Prior to 1965 approximately 18 clubs located in the Springvale area played in the Dandenong & District Women’s Basketball Association. Games were played at different courts each week including Dandenong High School, Menzies Ave Dandenong, Harrisfield, Oakleigh High School, Burden Park, Springvale South, Whiteside, and behind the Springvale Town Hall.We travelled to the various venues by train, bus, bike and car. There were 8 Senior Sections, catering for players from 14 years of age and upwards. Teams supplied their own umpires.
In August of 1964 a Special Combined meeting was held to discuss and vote on the division of the Association into two – ‘Dandenong & District Women’s Basketball Association’ and ‘Springvale & District Women’s Basketball Association’. Mrs Anne Trotter was president at the time and for the purpose of this meeting an independent chairperson by the name of Mrs Champion was welcomed as “Chairwoman”. The meeting acknowledged the honourable record the association had achieved over the past 32 years. Its duty to provide good exercise for players had been well carried out, however, the competition had become too large and difficult to administer.
The severance to be known as the “split” was an amicable arrangement and it was agreed that Chandler Road would be the boundary between the two Associations. All clubs located on the Dandenong council side would stay with D&DWBA and those clubs located on the Springvale side would form the new Association known as SV & D WBA. It was also agreed that clubs allocated to either boundaries were not to abandon that association in favour of the other for a period of at least five years. This decision was based on the premise that both Associations were to be given the opportunity to prosper equally.
In 1965 the Springvale & District Women’s Basketball Association was officially formed and
Teany Dickson was elected as the first President.
Clubs involved in the early days included Springvale South, Ramblers, Clayton Youth Club, Noble Park, Oakleigh High School, Clayton Checks, Springvale North, Springvale Maroons, C.Y.C.W, St. Anthony’s, Harrisfield, Springvale Youth, and St. Joseph’s. Springvale South played at Oakleigh High School, Springvale South, Whiteside, Harrisfield, Burden Park (grass courts), at Clayton (behind the shopping Centre on the carpark), and at St Joseph’s.We had many new Clubs join us over the years and we started the junior age group competition ranging from U10 to U18s, which was very popular and continues to this day. There was also a mid-week Women’s Competition at Harrisfield with approximately 15 teams participating.
Located within the Springvale City Council electorate in the early years many meetings with the Springvale Council, along with marches of protest finally convinced council to give us a place where all teams could be catered for at the one venue. In the early 80’s the Springvale City Council finally provided land that would hold 16 courts plus a Pavilion – the Rowan Road Complex was completed in 1982.
Unfortunately, during the week prior to the Official Opening, the complex was completely gutted by fire; however, we still went ahead with the official opening.
All teams participate in a march from the Springvale South Shopping Centre to the courts in Rowan Road.We hired a band for the occasion and it pelted with rain from the beginning to the end of the march. Despite the rain the official ceremony took place and the building was officially opened by Cr. Bill Warner with the President of the Association Lynne Fleming cutting the ribbon.
Due to the fire, the Association was forced to use temporary sheds as an office and club rooms. The Committee worked hard to fundraise and replace many items that were destroyed and not covered by insurance – we survived.
In 1985 season the second pavilion was finally built and ready for use. The Association grew to approximately 230 teams (2300 players) playing, either Thursday Nights (7.00 to 10.00pm) or Saturday (8.30am to 4.30pm), each week. The Association was thriving and managed to raise enough funds to erect lighting and build gazebos around the courts.
In the early 90’s due to a season of constant rain causing the majority of games to be cancelled the Thursday Night Competition was transferred to the newly built Springers Leisure Centre. At Springers we utilised the three courts available as well as the current badminton area from 5.30 to 11.00pm.
On 5th February 2001 fire once again claimed the complex and again we were forced to use temporary buildings until the pavilion as we know it today was finally completed and was officially opened on 8th February 2003.
Past & Present Members who made significant contributions to SDNA:
– Chris Woolfe(Life member & Junior Umpires So-Coordinator)
– Kim Pentreath (Life member & Umpire Supervisor).
Notable Past Members:
Special thanks to Anne Trotter and members of Dandenong & District Netball Association for assisting in the compilation of this brief history of the Springvale & District Netball Association.