In July 1964 a meeting convened in July by Engadine’s Parish Priest Father Joseph Ciantar to form a Boys Club to promote cultural, sporting and social activities for the youth of Engadine and surrounding districts. Engadine was becoming home to an increasing number of families but with no organised activities for young people. The St John Bosco Boys club was established. This was, and still is, a non-denominational and non political organisation open to all young people.
Father Ciantar arranged for the use of a hall at Boys’ Town with about 30 boys taking part in gymnastics and boxing.
As Engadine grew so did the boys club and gymnastics and boxing were soon complimented by the formation of Rugby League, Cricket and Soccer. In 1974 the club became the St John Bosco Youth Centre to reflect its female membership.
Since then Netball, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Baton Twirling, Water Polo, Hockey, Touch Football, Oz Tag, Summer Soccer and the Annual Father and Son Camp have been part of the Youth Centres activities.
Today the ‘Bosco’ clubs have become a household word in Engadine and surrounding districts and an integral part of sport in the Sutherland Shire involving thousands of boys, girls and adults in their sporting activities .The Youth Centre is one of the largest all round sporting clubs in Sydney.
The founders of the Boy’s club in 1964 would not have envisaged the large organisation that is now the St John Bosco Youth Centre.
As a non-sectarian and non political charity based organisation the Youth centre has proved to be an invaluable asset to Engadine, it makes itself and its facilities available to underprivileged youth and those in necessitous circumstances and has followed the work of Don Bosco in focussing on the needs of the young people in the community.
St John Bosco Youth Centre is a large community based network of sporting centres and competitions operating under the auspices of St John Bosco Parish. Parent volunteers are the back-bone of the Youth Centre’s operation. Today the Youth Centre organises ten sports catering for over 5000 members making it one of the largest sporting centres in Sydney. The purpose of the Youth Centre is to promote cultural, sporting and social activities for young people, consistent with Don Bosco’s understanding that providing positive productive activities for young people assists in their personal and social development.