Belmore Sports Ground is looking younger than ever, even though it is celebrating its 92nd birthday this year. On Sunday, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs will return to their spiritual ground for a trial game, their first NRL match of the new millennium against the Roosters after an absence of thirteen years.
Brought back to life with an $8.4 million facelift, the historic venue was transformed into the Bulldogs Centre of Excellence in a redevelopment jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments, Canterbury City Council and the Bulldogs. This redevelopment has effectively transformed Belmore Sports Ground from a facility largely unfit for community use into a top-class sporting facility for the Bulldogs Rugby League Club, Sydney Olympic FC, local sporting groups and the Canterbury-Bankstown community at large.
Belmore Sports Ground has come a long way since 2005 when Back to Belmore Inc. took up the challenge to keep local sport alive at the iconic facility. The organisation was formed with a view of returning and restoring local sport 'Back to Belmore' at a time when many stakeholders believed that Belmore Sports Ground was not a viable part of the local community's future.
Not only is the rejuvinated Belmore Sports Ground and its promise for a revitalised Bulldogs NRL team an exciting new addition to local sport, the historic facility is likely to attract state and regional tournaments, bringing a potential economic benefit to the Canterbury-Bankstown community. When not used by the Bulldogs and Sydney Olympic FC, Belmore could be available for local sporting activities and groups wishing to use the facilities.
The restoration of Belmore Sports Ground is a tribute to people power and the doggedness of a group of supporters who refused to accept that the historic venue was gone. It is difficult to imagine the transformation of Belmore from an ex-NRL venue to state-of-the-art sporting facility without the groundwork and marker laid down by Back to Belmore Inc. over the past seven years.
Operations Manager - Back to Belmore Inc.