We would like a jumbotron this Christmas please.
Ballarat has so much to be grateful about this year, we may as well beam it on a four-sided big screen in our new stadium.
You have been so generous to us since we started making appeals to your sense of sporting spirit.
We asked you for a bulldog puppy a few years ago. Now we have two carrying out official Western Bulldogs duties – little Whitteny, daughter of Caesar, made her debut in the Ballarat kennel before club open day last weekend.
We asked you for more bikes last Christmas to entice more of us to get involved in the Cycling Australia Road National Championships.
This is still a work in progress but in a fortnight’s time paracyclists will finally get their chance to tackle our notorious Mount Buninyong climb as they vie for a national crown.
Para-athletes raced their national road races in Cardigan Village last January and, while flatter, arguably gets its toughness from strong head winds. A pack of para-cyclists had planned to prove they could ride Mount Buninyong by taking on the Gran Fondo last year, only to be foiled by the event’s cancellation in extreme heat.
Now the nation’s top para-cyclists finally get their chance to show us what is possible.
We have also asked you for streamers shooting from the new grandstand roofs at Mars Stadium. We are still waiting and I am not sure it makes the list for alterations in promised $6.6 million upgrades from the premier.
But, we are starting to have more reason to celebrate action on Mars. Carols were there for the first time last week and this week, Super Rugby club Melbourne Rebels locked in a pre-season bout on our turf for February.
AFL and AFLW is gradually building on its presence in Ballarat to reinforce Mars as its kennel, too.
Speaking of teams calling Ballarat home, National Basketball League Blitz finals were at the Minerdome a couple of months ago. Women’s National Basketball League clubs Melbourne Boomers and Bendigo Spirit have been adopting us for a few years now.
We know they are all keen to play in our new stadium and it was an incredible show of faith to put on hit-outs at the Minerdome in the meantime.
You should check out BSEC on your fly-over Santa. It’s really shaping up to be amazing. We have secured state government funding promises to complete the vision with three-on-three courts and a strength and conditioning gym, plus full stadium wrapping.
What is really missing Santa is a jumbotron, like the ones in the United States. Did you know Geelong Supercats have one in The Arena? Bendigo Stadium also unveiled a jumbotron this year after big expansion works.
We know you really seem to understand the importance of showmanship (magical entrances by flying reindeer or squishing down a chimney without soiling your suit is impressive to any age).
The bright lights, crisp vision and awesome effects for team introductions would open a whole new world of possibility in Ballarat for what we could host. Not to mention, our Miners and Rush will be playing in a newly formed senior elite league next year. We could make a big, bold impact.
Dare we say flag marketing opportunities?
Although, we do not always need big screens to highlight our sporting triumphs.
Kathryn Mitchell let her javelin do the talking with a 68.92-metre throw in Carrara Stadium to stake her gold medal claim in the Commonwealth Games in April. This was the furthest distance thrown on Australian soil, an Australian and Commonwealth record, and followed Mitchell’s two Australian record throws on her way to the Gold Coast.
Mitchell is one of five Australians to break a national record in an Olympic event this year.
A humble contender, Mitchell says a change of mindset in “releasing the brakes”. This is about trusting hard work, preparation, experience and being in the moment rather than the hype of everything going on about you.
Jumbotrons are all about hype and it is important to options. Basketball thrives on hype.
BSEC is going to be amazing. An extra trimming, like a jumbotron, will open Ballarat to a whole new level of what is possible.
Yours in festive spirit,
(on behalf of Ballarat)
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