August is shaping up to be another busy month for greyhound racing in Victoria, both on and off the track. Firstly, I’m pleased to announce the GRV Board has signed off on a new track design for Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club. Two options, a J-shaped and U-shaped design, were developed by Professor David Eager and a team at the University of Technology Sydney, working with the Traralgon GRC and GRV. The U-shaped track was overwhelming preferred during the public consultation process and this is the design the Board has approved. A tender process is now underway for the demolition of the current track and the new track is expected to open by around May 2020 as a leading- edge greyhound racing venue optimised for safe racing. You can find out more about the new design at: grv.org.au/feedback-traralgon-track-designs.
It is now only five months before the new Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds comes into effect on 1 January 2020, so I’d like to remind you about the support GRV and our race clubs are offering in helping participants make sure they are compliant with the State Government’s Code. This includes the Code Support Book, Establishment and Health Management Plan (EHMP) protocol templates and videos, and a Code Support Line on 1300 144 360, backed by workshops and seminars. You can find these resources and other information and advice at greyhoundcare.grv.org.au/code-of-practice.
GRV is also developing an electronic process to assist participants with the mandatory compliance requirement known as the Greyhound Record which is due to be completed in September 2019 with participant communication and education to follow. A manual/paper-based version of the Greyhound Record will also be available for participants to use if they so desire.
Looking ahead, we have the annual Victorian Greyhound Awards coming up on 16 August, which is always a great celebration of the sport’s achievements both on and off the track. A limited number of tickets will soon be on sale through the GRV website. The Awards are followed on by the inaugural National Straight Championship Grand Final at Healesville on 18 August. This is an exciting new event that brings together greyhounds from Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.
And then on 24 and 25 August, we have the Waterloo Cup, one of Australia’s oldest greyhound racing events and the Southern Hemisphere’s leading coursing championship, which will once again be livestreamed by GRV. I like to say I consider coursing to be Victoria’s 14th greyhound racing club and the Waterloo Cup is a great way to enjoy the sport at quite literally the grassroots and I encourage everyone to go along to Longwood on the day or watch it at home on GRV’s Facebook page.