When many members of the community think of Ivanhoe they think of sport. Indeed, Ivanhoe's reputation as a first-rate sporting institution is well-deserved. From success at school level to representing their city, state and country, there has been no shortage of Ivanhoe students achieving great things on various courts and fields.
Ivanhoe athletes began to make an impression on the world stage early in the school’s history. Alfred Watson, of the class of 1924, was Ivanhoe’s first Olympian, competing in athletics at the 1928 and 1936 Olympic Games. In the course of his long and distinguished career, he won 16 Victorian Championships and 5 Australian Championships in the 110 yard and 440 yard hurdles events.
Beginning his running career at Ivanhoe, Bradley Camp represented Australia in the marathon at the World Cross Country titles in 1987 and 1988, the 1988 Olympics, and the 1990 Commonwealth Games. His advice to young athletes – “Follow that dream and train hard, always push beyond the comfort zone and treat your body and mind as a temple.”
While still attending Ivanhoe, Richard Vagg represented Australia in baseball’s World Youth Series in Canada. He spent two years playing in Japan’s national baseball league and was selected to compete for Australia at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
The impact of Ivanhoe students on the Australian Football League should not be underestimated. David O’Halloran graduated from Ivanhoe and was recruited by the Hawthorn Football Club in 1973. His career spanned nine years and 160 senior games, culminating in four Grand Final appearances and Premiership wins in 1976 and 1983. More recently, Dylan Buckley has had success on the AFL field. Buckley followed in his father, Jim Buckley’s footsteps, debuting for the Carlton Football Club in 2013. He currently has 23 games and a Best Clubman Award to his name.
Ivanhoe has also had its share of impressive swimmers. Raymond Hass, who graduated in 1995, helped Ivanhoe to victory at the 1994 ASGV Swimming Sports. The backstroke specialist went on to hold three national titles, Pan Pacific and Commonwealth Games records, as well as winning gold at the 2001 Goodwill Games. Hass also achieved a gold medal result as part of the Australian 4x200m freestyle team at the World Short Course Championships in 2002.
Another swimmer who has made a splash is Sam Bramham, who began his Paralympic career in 2004 at the age of 16. He not only broke the world record for the 100m butterfly in a heat, but went on to win bronze in the final. In 2008, Bramham was part of the gold medal winning 4x100m medley relay and the silver medal winning 4x100m freestyle relay teams.
Reflecting Ivanhoe’s shift to a coeducational schooling experience, the school now has female athletes to add to its tally of sports stars. After success in the Australian School Girls and being voted the Most Valuable Player at the U/17 National Netball Championships, Alice Teague-Neeld made her debut with the Melbourne Vixens in 2015.
Given the stellar sporting history at Ivanhoe, it is safe to say that there will be many more athletic achievements to come.