By Greyhounds Australasia CEO Cherie Nicholl
It’s fair to say that in March when most of us first heard of COVID-19 we did not expect that six months on, we would still be so deeply immersed in what has become a global pandemic.
Reflecting on the conversations I’ve had over recent weeks those that do not start with a discussion about life in our Covid world are few and far between.
Taking care to check in with friends, family and even those that we don’t know that well, but who we know may not have a great deal of support is always important, but now it’s more important than ever.
The status of COVID-19 restrictions varies across the jurisdictions and could continue to do so for some time to come. However, the controlling bodies are doing all they can to keep us racing and support participants. If you need a little help during this time, make contact with your controlling body and they can let you know what assistance they can offer.
Being a part of a community is important during times like this. In recent weeks, the report that Greyhounds Australasia commissioned on the size of our industry was completed by IER for the 2018/2019 financial year. It provides detail about how our community is made up.
Our greyhound racing community in Australia and New Zealand has over 21,000 participants including:
- Breeders 1,126
- Kennel Attendants 2,827
- Owners 7,295
- Racing Club and Peak Racing Association Employees 1,913
- Trainers 3,797
When all the time these participant groups work across the industry is combined it represents 13,304 full time jobs.
In addition, 4,271 wonderful volunteers work within the industry to keep the wheels turning.
It is not only those directly involved in greyhound racing that gain employment from our industry. Many other industries are supported in some way by the business of greyhound racing. Including:
- Information technology
- Fuel and transport
- Travel and accommodation
- Feed merchants
- Sand and soil suppliers
In the 2018/2019 Financial year 46,459 greyhound races were run over 4,256 meetings. And to ensure racing fields across those meetings, there were 23,134 greyhounds in training and 11,938 puppies whelped.
Greyhound Racing Clubs also make a significant contribution to local communities, providing venues, support, and sponsorship for charitable organisations to the tune of almost $900,000 in the FY18/19.
We know how important it is for our industry to maintain and build our social licence and this information, as well as the economic contribution which will be shared in the coming months, will position us well to represent the industry in a positive light.
For now, we all need to continue as we have been over recent months. Supporting each other and maintaining the protocols and measures that will enable us to keep racing and keep healthy.