Sporting History

Sporting History

Mortdale District Football Club 1904 

Kogarah and the entire St George region has a strong sporting history. Here we take a look at many of the milestones in the region's sporting heritage.

  • 1888: Moorefield Racing Club held its first meeting. It was named after an early member, Peter Moore.
  • 1897: St George Sailing Club was established at its headquarters and clubhouse at Rocky Point.
  • 1898: Illawarra Suburbs Cricket Association was formed. It later changed its name to the St George Cricket Association.
  • 1903: St George District Rugby Union Club was formed with a leading club official, Harold Judd, captaining the Australian Wallabies team from 1903-1905.
  • 1908: St George District Rugby League Football Club was formed.
  • 1910: St George District Cricket Club was founded as a subdistrict club under the auspices of the NSW Cricket Association.
  • 1921: The St George Motor Boat Club was opened. This was also the first year that the St George Rugby League team played in First Grade competition and the year that George Carstairs (Kogarah Marist Bros.) represented Australia in rugby league.
  • 1925: The first ladies mid-week tennis competition was conducted with 19 teams taking part.
  • 1928: Edith (Edie) Robinson, a member of the St George Ladies Athletic Club, became the first Australian woman to compete in an Olympic athletics event. She competed in the 100 metres and 800 metres at the Amsterdam Olympics and was the only Australian woman to represent on the track at these Games. Edith was eliminated in the semi-final of the 100 metres.
  • 1929: Kogarah Golf Club opened beside Moorefield Racecourse. In 1955 the land was sold to the Education Department and in 1956 the golf club moved to Arncliffe.
  • 1934: Kogarah Council constructed a modern sports oval with grandstand at Kogarah Park (also known as Jubilee Oval) -  the home ground for St George Rugby League team for many years.
  • 1938-39: Beverley Park Golf Course was constructed after filling in the head of Kogarah Bay.
  • 1952: Claude Smeal, a member of the St George Amateur Athletic Club, competed in the marathon at the Helsinki Olympics. At the time Claude was an army captain serving in the Korean War and managed to train every morning despite the threat of being hit by enemy snipers. He finished the marathon in 45th place in a time of 2 hours, 15 minutes and 9 seconds.
  • 1956: Fleur Mellor, a former student of St George Girls High School and member of the St George District Amateur Athletic Club, won a gold medal in the 4 x 100 metres relay at the Melbourne Olympics. The medal was won in a world record time of 44.9 seconds.
  • 1956-66: St George Rugby League Club reached the grand final on 27 occasions, winning fifteen times including the world record feat of eleven successive premierships.
  • 1965: Kogarah Council became the first Council in NSW to build two full length Olympic swimming pools - Carss Park and Sans Souci.
  • 1968: Ron Riley, a player with the St George Hockey Club, collected a silver medal when the Australian team lost 2-1 to Pakistan in the final in Mexico City. Riley competed in three Olympic Games - Mexico City in 1968, Munich in 1972 and Montreal in 1976.
  • 1980: Sans Souci swimmer, Michelle Ford, represented Australia at the Montreal Olympics in 1976 and the Moscow Olympics in 1980 where she won a gold medal in the 800 metres freestyle and a bronze medal in the 200 metres butterfly. Michelle, who attended St George Girls High School from 1974-1979, was the only woman from a western nation to break the Eastern bloc grip at a Games marred by boycotts by some western countries against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
  • 1990's: This decade was a rollercoaster for the St George Rugby League Club as they made four grand final appearances (the last as St George Illawarra in 1999) but were unable to record a premiership win.
  • 1995: Susie Maroney set the 24 hour swimming record for women when she completed 93.625kms at Carss Park on 21-22 April.
  • 1998: St George Rugby League Club became the competition's first joint venture team when they joined with Illawarra to form the St George Illawarra Dragons.
  • 2000: Local residents participated in the Sydney Olympics torch relay in the local area at approximately 6.00am on 12 September. The torch relay finished at the Sydney Olympic Stadium on 15 September.
  • 2010: The St George Illawarra Dragons won the NRL premiership, defeating the Sydney Roosters by 32 points to 8.

Many current and former residents of the St George region have represented Australia at an Olympic Games. View the full list of names here.