The BRAT Club is proud to honour the following life members who have served the club throughout its history:
Cedric Sidebottom (deceased 21/02/2003), Jock Cavanagh, Brian Hardaker, Ken Wylie, Jeannie King, Tony Golden, Teresa Rider, Sam Vella, Spot Anderson, Jon Pratlett, Jenny McKenna, Ian Depree, John Hill.
Cedrid Sidebottom (Cedo) was one of the original runners of the Bondi Diggers Club. Over the years he coached and mentored many runners with the aim of competing in a marathon. Cedric was often seen to be leading his band of merry runners on the different courses around the Bondi and Eastern Suburbs areas.
In 1985, Cedric felt he had achieved all he could have in his own running career, and so to give others a chance he decided to resurrect the Old Bondi Diggers Running Club, which had died from lack of interest sometime earlier. Cedric’s idea was to run it with regular handicap races.
So he tee’d up a meeting with the Diggers Club president, and before long the running club was established and under-way. Jock Kavanagh the first club president, and Cedric the ever diligent secretary and event organiser. Cedric was determined to make the new club work. In one of the first club newsletters he wrote ‘This club is going places, and I don’t mean just up Vaucluse Hill’….
He would organise club races by getting down to the start early, marking out the course, setting up the drink stands, coming back to chalk in the entrants’, work out handicaps, do the timing and compile the results and produce a club newsletter.
Slowly the number of competitors grew, as the word spread that this was a well-organised club. Triathlon was a new sport, so the club decided to organise one, and held it’s first Triathlon at Neilsen Park. It was a huge success. The turning point for the club came when the “Tama Try’s” a small triathlon group, who had some very talented triathletes but little in the way of organization, came across.
By this time the club had people like our very own Tony Golden and John Hill on the scene not to mention “Spot” Anderson, “Chipmunk” Fraser, Geoff Scott and Anthony McKeon, some of the best triathletes in the country and it was from these humble beginnings that the BRAT club was born.
Sadly, Cedric died of a “brain tumour” in 2003, he was 62 years old. At Cedric’s funeral, Jock Kavanagh said this in his Eulogy;
“I’ll conclude by saying something that came to my mind only the other day. You may be lucky if you can meet in your lifetime a handful of people you can say are beyond reproach, Cedric was certainly one of those, he was almost saint like in the way he led his life, material things didn’t interest him at all, he was always helping people out in an unobtrusive way. I’m sure I speak for everyone in this church today by saying, that our lives have been enriched by our association with him, he will be sadly missed.”
Cedric Sidebottom was a founding father of the BRATS through the 80’s and 90’s. Serving for 18 years as the club secretary where, he believed he could get more done for the members. He was at every race and every training session with iceboxes of soft drinks and encouragement for everyone.
In Cedric's honour, we hold the annual 'Cedo Run' on the first Saturday in February, from 2pm at Queen's Park. We encourage all members past and present to come along and share in the fun run and stories.
BRATs has a colourful history and strong ties with Bondi. An informal group of runners used to head out from the Bondi Diggers Club three times a week throughout the early seventies. These runners were amongst competitors in the first City to Surf in 1971.
By the late seventies, the group had grown considerably to include a number of regular and competitive racers. This group of runners was only officially formed as the Bondi Diggers Road Runners Club in 1985. The Club severed formal ties with the Diggers in 1988, establishing itself as The Bondi Running and Triathlon (B.R.A.T.) Club Inc. after welcoming a band of triathletes into the club.
Since then, BRATs have gone on to produce two Olympians, Ironman champions and world age champions, as well as introducing hundreds of others to the sport.