IMG_0559The United Basketball Club (a close knit group of school mates wanting some sporting activity) became a registered member of the Ballarat Amateur Basketball Association (B.A.B.A.) on 24/11/1972. The club was formed with one team and entered into the “D” Grade men’s competition.

During it’s first season the club was offered sponsorship by the North Star Hotel (the hotel of choice for the young men of the club). The club then became known as the United North Stars Basketball Club.

From November 1972 until January 1975 the United North Stars Basketball Club increased its number of teams to three (3). This included teams in B, C, and D Grade competitions.

The Celtic Basketball Club joined the B.A.B.A. on 14/09/1973 (also a group of mates, with school & sporting connections to the members of the United club). However it seemed that these players had a little more playing ability as their sole team was entered in the “A” Grade men’s competition. This club was also receiving sponsorship, with Campana Bros. (a local concreting firm) being their sponsors followed by Stockade Stores.

In the first season of 1975 the Q’s Basketball club amalgamated with United North Stars club and the club commenced its foray into the junior competition by fielding two (2) teams. These were both in the Under 12 boy’s section.

Throughout that first season of 1975 the club held discussions with the Celtic Basketball Club and on 01/08/1975 the two clubs merged under the name of the Celtic United Basketball Club. The new club retained both sponsors and their support to the clubs has always been greatly appreciated.

The new Celtic United club also entered an “A” Grade women’s team for the first time in the No. 2 season of 1975 and by years end had grown to include men’s teams in all grades and women’s teams in “A” and “C” Grade competitions. The club was also supporting junior teams in the Under 12, 14 & 18 boy’s competitions.

In its first season as Celtic United the club was fortunate enough to win the “A” Grade Men’s Premiership and had a rapidly growing membership of 130 players.

During the next 10 years the club went from strength to strength building a strong, player and supporter base. The club adopted the song “United We Stand Divided We Fall” as its anthem and this was sung wholeheartedly, if somewhat off key, after club functions and premiership victories. The club leaders instilled commitment, loyalty and family values for our membership to follow. These are still the major elements that our present club leaders use to this day. In the early eighties we made a successful foray into Bingo as a way to raise funds for our growing basketball club.

Our vision was to build our own court and social rooms for members and, although this was not considered necessary with the expansion of the Association’s courts and social club, it did serve to place our club on solid financial foundations.

Mid 1985 saw the committees from the Celtic United Basketball Club and the Urquhart Tigers Basketball club begin talks of an amalgamation that would see our clubs merge if ratified by both clubs members. Urquhart Tigers born from the Urquhart Park Primary School was largely a club with junior players that lacked a career path for their players into senior ranks while Celtic United with their large senior body saw the amalgamation as a way to secure their long-term future by having an expanded junior membership.

At a joint Annual General Meeting of both clubs on the 1st August 1985, members voted to merge both clubs as the Celtic Tigers Basketball Club. We have been one of the most successful clubs, both on and off the court, in Ballarat Basketball history (visit our Premiership page link for details). Our success has spread beyond Ballarat to Country Victoria with our club winning the prestigious Max Bowman shield for a record 10 years in succession (as at 2009).

We offer basketball to a diverse range, with members including adults to kids, from “A” graders to social players and we have always emphasised fun, sportsmanship and family values within our club. Some of the early club leaders of the time included long serving President Dennis Foley, Secretary Treasurer Peter Eddy and more recently Paul Magee. Their administration savvy was of such quality that both Peter and Paul have each served terms as President of the Ballarat Basketball Association while Dennis was the inaugural President of the Ballarat Miners Basketball Club, a position he held for 20 years. Our club can be thankful that they have shown the way for future administrators.