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Club History

The Portsmouth Sports Club had its beginning in March 1946 when Pete Glazer, a Portsmouth sports writer, Meyer Jacobson, a local businessman, and J. Herbert Simpson, a local sportsman, met to formalize the Club's beginning with seventy-five charter members. The Sports Club was organized to promote sports in general and to recognize the achievements of local individuals in athletics.

The club meets once a month; has a Jamboree with a nationally recognized speaker once a year; has a Golf Tournament to raise scholarship funds; has, at times, scheduled road trips to scheduled athletic events; conducts a Reverse Raffle to raise scholarship funds and has sponsored a basketball team in the Portsmouth Invitational Basketball Tournament for many years and continues to do so; winning the Championship in 1990 and 2002, as well as the 2005 Tournament. Add to that, over the years,several Second place and Consolation Trophies.

The Portsmouth Sports Club gave its first scholarship in 1972 to an outstanding high school student/athlete and continues to award them today. The Portsmouth Sports Foundation was established as a vehicle to raise funds for the scholarships. A scholarship in memory of W. 0. "Bill" Lewis, is awarded at the Sports Club Jamboree and has been done so for many years. W. 0. "Bill" Lewis was a past President of the Sports Club as well as a Sports Person of the Year.

In 1991, The Portsmouth Sports Club created the Portsmouth Sports Foundation Inc. to create and sustain an endowment for the purpose of awarding scholarships in the name of the Portsmouth Sports Club to deserving student/athletes from the Portsmouth area. In October 1991, the Foundation was granted tax exempt status. To date, the Foundation has a balance of over $200,000 and is able to provide the scholarships from interest earned on an annual basis received on the endowment principal.

Scholarships are awarded annually at the Jamboree, including two in memory of the late, great PGA golfer John Chandler Harper, who passed away November 8, 2004 and another Portsmouth great Marty Brennaman, the broadcasting voice of the Cincinnati Reds for many years.

The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum was created through the efforts of J. Herbert Simpson, a Portsmouth Sports Club Founding Member, a Past-President, and a past "Sports Person of the Year", and was incorporated and located in the City of Portsmouth on September 30, 1971. In the Spring of 2005, the "Hall" relocated to a new state of the art facility in the 200 block of High Street, in Olde Towne. This 35,000 square feet of sports fun and interactive displays, includes hands-on exhibits, a Redskin "Skybox Experience", an auto racing exhibit with simulators, a high definition digital theater, a campus champions salute to Virginia College Sports, and much more. The "Hall" is open year round and honors great champions and celebrates the great characters of Virginia's rich sports history. Please visit the "Hall" and experience firsthand the achievements of all the inductees.

As of this year, the Club has five awards that are now named after individuals: "The High School Coach of the Year Award", named in memory of the late Abe Goldblatt, who was a renowned sports writer for The Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star for many years; "The Sports Person of the Year Award" is named after J. Herbert Simpson, a local sportsman, for his lifelong love of sports and his many contributions to the Portsmouth Sports Club and to sports throughout the State of Virginia; "The Clarence 'Ace' Parker Awards" to be presented to the outstanding male and female high school athletes of the year ("Ace" is a Wilson High and Duke University graduate, a member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and the National Football League Hall of Fame); and the "Sports Club Member of the Year Award", named after James L. "Jimmy" Williams, a past "Sports Person of the Year", a Past-President of the Portsmouth Sports Club, and renowned for his past and current activities on behalf of the Portsmouth Sports Club.