State League Round 1

This weekend marks not only the start of a brand new season of Lacrosse Victoria competition but itThe Bendigo 2011 season begins is also of great historical significance. When the ten Men's and four Women's State League teams take the field it will be the first time in 115 years that top level lacrosse has been seen in the Goldfields region of Victoria.

Lacrosse enthusiasts in Australia have a lot to thank Victoria's Goldfields for. It was the lure of Gold which brought the family of a young Canadian, Lambton L. Mount, to Australia in 1853. Mount would go on import 40 lacrosse sticks to Australia and organise the first games in Melbourne in the late 1870's.

Bendigo Has Lacrosse History

Lacrosse players and supporters visiting Bendigo this coming weekend to promote the sport and participate in the first round of senior fixtures may be interested to learn that Bendigo enjoys a long lacrosse history.  Highlights include:

- Lacrosse commenced in Bendigo in 1883 with the formation of the Bendigo Lacrosse Club, followed soon after by the Sandhurst Club.

- Melbourne University Lacrosse Club visited Bendigo in 1883 for a match against the locals and repeated this visit on more than one occasion in the years that followed.  MCC Club also played in Bendigo in 1886.

- The first Inter-colonial lacrosse contest ever staged in Australia took place between the Sandhurst (Bendigo) and Deniliquin lacrosse clubs at Echuca on 16th June 1886 with the Bendigo team victorious 3 goals to nil.

- Bendigo hosted an international lacrosse match on August 14th, 1907 when Victoria played the visiting Canadian team.  The match was played on the Upper Reserve and attracted 3000 spectators with the Canadians winning 16 to 3.

- The Bendigo Lacrosse Association was formed in 1909 and soon had five clubs competing in local competition.  These included Websters Lacrosse Club (pictured), YMCA,  Bendigo, Fire Brigades and Rowing Club. The Association maintained a local competition until the intervention of World War 1 in 1914 and was not revived until 1923

- Williamstown Lacrosse Club sent teams to play in Bendigo in 1924 in order to assist the revival of the game.

The last time Bendigo witnessed a major lacrosse event was when International lacrosse came to Australia in 1907; the State Lacrosse Associations in combination with the Melbourne Cricket Club and the South Australian Cricket Association combined to sponsor a visit by a team from Canada.   The Canadians started their tour in Brisbane and then travelled south playing sixteen matches over a 3-month period in Sydney, Melbourne, Bendigo, Ballarat, Adelaide, Perth and Kalgoorlie. Canada won the Test Series by 3 matches to 1.

Webster Team 1909

Lacrosse continued to thrive in Bendigo into the early 20th Century, as the below article below from The Argus 1910 indicates:

LACROSSE BENDIGO ASSOCIATION.     
'The Bendigo Lacrosse Association has secured for the season the use of the Agricultural and Lower Reserve grounds, and has completed its arrangements for the premiership matches, which will commence to-day, when "Websters will play the Fire Brigade's Club and Y.M.C.A. meet Bendigo. Websters club, who last year were premiers, have lost several good men, but have several good recruits. Y.M.C.A. will hate a strong team despite losing Dr Summons and a good defence player in Williams. Bendigo is unfortunately likely to suffer owing to the local arrangement of the half holiday, the majority of business places closing on Wednesday afternoons while the banks have Saturday afternoon. Fire Brigades are nearly all novices, but, being athletes to a man, they will no doubt acquit themselves creditably. Two "oft" matches have been played already this season'

-          The Argus Wednesday 4th May 1910

The re-introduction of the Bendigo Lacrosse Club into the Lacrosse Victoria competition in 2008 was the first time in over 40 years that a lacrosse club has been active in regional Australia.  Fours yearsBendigo First Win on and Bendigo will host is first major lacrosse event in 115 years, as Round one of Victorian State League Men's and State League Women's competition in what has been named the Super Round!
So to be a part of Australian lacrosse history get down to the Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve, Bendigo on Saturday April 14 and witness some of the best Lacrosse players in Australia light up the Goldfield's Region with all of the skill, power and speed expected of the best lacrosse league in Australia.

Don't miss this chance to witness history in the making, and you never know, we may just get Canada back for a visit in the future.

First game faces off at 12pm continuing all afternoon until 5pm.
Watch the action and enjoy the all day BBQ and sponsors tents.

For further details please contact:
Chris Thompson- Secretary Bendigo Lacrosse Club - 0422 993 426

The event flyer can be found here

Location: Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve, 353 Midland Hwy, Huntly (between Carson & Sargent Rds)

-36.688244,144.315324,12|State League Round 1 |Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve, 353 Midland Hwy, Huntly (between Carson & Sargent Rds)

 

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