50 years of existence on Saturday night.
More than 80 past and current members attended the dinner event at Chally's Bar and Bistro in Ararat to to celebrate the golden anniversary and share stories about the club from throughout the years.
A large amount of memorabilia, news items, booklets and photos were on display to track the club’s progression from 1968 to now.
Former presidents Frank Allen and Kevin Maple as well as current president Neil Wilde were guest speakers, discussing the history of the club and stories from their time involved with it.
Wilde said it was fantastic to see so many people turn up that have been involved with the club at different points in time.
“People took the opportunity to relive old memories and meet runners they had not seen for a long, long time,” he said.
“We have had a very good response from everybody that attended. They thought it was marvelous and said it was a very good night.”
Wilde said it is a terrific effort for the club to be going strong 50 years on, especially in a diluted sport environment.
“The club is extremely proud to have lasted so long,” he said.
“Things are a lot different now with the amount of sport that is available compared to back then. People have so many different choices not just of sport but of different types of running too.
“We are hoping the club can stay strong. It has survived for 50 years so there is no reason why it can’t keep succeeding.”
Frank Allen and Mary Kent, wife of foundation member Lindsay Kent, concluded the night with the cutting of the 50th anniversary cake.
Wilde said Kent was crucial in setting the foundation for a successful and prosperous club.
“A lot of the things Lindsay set in place we still follow today,” he said. “Even though we are a professional club with prize money, we are not purely about winning.
“It is an avenue for people to get fit, meet new people and make terrific friends.”
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