By David Nagel
Sport has played a huge part in the community of Pakenham ever since the first Post Office was opened in town in 1859.
In a lot cases…sport has provided the town’s identity.
The Pakenham Football Club, formed on March 16, 1892, is one of the most successful clubs in Victoria, with almost 30 senior premierships to its name.
Famous names like Bourke, Jackson, Monckton and Young, they built their glowing reputations on the sporting fields around the region.
And Pakenham’s modern-day stars are still shining bright, with coach Ash Green expertly mentoring his players as they prepare for this week’s 2022 opening of the Outer East Football League season.
And don’t forget about the Women’s team, with Rick Stalker a great teacher of the game who would love to see some new faces jump on board for the ride.
Given the history of this great club…imagine pulling on a Pakenham jumper and what that would mean!
The Lions have a long and proud tradition, and with a new committee on board are more than excited to welcome the community to Toomuc Reserve to share the enjoyment of watching the mighty Lions roar again this season.
For lovers of sport, both participants and spectators alike, there’s a never ending source of enjoyment to be had around town!
The Pakenham Racing Club (PRC) has been another staple of the Pakenham community, ever since 1926 when the old course on Racecourse Road was officially opened for the first time.
That old track created legends, with Pakenham-trainer Ray ‘Darby’ Webster providing the highlight for locals when his mighty steed Dark Felt won the Melbourne Cup of 1943.
The move of the PRC to its brand-new facility in Tynong has seen modern-day legends emerge, with now Pakenham trainer Peter Moody winning the 2021 Caulfield Cup with Incentivise.
The PRC now hosts more than 40 meetings a year and is widely regarded as one of the best racing surfaces in the land.
There’s no excuse to not get down to Tynong and check this magnificent and growing facility out!
The Pakenham Cricket Club has recently completed its 2021/22 season in the West Gippsland Cricket Association (WGCA).
The Lions have a magnificent history, with players like the legendary Eddie Lewis making the Lions the team to beat for many a long year.
Current-day stars like Chris Smith, Jason Williams and Dale Tormey are continuing that tradition with the Lions a regular finalist and premiership winner over the last seven years.
Club President Phil Anning is one of the great people of our town and would love to see some new faces pop along and play for the Lions next season.
Just where do you stop when talking about sport in Pakenham?
Three of our sporting clubs aim for the back of a net, with the Pakenham Warriors competing in the high-level Big V basketball competition from its home court at Cardinia Life.
The Warriors have a solid junior and senior set up, with the senior Warriors attracting good crowds to Cardinia Life during the winter months of the year.
The Pakenham Netball Club – lovingly cared for by Marg Jones – will also aim for the net when the Lions begin their winter season campaign this Saturday.
And the biggest soccer club in town – Pakenham United – has had a great start to its season in the State League 5 division.
United had a brilliant 5-0 start to the year, but were held to a 2-2 draw by White Star Dandenong on Saturday.
President Chris Gomez has sent out an open invitation to the Pakenham community, to get down and support the club on those cold Saturday winter afternoons.
United’s home pitch, IYU Reserve, is certainly worth paying a visit!
The Deep Creek Golf Club, formerly Pakenham Golf Club, provides a public golf course for the community that is kind on beginners, but also ready to test the very best of players.
For those who love their lawn bowls, the Pakenham Bowls Club now owns one of the great facilities in the region, with its major rink now covered and completely protected from the weather.
Get in touch with club…because Friday-night barefoot bowls – with equipment provided by the club – is a great experience!
Tennis players are also spoilt in Pakenham, with the Pakenham Regional Tennis Centre (PRTC) the number-one complex in the region.
Players, young and old alike, have embraced the facility, with great courts, lighting, and a friendly atmosphere making it a great place to enjoy.
And there are many other sporting clubs in Pakenham as well.
The Silverbacks play gridiron, and the Eels play rugby league, while the Pumas are about to enjoy a fabulous upgrade to their baseball facility at Toomuc Reserve.
Floorball, darts or swimming, they’re all available for Pakenham residents to enjoy!
Junior sports, little athletics, and a multitude of gymnasium’s…there’s a great opportunity to get involved in sport in Pakenham.
There’s no excuse – get out and enjoy your local sporting club today!