Published 4 February 2017, The Courier, Ballarat
Once again we are witnessing division and animosity within our community about football and demonstrating to governments and investors that we cannot see the benefits for the long term. Committee for Ballarat is proud of its member company, Troons, for stepping up – along with other stalwarts of the city – to ensure ongoing commitment and viability of the Roosters.
The willingness of Peter Wilson and his team to offer professional and proven business skills is indicative of a commitment above and beyond what should be expected and it is tragic for our community to see that lost.
Let’s not forget the community owns bits of this facility. So we all have an interest, as do the City of Ballarat and the State Government of Victoria, whose money is being expended right now for the good of the sport.
Personally, I signed up at the end of last year to support the revival efforts but since then the fragmentation has exacerbated to the point of disbelief. Where is the governance, communication to members and thought for the younger sporting aspirants whose future is being compromised? The appointment of a new CEO after many months gave some cause for optimism but it is an invidious situation for him and all the staff to manage without support and guidance from a fully-functioning Board.
But worse than all of that is the reputation of this city to accept progress and embrace opportunities. We are in danger of losing a prime opportunity for football to develop to the highest level in this region and that the footy players of the future, both men and women, will be denied their chance to flourish. If we continue to stick in the mud of the past and reject change, which has ongoing benefits such as the Western Bulldogs and their commitment through President Peter Gordon to wider involvement in the community, we are the losers.
It seems we cannot rise above parochial interests. The way we play the game here encourages the worst of rough-house tactics which any decent umpire would stop promptly.
Chair Committee for Ballarat