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Greyhound Racing Industry Leaders Commit to Revitalisation and Revolution

GWIC & GRNSW 3 mins read
Mr Daniel Weizman (NSW GBOTA Chief Executive Officer), Mr Steve Griffin (GWIC Chief Executive Officer), Mr Rob Macaulay (GRNSW Chief Executive Officer), and Brennan Naidoo (Greyhound Clubs NSW) at the NSW Greyhound Industry Leaders Summit.

SYDNEY: Revitalisation, reaffirmation and revolution – they are the positive steps those who gathered for this week’s New South Wales Greyhound Industry Leaders Summit agreed to take in union to steer the sport towards a more prosperous future.

After two ground-breaking summits hosted jointly by the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission (GWIC) and Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) in 2023, this week whole of industry collaboration once again proved the catalyst for innovative solutions.

Key figures from GRNSW, GWIC, Greyhound Clubs NSW and the NSW Greyhound Breeders Owners & Trainers Association (GBOTA), along with racing administrators from South Australia and New Zealand, both examined strategies to revitalise tracks and reaffirmed their commitment to the highest standards of welfare.

“This third summit is about continuing the process of transformation of our great sport, making it safer for our canine athletes and making it a fairer sport for all involved,” Mr Alby Taylor, Chief Commissioner of the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission, said.

“By challenging the accepted, by embracing new ideas and thought processes, we will see the sport flourish in the future.”

Over the past 12 months the NSW industry has showed its commitment to building that future by implementing key strategies agreed upon at the previous summits.

Those attending this week’s summit reviewed data highlighting the success of race injury reduction strategies, including trials of double-armed lures and preferred box draws.

Based upon this success, those at the summit agreed to a further roll out of double-arm lures and an expansion of the preferred box draw trial. In addition, the trial of an innovative soft sand profile as a new track base was discussed.

“This leader’s summit is the second consultation event held this year. We’re looking forward to a big year in track safety, prizemoney and rehoming. It is fantastic to get direct feedback from and alignment with participants and stakeholders. Thank you to all who attended.”, Mr Rob Macaulay, Chief Executive Officer of Greyhound Racing NSW, said.

Those at the summit also received an update on the greyhound superannuation scheme and a prohibited substances app that is in development and will be released in coming months.

Building on that solid foundation, this week in acknowledgement that additional change and diversification is required, industry figures committed to the implementation of further strategies.

They agreed to examine investments which will pave the way for a sustainable racing model that encourages the growth of the participation base.

On the summit’s opening day, a track optimisation workshop designed to inspire solutions led to a consensus that actions should be driven by industry data. It is data which is now readily available thanks to the industry’s eTrac system, as well as a greyhound population model developed and showcased by GWIC at the summit.

Those at the summit agreed that optimisation does not necessarily involve track closures, but rather creating a potential regional ‘hub and spoke’ model.

Another major focus of the summit was examining measures that would increase the greyhound utilisation rate and prolong the racing careers of greyhounds. This would simultaneously guarantee field sizes into the future whilst reducing rehoming pressures.

“It is imperative that together we explore measures that ensure the growth of the sport and to not only maintain, but expand the racing calendar and participation into the future. This includes the creation of pathways and opportunities for all grades of dogs,” Mr Macaulay said.

From robust discussion of expanded racing pathways, attention of summit attendees shifted to rehoming and pet readiness strategies on day two.

Proactive techniques which trainers can implement to ensure their greyhounds are pet ready once they retire from, or are no longer suitable for, racing, were shared.

While acknowledging this approach requires resolve and commitment, it was emphasised the benefits of doing so are tangible, expediting the Greyhounds as Pets (GAP) adoption process.

GRNSW also revealed a new Greyhounds As Pets centre will be opening in Canberra to allow for more former racing greyhounds to be welcomed into loving homes for life as a pet.

Strategies agreed and committed to by the industry at the summit will be published shortly, while both GWIC and GNRSW will undertake broader industry consultation on track revitalisation.

“Some of these strategies, such as the exploration of new racing surfaces, have the potential to revolutionise and ensure the continuation of the sport. It is my strong belief that this initiative will be a game changer with the potential to significantly reduce injuries,” Mr Taylor said.

 

For further information, contact:

Ms Anya Whitelaw (GWIC)

Media & Communications
T: +61 448 193 270
E: media@gwic.nsw.gov.au

Mr Michael Cowley (GRNSW)
Strategic Communications
T: +612 8324 7600
E: media@grnsw.com.au



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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