November 27, 2020

The Early Days

The Early Days

Coburg Harriers Club was one of the earliest of the athletics clubs to be formed in Australia, with the early runs based on the cross-country concept of harriering.

In 1890, Melbourne Harriers and Melbourne University, the first of the Victorian clubs, were formed. Hawthorn Harriers, Wesley College and Melbourne Church of England Grammar School (Collegians) quickly followed in 1891. These clubs became the Victorian Amateur Athletic Association on the 8th October 1891, six years earlier than the formation of the Amateur Athletics Association of Australia (8th October 1987).

The first Victorian Track and Field Championships were conducted on the East Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1892. Ballaarat (now Ballarat) Harriers also formed in 1891 with Malvern Harriers following in 1892.

At the Association’s opening run in 1895, 15 clubs took their place:

Collegians Harriers
Albert Park Harriers
Ballaarat Hare and Hound
Melbourne Harriers
Kew Harriers
Ballaarat Harriers
Malvem Harriers
Baroodara Harriers
Melbourne Hare and Hounds
Hawthorn Harriers
East Melbourne Harriers
St Lukes Harriers
Medical School Harriers
Ballaarat East Harriers
Prahran Harriers

The Walkers Club, Clifton and Northcote Harriers and Bendigo Harriers also formed in 1895 while Coburg Harriers, on 30th March 1896, just pipped Carlton Harriers with a formation date of 13th May 1896. It is interesting to note how many of these clubs still exist either in their own right or as part of amalgamations.

Coburg now ranks as the 5th oldest of the continuous Victorian clubs.

To this day the Coburg Harriers Club maintains the traditions and aims laid down at the time the Club was founded.

Nowhere has this been better expressed than by the Club motto

NOT THE QUARRY BUT THE CHASE, NOT THE TROPIIY BUT THE RACE