Norfolk Sports Club History
1985 to present
The Norfolk Sports Club established The Norfolk Sports Club Charities, Inc. in 1985. After overseeing the remarkable growth of the Scholarship Foundation for over 50 years, the Club leadership established a second charitable entity. Originally called the Charitable and Education Foundation, the name was changed to NSC Charities, Inc. in 1995. The purpose of this charitable fund is to support young people engaged in athletic programs that provide a positive effect for the Hampton Roads community. Funding for this program comes primarily form the economic success of our annual Jamboree, as well as from donations from members and friends of the Norfolk Sports Club.
A total of 21 metropolitan scholastic awards are presented throughout the year at the Club’s luncheon meetings. These awards are given for every varsity sport, male or female, conducted in Southside Hampton Roads at the high school level. Recognition is given to the outstanding senior athletes at Old Dominion and Norfolk State Universities and Virginia Wesleyan College. The awards presented at the Jamboree are also part of the NSC Charities program. A trophy case is maintained at the Norfolk Scope, which displays awards and recognizes the recipients.
For the past eight years the Norfolk Sports Club Titan Wrestling Classic has been sponsored by NSC Charities. This event has become one of the premier high school wrestling meets on the East Coast. A total of 32 teams with 500 participants competed in the December, 2001 meet, which was held at Granby High School.
The Board of Directors has approved the establishment of a Junior Golf Tournament starting in 2002. A major tournament of juniors, as well as an awards ceremony similar to the Jamboree, is planned for future years. We believe that hundreds of young people of all socio-economic backgrounds can benefit from these efforts.
NSC Charities, Inc is a major sponsor of the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament. More than 250 Olympians participated in the January 27, 2001 tournament. Additionally, the NSC Charities has pledged its support to become a major sponsor of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. Through a pledge of $25,000.00 a classroom in the new museum will bare the Norfolk Sports Club name.
The NSC Charities current and future projects provide incentive, opportunity and impetus to many of our Club members to continue their volunteer service to the youth of the Hampton Roads community.
1944 to the 1960s
During the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, the American Legion hall in downtown Norfolk became a gathering spot for local sports enthusiasts. World War II brought a large influx of military personnel and defense workers, many of them also interested in sports. Although a need for a local sports club was often discussed, no formal action was taken until the Norfolk Sports Club was founded in 1944. In its inaugural year, the Club established an annual award to be presented to the Man of the Year in Sports. In 1946, the Club established joint meetings with the Portsmouth Sports Club and hosted the first annual Jamboree. During the late 1940’s, the Club sponsored a golf tournament at the Cavalier Golf Course where a number of PGA professionals participated. In the same period, the first scholastic athletic awards in football, basketball, baseball and track were presented.
A scholarship program was started in 1950, with an initial award of $250. The Scholarship Foundation was formed and has grown rapidly through the years, benefiting hundreds of students in our area with over $1,000,000 in scholarship awards being presented. Further information regarding the Scholarships Foundation is contained elsewhere in this program. The 1950’s were noteworthy because of the Club’s sponsorship of several collegiate basketball games, involving teams such as North Carolina State, West Virginia and William & Mary. In 1956, the Club was the first contributor to the Olympic Foundation, and received national publicity as a result of its $1,000 gift. The Club established the Scholastic wrestling award in 1958.
The decade of the 1960’s resulted in the start of several of the awards still given at the annual Jamboree – the Outstanding Norfolk Sports Club Member, the General Douglas MacArthur Trophy and the Outstanding Metropolitan Scholastic Athlete Award. A preseason pro football game between the New York Jets and Boston Patriots was sponsored in 1965 and the first Club golf championship was held in 1966. The Club leadership strongly supported the building of a new indoor arena during the late 1960’s, and the Norfolk Scope became a reality shortly thereafter. The Club established the Scholastic awards for golf, tennis, and swimming in 1962.
1970s to Present
Two new Jamboree awards, the Outstanding Scholastic Coach and the Outstanding College Coach in Virginia, began in 1971. The Mace Award was established in 1974, but has only been presented eight times since its establishment. The Celebrity Golf Tournament was organized as the Redskins Remember Lombardi in 1974. Due to its growth, the event was moved to Kingsmill in Williamsburg in 1977. The Club continued to prosper and the Scholarship Foundation was the beneficiary of successful Jamborees and Celebrity Golf Tournaments. The Club established the first scholastic awards for female athletes in basketball, tennis, and field hockey. Additional scholastic awards for men began in cross–country and soccer.
The 1980’s was a period of dynamic growth for the Club. Membership peaked at over 700 in 1987. A permanent Club office was established and an Executive Secretary was hired. A second charitable fund, NSC Charities was established in 1985. Additional information on NSC Charities is contained in the program. The Scott O’Hara "Spunky" award was established in 1987 to recognize athletes who have overcome debilitating medical problems in order to participate in sports. Five additional scholastic awards to females were added in the 1980’s for track, swimming, softball, cross-country and soccer.
Throughout the 1990’s the Club continued to make its mark in the community. In 1993, it became the sponsor of the NSC Titan Classic, a premier high school wrestling event held at Lake Taylor High School each December. In 2001 Granby High School became host of this premier event. In 1995, we expanded the social activities of our Club by holding a Reverse Raffle and weekend bus trips to see the Orioles and Redskins in action. Scholastic awards for men’s and women’s volleyball started in 1996. In 1998, the Club became involved with the Special Olympics through sponsorship of a basketball tournament. In 1999 the Club sponsored a team in the Portsmouth Invitation Tournament.
At the turn of the millennium the Norfolk Sports Club was still a strong, viable and contributing organization. In 2001 the Club pledged $25,000 to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
During 2002 the Club hosted the first NSC Junior Golf Tournament. The vision of the Club is to build this tournament into a regional class event, with emphasis on its continuing contribution to youth and athletics. We may not be the largest, but our members continue to feel that we are "the Greatest Sports Club in the World."
NSC Scholarship Foundation
The Norfolk Sports Club Scholarship Foundation was established in 1950 and one scholarship of $250 was awarded. In the past thirteen years (1990-2002), a total of 290 students have received $619,000 in scholarships. During the entire 53 year period of scholarship awards, over $l,000,000 in financial support has been provided to 444 student athletes.
The Jamboree is the NSC biggest event of the year! We have the pleasure of introducing players and coaches with successful careers and some even played professionally!
Why just watch and read about athletes when you can meet them! Come and join us for lunch and listen to some of the personal experiences current and ex-players, coaches, and officiating officials had during their careers.
Will Cobb - President
Jim Hoffower - Ex Officio
Bill Emerson - President Elect
Erin Rounds - Secretary
- First Vice President
Roger Travaglio - Treasurer
CH Lambert - Sergeant-At-Arms
Joe Monaco - Scholarship Finance Liaison