By PAUL DOLAN
Ron Hawkswell recently chalked up fifty years of broadcasting greyhound races to on track, radio and television followers of the sport.
For his longevity, professionalism and dedication Hawkswell has received the Denise Fysh Award, announced at the recent Greyhound Clubs Australia telecast. With Covid restrictions, no GCA awards function was able to be held. Hawkswell found out about winning the award under unusual circumstances.
“I was at home doing the form and selections for the Ballarat meeting I was to call the next day. I had the telecast going in the background but was sort of half listening. Then came the announcement. I had no idea that it would happen, it was a complete surprise and a huge thrill,’’ he said.
In 2017 Hawkswell received the prestigeous Ken Carr Medal for excellence at the Victorian greyhound of the year awards night.
“That too was a surprise, you don’t expect such awards,’’ he said.
“I knew and worked with Ken for around twenty five years when he was manager of The MGRA and the Victorian Control Board (now GRV). I knew Denise from visits to Hobart and when she came to Melbourne for our carnivals.’’
Fysh was president of the Hobart GRC from 2005 until her death after a battle with cancer in April, 2019, aged 61.
Ron Hawkswell is the third winner of the Fysh award. WA’s Jade McKenzie was the 2019 recipient, a handler and kennel attendant who was involved in a serious motor accident from which working with greyhounds helped her recovery.
The NSW training team of Frank and Tracey Hurst won the award last year following their win in the inaugural Million Dollar Chase at Wentworth Park with Good Odds Harada.
Hawkswell says he is very pleased with the recent announcement that fellow Victorian racecaller Rob Testa was awarded the 2021 Ken Carr Medal.
“It’s a well deserved recognition of Rob’s role in greyhound racing,’’ he said.
Ron Hawkswell is widely known as ‘the Hawk’. Living in Melbourne, could it be that he follows the AFL team of the same name, the Hawks (Hawthorne)?
“They are my team, actually. I just chose them as my team to follow many years ago, for no particular reason and not for the name. My dad and my brother Allan are Carlton men through and through but they couldn’t sway me.’’
The ‘high flying Hawks’ won the AFL premiership in 2013, 2014 and 2015. They finished 14th of 18 this year. Ron Hawkswell won’t dump them, that’s for sure.