By Greyhounds Australasia CEO CHERIE NICHOLL
COMMUNITY is an incredibly important part of the Greyhound Racing Industry in Australia and New Zealand.
It’s what makes us unique and it’s what we have all drawn on during these challenging times. The way the entire industry has pulled together to ensure we continue to race through Covid–19 has been nothing short of inspiring.
Change is always difficult and the speed at which the controlling bodies, the clubs and all participants have worked to do whatever it takes to sustain as much of our racing programs as possible is something everybody should be very proud of. It’s further great demonstration of what can be achieved when we all work together.
Many of the measures that have had to be adopted during this time have been challenging but necessary to ensure we had the confidence of the territory, state and federal governments to enable racing to continue.
While NZ locked down very quickly the team in NZ are now planning a return to racing. Tasmania were able to continue racing until April 3 and are now working to reinstate racing as soon as possible. All other jurisdictions continue to race, albeit with some adjustments so we can keep participants and race staff safe and well adhering to the measures required by Chief Medical Officers.
Communication has been key throughout this time, and I know that your controlling bodies have been doing all they can to keep you updated as to how they have been working to support every part of our industry.
At the time of writing, the road ahead is not yet clear but if we continue to approach the coming weeks and months with the same determination, resilience and drive that has been demonstrated over recent weeks, the industry is well positioned to sustain racing programs through this pandemic.
As we navigate these times, the health and wellbeing of participants and the dogs is as always of the utmost importance. The social and mental impact of the way we are required to live through Covid–19 is not to be underestimated. It’s important that you reach out to your club and or controlling body if you need assistance either for yourself or your dogs. There is support available should it be required.
The controlling bodies are all working together sharing information daily while planning for every scenario. How we emerge from this Covid–19 racing environment is as important as how we manage through it. Each controlling body will continue to keep you up to date with the information that will help you during these times and continue to race as much as possible.
Everybody has a role in ensuring we continue to be one of the few privileged sports that continue to operate. Greyhounds Australasia and the Controlling Bodies across Australia and New Zealand are incredibly appreciative of the way you have all played your part in working with the measures and changes. We do however need to stay on track and continue to adhere to all the measures that have been put in place until we are advised otherwise by the Chief Medical Officers.
On another subject, a short update. Recently Anne Marie Harrison resigned from her role as Chair of Greyhounds Australasia. Sean Hannan Chair of Greyhound Racing New Zealand was appointed Chair of Greyhounds Australasia effective April 2, 2020. In addition, it was determined that a Deputy Chair be appointed to the Greyhounds Australasia Board and Dale Cartwright, Director at Racing Queensland and Greyhounds Australasia Director was nominated and accepted that role.
I sincerely hope that next month I will be writing about life after Covid–19.
Until then, again on behalf of Greyhounds Australasia and the Directors, thank you for all you have done and will continue to do in working with the clubs and controlling bodies to keep us racing.
Keep well and wash your hands.