Shepparton Runners Club celebrates 40 years

By John Lewis

Four decades of Shepparton Runners Club history and achievement is on display at Shepparton Library this month in the lead-up to the club’s 40th anniversary celebration dinner this year.

Club member and anniversary co-ordinator Melanie McAuliffe said she hoped the display would inform people of the club’s proud history.

‘‘People might see a name or a face they recognise and realise there is an active runners club here — and that we go back a long way,’’ Ms McAuliffe said.

Former Shepparton News sports editor and 1964 Stawell Gift winner Noel Hussey came up with the idea of a running club in the summer of 1979.

Football umpires met at Shepparton’s Princess Park once a week to keep fit during the off-season.

Ms McAuliffe said the club’s first minutes were found dated February 7, 1979.

Since then, the club has expanded to about 120 members including teenagers and older members with various levels of running experience.

‘‘It’s a great family environment — at the weekend I had an injury so I looked after other members’ kids. I had 13 kids to entertain,’’ she said.

She said the club still met at Princess Park, but had dedicated clubrooms.

The library display includes handwritten time cards from the 1980s, bibs worn at early running festivals, trophies and a singlet signed by champion long-distance runner Steve Moneghetti.

The memorabilia will be on display this month.

Ms McAuliffe thanked past and current members for their contributions over the years.

‘‘The club would not be the great success it is today with out all their years of hard work and dedication. We also hope that the anniversary year triggers some fond memories that are shared with family and friends,’’ she said.

She said memories can be shared on Shepparton Runners Club 40th Anniversary Facebook page.

A 40th anniversary gala dinner will be from 6pm at Shepparton Golf Club on July 13 when Mr Moneghetti will be guest speaker.

Tickets are available from