What a comeback!

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By Brisbane Greyhound Club CEO LUKE GATEHOUSE

Greyhound people are expert at gaining positives from negative situations.

COVID-19 is no different.

In Queensland, as we emerged from the coronavirus darkness in recent months, the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club has embarked on a marketing campaign, inviting new and old faces to Albion Park.

The results have been amazing.

Because of lock-down and then restrictions, there are plenty of people who are looking for new entertainment options and greyhound racing is ticking plenty of boxes.

Like many other choices, we can offer great service, smiling faces, great meals and a nice cold drink, but greyhound racing also offers so much more.

The fact that you can watch and be thrilled by live racing and then be up so close to these beautiful animals is a unique experience.

Over the past month, post COVID-19 restrictions, we have experienced a massive turnaround at Albion Park, especially for our big Thursday night card. We have gone from empty stands, to some of the busiest ‘regular’ nights I have seen at ‘The Creek’.

And there are plenty of new faces. Greyhound racing was one of the few sports that was able to keep operating during restrictions. Interest in our code has spiked.

Wider Australia has always been aware of our sport, but now there is a whole new focus. More people are more aware of how this industry truly cares for the welfare of our animals.

So they can get to experience the fun, excitement and thrills of a night of racing and also get to appreciate what we already know about the greyhound breed – that they are not only a beautiful, powerful, athletic animal, but also an exceptionally placid and loving companion.

That is why it is great to see Racing Queensland’s Race Meeting Injury Scheme really getting traction and the positive results are here for all to see.

However, I am also very proud to say, with hand on heart, that the Brisbane club has always been at the forefront of animal welfare.

Especially over the past decade our club has acknowledged that the greyhound is the most important aspect of our industry and needs to be looked after. We have a long history of innovation to improve the safety aspects of our race dogs.

Timing is key to everything in life and it is perfect timing that as the COVID clouds slowly recede, the Brisbane club launches into its Golden Greys Summer Carnival. And what an epic carnival this time around.

The events and dates appear throughout Chase and I can’t wait for the opening events – the Derby and Futurity heats on December 3.

Things then build to the Group 1 Gold Bullion Final on February 4.

This will be a carnival to remember, so make sure you are part of it.

Finally, I have been asked numerous times:

“Just how bad has 2020 been!”

Yep, it has been tough for us all. Some more than others.

But 2015 was tougher.

Enough looking back. There’s a very bright 2021 on the horizon.

(Photo: Box 1 Photography)

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