49 years in and resiliency is key.
For the Bendigo Rugby Club, if being a part of the Victorian Rugby Union for 49 years has taught them anything, it’s that surviving the bad times and making sure to enjoy the good times may just be the key to the success of their longstanding rugby club.
For the year 2020, Bendigo Rugby Club gets to look back at its previous 49 years and celebrate reaching it to 50 years and becoming a stalwart of regional Rugby in Victoria.
In those 49 years of being a part of the VRU there has been a host of success, with 14 premierships and a number of key players to come from the club. Those players including Jesse Tuitupou, Bill Coulter and Blake Theunissen.
Bendigo Rugby Club, like many, is underpinned by loyal and devoted volunteers. Club legend William ‘Bill’ Coulter is one of the men behind the clubs’ success; having supported and witnessed the club through all of its highs and lows.
"Ian Dyett has been president for 32 of our fifty years and is 72 years old. I am 79 years old and have been treasurer for 36 years. We are looking to pass this club on to the next generation," Bill said.
Bill’s extraordinary record of service to the club is worth mentioning, paying dedication to the clubs’ 50th anniversary this year. In 1979, Bill joined the Bendigo Rugby Club as a player and committed seven seasons to the club; playing in the premiership teams of 1982 and 1983 and reaching the ‘100 games’ milestone.
Following his game career, Bill became secretary of the club, and remained in this position for 23 years. If becoming secretary wasn’t enough for Bill, he became treasurer (1984-2003, 2005-current), president (2004), coached, team manager, the media liaison officer, and everything in between.
A club built on inclusion and acceptance of those from all diverse backgrounds, loyalty to club members, and longevity of mateship; the Bendigo Rugby Club prides themselves on their continuity of success and love for the game, demonstrated in their 14 premiership titles earned within their first 49 years of existence.
Within the clubrooms at the Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve in Bendigo lies a long line of historic events; blood, sweat, tears, success, and disappointment – the players and club members have endured it all. Today, we celebrate the clubs’ 50 years of success, the tight-knit community that it has created and those hard-working, devoted volunteers who continue to be the life-blood of this historic regional Victorian Rugby club.