June 13, 2005
Plans by the Back to Belmore committee to have Belmore Sports Ground upgraded have taken a turn for the worse, with the venue's major stakeholder, the Mitsubishi Electric Bulldogs, severing ties with Belmore and relocating their operations to Sydney Olympic Park.
Belmore Sports Ground's future is now in jeopardy, with Canterbury City Council unable to fund an overdue upgrade. Back to Belmore President Luke Brailey is relying on people power to get Belmore Sports Ground restored as the premier sporting facility in the Canterbury-Bankstown district.
"As the primary tenants of Belmore Sports Ground, the Bulldogs' decision to abandon their traditional home is particularly disappointing, not only to supporters of the Club but also to the community at large," he said.
"It appears that the need to respond to the challenges facing Belmore has been put in the too-hard basket. Packing up and abandoning their home of 70 years to let other people deal with the problems crippling the venue is simply an easier option. Malcolm Noad [Bulldogs CEO], where's the leadership?"
Back to Belmore intends to continue collecting signatures on a petition by door-knocking the area encircling Belmore. The petition calls for funding to upgrade Belmore Sports Ground as a multi-purpose sporting facility.
"We will continue to knock on doors, walk the streets, talk to local residents and get as many as 10,000 signatures," Brailey said.
"We've still got a long way to go but our future sports players are depending on us and we owe it to them. Their future is essentially in our hands. As the sole advocate for Belmore Sports Ground's restoration and preservation, we have a moral obligation to safeguard this amazing facility for future generations of athletes. Nobody else has stepped up to the plate to take ownership of this situation, which is a sad reflection on our leaders at all levels."