Welcome to the October edition of Greyhound Monthly Victoria where you can see there’s lot happening in the sport in Victoria at the moment. Firstly, I’d like welcome Ray Bartolo as a member of the GRV Board. As one of Victoria’s most respected greyhound breeders, trainers and owners and former club director, Ray will be a strong industry advocate on the Board. Also coming onboard this month is GRV’s new General Manager for Racing, Greg Kerr. I am sure you will see Greg around as he’ll be a regular at race meetings, so feel free to introduce yourself and discuss your ideas. In related news, I also welcome Cherie Nicholl as Greyhound Australasia’s new Chief Executive Officer and GRV looks forward to working with her.
In other news, GRV has completed its new Strategic Plan for 2019-24, developed with input from all stakeholders including the clubs and it will shortly be posted on our web page. While it continues to ensure that greyhound welfare is a core priority, there is a strong new focus on commercial outcomes, including: increasing customer and consumer engagement to boost revenues to be reinvested in the sport; getting more greyhounds to the track while ensuring their welfare throughout their lifecycle; and working with participants, clubs and all other stakeholders to build a stronger, more unified industry.
For the moment though, GRV is very much focused on helping participants get ready for the new Code of Practice, which comes into force on 1 January 2020. We are working with clubs to provide support available for completing Establishment and Health Management Plans (EHMP) as required by the Code. This includes free appointments at clubs where staff will help participants complete their EHMPs, provide greyhound specialist veterinarians to review and sign off the EHMP and then lodge EHMP declarations on behalf of participants if needed. Please contact your local club for more details.
Another initiative to support participants is now also underway – a major upgrade of FastTrack – which will include a new interface for mobile devices. As part of this process GRV’s Business and Information Technology Services Branch is running focus groups at GRV head office with participants to find out what works best for them. People attending the catered focus groups receive a fee and travel expenses. Participants interested in attending one of these groups should email GRV BITS Product Manager Chris Hawken at [email protected].
Looking ahead, a program of work for new gallop runs is now being rolled out as part of the Victorian Government’s $2 million commitment towards training facilities. Planning is underway and construction is expected to start soon at our Geelong and Shepparton Clubs, followed by Horsham, Traralgon and Warrnambool.
On the track, we have the TAB Great Chase Grand Final coming up on 23 October at The Meadows. Now in its 17th year, the Great Chase is one of Australia’s most successful sporting events for charity and has provided more than $600,000 to more than 100 community groups across the State that care for the intellectually and physically disabled.
And looking ahead, the new Metro Spring Carnival will kick off at The Meadows with the Hume Cup and Silver Bullet on 4 November. The Carnival incorporates races for greyhounds of all grades and concludes at Sandown Park with the Melbourne Cup and Bold Trease finals on 29 November. And then it’s followed by the Gippsland Carnival the month after, so we can look forward to a feast of great racing this spring and summer.