April 26, 2005
Seven local residents - Luke Brailey, Luke Cevolani, Mark Cevolani, Joseph Moses, Tony Karam, Joe Karam and Steven Cataldi - have joined forces and commenced lobbying for the preservation of Belmore Sports Ground.
After rumours spread last year that Belmore Sports Ground was to be demolished, Back to Belmore, the newly-formed organisation, has taken up the challenge of keeping local sport alive and bringing it 'Back to Belmore' for future generations of athletes, as the ground has fallen into disrepair.
"For generations, people have gained strength and hope from watching sport at Belmore Sports Ground," said Back to Belmore President Luke Brailey.
"Generations of sports players and families have been a part of this amazing facility, cheering on the Bulldogs there, and generations of young athletes have aspired to play on the same hallowed turf as their heroes."
Brailey, 20, has compiled a comprehensive, long-sighted and realistic plan to make the restoration of Belmore Sports Ground viable.
"It is a plan that will benefit the entire Canterbury-Bankstown community in the long-term future," he said.
"It offers opportunities for all sports without prejudice. By 2015, we would envision Belmore Sports Ground upgraded as a multi-purpose sporting facility to meet the needs of our aspiring athletes across a wide range of sports - rugby league, rugby union, soccer, gridiron, and other sporting groups that would wish to use the facilities."
Vice President Tony Karam says the project is a wonderful opportunity to rejuvinate Belmore Sports Ground but emphasised that the prospect of the Bulldogs playing NRL matches at Belmore was not a matter for the Back to Belmore committee.
"It's up to them [the Mitsubishi Electric Bulldogs]," he said.
"They would have to agree to come back and play matches. From a community point of view, we would love nothing more than to see a select number of NRL games at Belmore and hope that it does come to fruition in the fullness of time but again, that is a matter for the Bulldogs to determine.
"It's every Bulldogs supporter's dream to return to Belmore Sports Ground. The difficulty lies in converting the dream into a reality."
Back to Belmore launched a petition calling for government funding to upgrade Belmore Sports Ground. The petition has the backing of many local residents, local business owners and proponents of local sport.
Committee Secretary Luke Cevolani argues that a significant number of families in the local area are very receptive to the idea of Belmore being upgraded.
"If you ignore Belmore Sports Ground, you are ignoring the hopes and aspirations of the next generation of sports players," he said.
"Belmore is the heart of the Canterbury-Bankstown community. It is still beating."