Trugo News :: 19 May 2016

It’s time to take a stand for Trugo! Our local community can now have a say about the future of the historic Footscray Trugo rink and clubhouse. 

Maribyrnong Council is consulting about the site’s use – and we want to make sure that people’s support for playing Trugo there is clearly heard.

Read on to find out how you can voice your support for Trugo’s return to its traditional home. 

Support Trugo’s return to Footscray & Seddon!

Maribyrnong Council is surveying the community about the future of the Trugo club site at 139 Buckley St, Seddon. 

A key goal of our club is to start playing Trugo again at the Buckley St rink. There’s no better way to celebrate the heritage of the West’s indigenous sport than to play it once more at this historic playing field. The site is the oldest purpose-built Trugo rink and clubhouse in existence and its unique history should be preserved. 

We believe that fostering Trugo is important, and we also support creating much-needed open space for the local area. We would like to see the site re-opened to the community and the clubhouse restored so it can be used by local groups and residents. Playing Trugo can co-exist with other recreational uses, and the grounds and clubhouse should be open to everyone. 

Please click here to take the Council’s survey and support the return of Trugo. There’s only a few questions and it just takes a couple of minutes. And please share the survey link among your friends and help us promote it on social media! 

Our goals:

  • Support the return of Trugo to 139 Buckley St

  • Support the site’s use as open space for all to enjoy

  • Support the restoration of the clubhouse for community use

The heritage of the Buckley St Trugo club site

Why is the history of the Trugo club site important? Here's an extract from a conservation report prepared for the Maribyrnong Council.

"Historically, the Footscray Trugo Club retains important associations with an idiosyncratic local pastime that is one of very few contenders for the title of a unique Australian sport. 

"The Footscray Club was one of only five Trugo clubs that date back to the sport’s initial phase of development in the late 1930s and early 1940s. With three of these early clubs long since defunct, and the one at Yarraville no longer occupying its original premises, the Buckley Street site of the Footscray club provides unique evidence of the earliest days of competitive Trugo in Melbourne.  

"As the only surviving example of purpose-built Trugo clubhouse, partly funded, constructed and maintained by the members themselves, the building at Footscray also stands out from the numerous post-war Trugo facilities scattered through Melbourne’s northern and inner southern suburbs." 

Our first social game – The Ascot Vale Invitational

In April, our committee was delighted to be invited to the Ascot Vale Trugo Club for a social game of Trugo. For many of us it was our first ever real game. Our hosts from the ’Vale were super sweet and gave us valuable tips (important given that we're absolute beginners!). Afternoon tea included home made cake (thanks Tom) in their historic clubhouse on the banks of the Maribyrnong River. 

We learned that to play a round each player hits 4 rings, 3 times from each end of the field – making 24 hits in total. So the maximum score is 24 but this score doesn't happen very often, even for the best players. Think of it like bowling a “300 game” in ten pin bowling, something even the most skilful players only do rarely. Astoundingly there is no word to describe achieving a perfect score but you’d be forgiven for singing “We Are The Champions” with gusto.

We were also taught some valuable Trugo terms:

  • A "Mary" is when you miss all four shots in one round
  • A "Poster" is when the ring hits the goal posts, which doesn’t count as a score
  • A "True Go" is when the ring goes cleanly between the posts.

Local businesses throw their support behind the club

Our Club recently participated in the Community Pitch night organised by the Seddon Community Bank. 17 community groups showcased their projects to an audience of the bank and local businesses, who could choose to support the projects by making donations.

Ten local businesses (and one generous individual) donated to the club on the night. The funds raised will be used to buy sporting equipment and other club gear, to lobby Council for access to the Buckley St Trugo grounds, and to promote the club in the community.

Thanks again to the Seddon Community Bank for organising the event, and thank you to the many generous donors who have contributed towards our Club’s future success. All of our donors deserve a huge vote of appreciation:

The Yarraville Club  –  Seddon Community Bank Branch  –  Collins & Co  –  Seddon Vet Hospital  –  VAULT  –  Dog Diversity Dog Grooming School  –  Pekish  –  Sarah Franklyn  –  Sweeney Estate Agents Yarraville  –  Ultra Tune Footscray West  –  The Village Store Yarraville

From the archives: Some historical curios

Luke Robertson continues his investigations into the birth of the sport and the origins of the Footscray Trugo Club: 

"Looking back through some old articles about the sport, I’ve discovered a mention of the Club’s first match in The Age on the 16th of June 1937. Previous histories have put the first match on the 18th of June 1937, two days after this report. Regardless of the date, the winner was Yarraville in both versions." 

The Age – Wednesday 16 June 1937

"The second report is this description of a match between Footscray and Williamstown in 1939. Apparently it was exhilarating to see veterans lustily smiting the flying discs. Let’s hope our revival can be just as exhilarating for the local press!"

Williamstown Chronicle – Saturday 14 Jan 1939

Don't forget to have your say in the Council's survey – Please support Trugo's return to the Buckley St rink!

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