The Ballarat Sebastopol Cycling Club came into being as Ballarat Sebastopol Amateur Cycling Club in 1974 following the disbanding of two local but independent cycling clubs, Ballarat Amateur Cycling Club and Sebastopol Amateur Cycling club.
Back in the day, summer track racing was held by each club on a ‘home’ track. Ballarat raced in Victoria Park on sealed track with raised banks while Sebastopol used a sealed track in what is now the Marty Busch Sports Complex, amid the mullock left over from the mines just west of where the steeply banked 250 meter concrete velodrome is situated today.
What eventually brought the two clubs together was Victorian government policy. Both clubs had shown interest in constructing new tracks; Ballarat was seeking assistance to build a 400 meter track in Victoria Park, while Sebastopol was looking for help to build a new track facility in Sebastopol.
Not unlike current-day government policy, the emphasis at the time was for a joined-up approach to funding, so to attract the necessary government investment for a velodrome in Ballarat it was made evident to both clubs that they should merge and form a single entity capable of managing cycling and conducting open level competitive races within Ballarat. This decision allowed funding for the construction of the Colin Smith Velodrome soon after the amalgamation.
The early 2000s were not good years for the club but in late 2007 momentum started to build as the club drew junior riders from local schools to participate in track racing on the by then badly degraded Velodrome. Over the next few years numbers grew dramatically with up to 70 riders participating in Thursday night racing. The club won grants and sponsorships that allowed the purchase of more than 40 new track bikes and other equipment. In late 2008 the club was awarded federal government funding which when combined with City of Ballarat support resulted in the $340,000 upgrade of the velodrome to what it is today. A further grant through SRV (and again the City of Ballarat) means that within a week of the 2011 Madison carnival the grandstand will be demolished and work will start on new clubrooms.
The successful holding of the 2011 Victorian Madison Championships carnival in Ballarat was a major achievement for the club as it works to become a consistently strong presence in track racing in Victoria. The completion of our new club rooms in August 2011 was another big step. We are proud of the work achieved so far and look forward to much more in the future. We thank all our loyal sponsors for their huge contributions.
Have a wonderful day of racing and mark the date in your 2012 calendars because we will be back much bigger and better next year!