THIS week is the commencement of 14 weeks of competition in Ballarat’s Royal South Street. “The comps” as they are affectionately known was launched by the Mayor of Ballarat Cr John Phillips last Thursday night, with the unveiling of the chairman’s book.
At the 124th launch Royal South Street Society Business Manager Brett Macdonald said that around 7000 entries had been counted, which equates to around 10,000 competitors. “And we are set to go,” he said.
“It’s not all about dance and calisthenics because on Monday we kick off with where South Street began, the debating, and our entries are up by about 30 per cent in the debating.” Deputy Chairman Peter Zala praised the volunteers, who he said are the lifeblood of the South Street comps and the launch included presentations to some long serving volunteers. “Next year will be a very important year for South Street,” he said. “Next year we are marking 125 years since the comps began, so we are now planning some celebrations and events for next year. “We do have longevity and I think we have a shining past that and that can only set us up for an illustrious future. “ Ballarat mayor John Philips added that one of his earliest memories was coming through the town (Ballarat) and seeing bus loads of young competitors. “It’s important that young children have the opportunity to hone their skills, to actually test themselves against each other and find out how good they are,” Cr Philips said. “Many of these people will often gain the confidence and skill to go on and become leaders of communities and continue in the arts or find other careers, whatever that may be. “I think when young people are given an opportunity most young people will grab it with both hands and I encourage them to continue to do that.” Action in the 124th competitions began on Monday at the Ballarat Town Hall with debating.
Council’s chambers create a wonderful venue for the ACU Debating Challenge Cup, which has attracted over 80 teams from around Victoria.
South Street is proud to welcome ACU as the new naming rights sponsor of Debating.
This sponsorship ensures South Street can attract the very best adjudicators, which ensures the quality of the competition. South Street’s roots are in debating however today the Eisteddfod is so much more with disciplines extending to Dance, Calisthenics, Instrumental, Vocal, Speech & Drama and more. Each year the Eisteddfod ensures a focus on the performing arts but the comps also create a positive financial impact for Ballarat with $14.1m injected into the local economy