Life Member 2016 - Glenn Medlend

Glenn Medlend was awarded the inaugural Life Membership of the Broome Sports Association at the 2016 Horizon Power Broome Sports Awards.

In 1979 Glenn Medlend started and organised the very first Sport Star of the Year Awards which he was involved in until 1996. It was revived again in 2009 and Glenn has been at the forefront of organising each award since.

Involved with Broome Turf Club for over 30 years.  He played for Towns Football Club winning four premierships in the late seventies.  Still does the two up for them at the Roey on Melbourne Cup day. He was a member of Roebuck Cricket Club and represented Broome at the Country Week over many years. He was also a  champion surfer. In 1976 he lobbied to secure the current surfboard area at Cable Beach that we see today.

 

A Councilor from 1979 to 1992 he was chairman of the Sport and Recreation Committee for more than a decade. He was heavily involved in organising the construction of Haynes Oval. When the inaugural North West Games were held in Port Hedland in 1988. Glenn met with all of Broome’s sporting clubs and arranged all the logistics for the event, travelling with about 200 competitors as team manager.

 

Broome couldn’t hold the games because it had no swimming pool so following the Port Hedland Games he travelled to Perth to look at sporting facilities.  He pushed for the development of a swimming pool and recreation centre and to set aside a large area of land for the future development of sporting grounds within the one vicinity. We now call that BRAC, and fittingly the pavilion there is named after him.

 

So in 1995 Broome hosted the North West games after Glen had successfully applied to do so. The town’s sporting facilities were upgraded leading up to the Games.  Glen was on the committee and handling all the accommodation and entry forms for over 1100 visiting competitors and for more than 20 different sporting events. To this day we haven’t seen anything like it in Broome.

 

In the history section of BSA website is the only collated record of the story of Broome sport. It’s one of the reasons the Broome Sports Awards and the BSA is so important. It wouldn’t be recorded had it not been for the foresight of Glenn Medlend.

Glenn Medlend is passionate about our sporting community and the people involved in it. Even if he doesn’t know you. He still cares. He has been like that for most of his 40 years in Broome.

If you look at the winner of the 1985 rising star on the program. You’ll notice the name Albert Bandamara. Glenn recognised he was an exceptional talent in athletics and basketball so he played a key role in getting him to Perth for the state championships. Worried about how he would go in the big city he arranged for him to train with the state basketball team and organised someone to check in on him during the trip to make sure he was comfortable. A man by the name of Polly Farmer. Albert Bandarmarra finished the state titles with 4 gold and 2 silver and became the first Kimberley athlete to compete at the event. His talent won the events, but Glenn’s attention to detail played a role. Interesting to note that so many organisations now work hard to ensure mentors are available for those relocating from Indigenous communities. Glenn was ahead of his time.

At the Broome Sports Association and in this community Glenn is the link between the sporting past and its present. Although times have changed and there are new ways to perform old tasks some things never change. To do what we all do you need to have a passion for it and you need to be willing to put in a thankless shift. There is no better example of that than Glenn Medlend.

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