FOR every morning the past 30 years, Peter Eddy can honestly say he has got up looking forward to going to work.
Mr Eddy says there will be sadness when he walks through the stadium doors for the final time as Basketball Ballarat chief - he admits he can tend to get emotional about defining moments - but he will do so with great pride and confidence in the future.
This is a role that has consumed Mr Eddy's life in 30 years at the helm of the association. He knows no other pace than flat-out and will continue in such fashion until officially handing over the reigns later this year after officially tendering his intentions to retire before Basketball Ballarat's board this week.
Mr Eddy, whose contract expires in December, felt timing was right for fresh ideas and new leadership in a growing indoor sport space for both this city and western Victoria.
"I am absolutely privileged to say that I will still have the same passion and enthusiasm for my role and our organisation on the last day that I walk through the doors as CEO as I did on my very first day," Mr Eddy says.
Sport has been a life-long passion for Mr Eddy who says he fast realised as a teenager he was never going to be a basketball star, but he could be a good sports administrator or coach. He started as a 16-year-old club volunteer before venturing on to association sub-committees, then Ballarat Basketball as a director before stepping up as chairman for 10 years.
Mr Eddy says that 16-year-old would never have imagined a career bringing international and national elite matches to Ballarat, nor creating a modern stadium like Ballarat Sports and Events Centre.
"I was playing for the YMCA in the old building on Camp Street when competition moved to the original two-court Minerdome," Mr Eddy says."I remember walking into that new venue, thinking how exciting that all was."
But BSEC is "not so much" what Mr Eddy feels is the biggest highlight under his watch.
The stadium, he says, is a key piece in broader moves to grow capacity across the region, including works in partnership with Phoenix College and plans to make the Minerdome more accessible for all-abilities sports.
Mr Eddy also never thought "a group of mates playing in a team" would be the foundations for a semi-professional, highly decorated national team in Ballarat - the beginnings for what is now Ballarat Miners and Rush programs.
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Bringing Commonwealth Games matches to Ballarat in 2006 was also an incredible step for indoor sport in this city under Mr Eddy's leadership.
"When you saw local people queuing for international sport at the Minerdome, which was dressed up for the Comm Games there was a lot of pride," Mr Eddy says.
"The matches we hosted weren't the closest games but people still talk about rowing for the '56 Olympics on Lake Wendouree and really this is no different. We were privileged to have the competition here for a week."
Experience in sports lobbying to benefit both the city and western Victoria has Mr Eddy confident he can offer a lot to the community in his retirement.
What Mr Eddy does know is he wants to ease into retirement by cutting back his workload but staying busy for his mental health. This is why he plans to run for City of Ballarat council elections later this year, feeling he has plenty to offer from his experience even if his campaign should not be successful.
"I know it sounds pretty bland but one of my proudest achievements has been helping people use sport as a vehicle to develop socially," Mr Eddy says.
"If you can provide a good sporting environment, you can help influence people's lives and make a difference...that's something I always feel good about."
If you can provide a good sporting environment, you can help influence people's lives and make a difference...that's something I always feel good about.Peter Eddy
Basketball Ballarat deputy chairman Simon Cornwell is overseeing an organisational review and CEO transition. Mr Cornwell says it is tough saying goodbye as "Peter has been the backbone of the exciting growth in basketball through the region" for so long.
It is expected Basketball Ballarat will advertise the CEO role in June.
Mr Eddy only hopes whoever takes over will have zeal and vision to take Ballarat sport to more places he never imagined.
Mr Eddy thanks his wife Maxine and daughter Jessica for their encouragement and support to pursue his dream job.
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