The Ballarat Regional Athletic Centre (BRAC), as we know it today, was formed in August 1895. The first Annual Meeting of the Ballarat Local Centre of the VAAA was held on 21st March 1896 or within three days of this date. Major John Garbutt, Principal of Ballarat College, was elected the first President, with 50 members in attendance. It gave a fillip (livened up) to local athletes and was conducted in harmony with the V.A.A.A. Regret was felt in the resignation of Mr. V. Duthie as secretary. Mr H. Siminton was elected, he being also secretary of Ballarat. Major Garbutt was re-elected as President and Messrs A. Bain, J. Duthie and T. Moran as Vice Presidents. Messrs F. Hogarth and R. Thompson were elected as handicappers.
The YMCA club, which was strong in the 1920’s, folded in 1927. Ebenezer, a church based club, was the dominant club in the twenties and was a large and successful club. It lasted from 1922 ‘till 1934, and despite its healthy membership, collapsed suddenly, apparently as a result of an altercation with the church regarding ownership of their clubrooms. ACE lasted from 1937 to 1941 and apparently had a large membership of students who used the club to prepare for school sports. It was another victim of the war. St. Johns, another church club, lasted from 1925 to 1930. The PYMF, a Presbyterian club, was formed before the war and as we have seen, was another war casualty. That leaves the CYMS (Christian Young Men’s Society) club which is of perhaps a bit of interest to the modern runner. CYMS was formed in 1931. It was the captain of the Ballarat Harriers, Arthur Morgan, who was asked if he would assist in the formation of the CYMS, which he duly did, leaving Harriers and becoming one of the foundation CYMS members.
A booklet published by the YCW club on their history informs us of the following: