Harriers set to celebrate 125th

Club with long, proud history fosters sense of community


The Malvern Harriers 2003 Women’s Division 1 road relay team – Kate Seibold, Jane Wilson, Michelle Jelleff and Tracey Austin – celebrate their championship win. Picture: SUPPLIED


The 1940 men’s winter team.

SPORTING careers and lifelong friendships have been forged at the Malvern Harriers Athletic Club for more than a century.

Its history spans more than 125 years, and as one of Australia’s oldest athletics clubs it has a long and proud history of encouraging people to perform their best on the field.

Club president Michelle Jelleff said a number of remarkable athletes, both men and women, had done the club proud over the years, including Eddie Moore who dominated races from 1925-1930 and remained strongly involved with athletics in his more mature years, and Dick Crossley who won selection in every Victorian cross country team from 1929 to 1953.

Recent years also saw fantastic success within the women’s division, with Tracey Austin, Marienne Hibbert, Michelle Jelleff, Kate Seibold and the late Jane Wilson leading the way to the club’s victories at the 2003 and 2004 AV Women’s Division 1 Winter Championships. But aside from the on field achievements, the club also built a strong sense of community, Ms Jelleff said.

“One of the common runs that runners will do is a pack run. That happened certainly back in the 1920s,” she said.

“A dozen or two dozen people would meet at someone’s house. They would start and finish the run at that house, and then they would have a shower and a meal.

“Often the families would be there, the wives and the children. (And) often those events happen today, so that tradition continues.”

The club has also survived both the World Wars and the Great Depression, when many other clubs folded, and this month it will celebrate its long history with an exhibition of memorabilia at the Stonnington History Centre in Malvern from August 26 to September 3.

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