Before the foundation of the Sportsman's Club, the sporting codes using the ovals spent many hours in maintaining their playing fields. The major clubs using the fields saw fit to form a licensed club with the aim of fostering sport and maintaining the ovals. An invitation to all sports codes was extended and only cricket, baseball and rugby league took up the challenge.
After a couple of years of operation, the “club” found it was possible to employ a full time curator. Keith Nancarrow was appointed and many appreciate the wonderful grounds he prepared.
In 1957, the Speedway track around the main ground was removed, and in 1959, a complete reconstruction of Cahill (no 1) oval was carried out. Under the guidance of Keith Nancarrow, and with 30cms of coal ash, topped with 12cms of Maitland loam and seeded with South African couch grass the playing surface became, in everyone’s opinion, the equal to the S.C.G. At the same time, the spear-point watering system was located and updated in the northeastern corner of the present clubhouse and provided adequate water for both Cahill (No 1) and Miller (No 2) Ovals. Miller Pavilion was erected, turf wickets laid on Miller (No 2) and the hill formed around Cahill (No 1). Today, grass forms the main coverage.
Miller Field has been moved twice since its early construction; once in 1970 to allow for extensions to the Club and car park, and then again to relocate farther away from Glover St. and residences. In the early days, many a cricket or baseball would be retrieved from the clubhouse roof. Some Club glass doors and windows were also broken.
A council garbage dump was located around Barton Oval and when it closed in the early 1970s, Barton Fields and Lumsdon Fields were developed with sand pumped from Rutile mining in the area. These fields cater for rugby league, cricket, baseball, Australian rules and all school sports programs.
Since the Club took over maintenance responsibilities, we have had a number of members of ground staff who have done wonderful jobs. Those who have taken up the position of head groundsman for most of the past 50 years include Keith Nancarrow, Darryl Crockett and Russell Neal.
The Belmont Sports grounds have been and still remain property of the community of Lake Macquarie and as such are under the administration of the Belmont Ovals Board which allocates usage, meets various maintenance costs and relies on the “Sporties” to carry out a maintenance program which provides a huge benefit to sports clubs and schools, enabling us to meet one of our obligations to sport, an original commitment agreed upon 50 years ago.
Belmont Sporties has always participated in the local community through its sponsorship of the charities and local sporting bodies, and this year, we introduced our new Sponsorship Program.