About the Festival
The Bay Sports Festival is a unique event in South Australia’s sport/recreation calendar, running annually at the Glenelg foreshore from 26th December to give athletes of all ages and abilities the chance to participate in a range of activities. Sporting and recreational activities have been held at Glenelg every year since 1886 as part of celebrations of South Australia’s birthday.
Each year over 1,000 people participate in the festival, with spectators in excess of 2,000 each day. The participating recreational activities for the 2015 Festival are Aquathlon, 3 Ball Basketball, Canoeing, Chess, Cycling, Fun Run, and Open Water Swimming.
The Bay Sports Festival is co-ordinated and run by the Glenelg Commemoration Day Sports Association (GCDSA). Current members represent the City of Holdfast Bay and the participating sports:
Adelaide Masters Swimming Club / Event Strategies P/L / Holdfast Bay Canoe Club / SA Chess Association / South Australian Masters Athletics Club / Noarlunga and South Coast Cycling / 3BallSA Basketball Association / City of Holdfast Bay /
Representatives from these organisations volunteer their time to ensure that the festival runs on time, within budget and is accessible and fun for participants and spectators.
Proclamation Day Sport at Glenelg has been a tradition since 1886. 14 years before Federation, 35 years before Australian Rules Football came to the Bay & 43 years before the Glenelg Tram started, locals decided to celebrate the colony of South Australia’s 50th Birthday with a sporting event at Glenelg.
A lot has changed since, with these celebrations evolving over the years into the Bay Sports Festival. The names have certainly changed, as have the sports, but this one fundamental truth remains; every year since 1886, South Australia’s birthday has been celebrated by sporting activity at Glenelg. And no matter what challenges lie ahead, this is what the Festival will continue to do.