A community is defined as a group of people who have a characteristic in common. Community spirit is the feeling of involvement within that circle.
Across all 13 clubs throughout Victoria, camaraderie is ever-present, and a young boy by the name of Darragh is just one example of how it works.
Darragh is the one-year-old son of greyhound trainer Tony and his wife Christine Hyde. Both come from Ireland, making the journey to Melbourne to experience the thrill of greyhound racing in Victoria, and they are currently settled in Ballan (near Ballarat).
Tony and Christine have experienced firsthand how vital community is. Darragh has Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a genetic disorder that develops an abnormal amount of mucus in the lungs, airways and the digestive system, which makes it hard for the body to digest food and absorb oxygen.
There is currently no cure, and for first time Dad and full-time carer Tony, the support their family has received has made a hard transition that little bit easier.
Pictured – Darragh and Tony Hyde with their pet greyhound
“Living with CF means waking up to five different medications, physio and keeping a constant eye on Darragh, but being a father is the best experience anyone could ask for. I love being a Dad.”
Darragh currently has 100% lung capacity, and everything Tony and Christine do is about preventing his condition from getting worse.
“I was and still am, blown away with how many people offer to help me with Darragh at the track, even before they found out Darragh was sick. I can have half a dozen people offering help whilst I am at tracks.”
“It’s really is overwhelming all the support we are being offered. It makes our lives a lot easier and I can continue to race my dogs, which is something I love doing. Darragh loves the dogs too, he is always wanting to pat them!” Tony said.
Darragh was diagnosed with CF in October 2015, which Tony and Christine knew very little about, but they received endless support from the Royal Children’s Hospital who had staff spend two days educating the new parents.
Pictured – Darragh and GRV’s toy mascot Turbo.
As a thank you to the Royal Children’s Hospital, and to support further research, Tony has decided to donate the prize money earned by one of his greyhounds, which he also bred. Tony is grateful he can support the scientists who continue to work to find a cure.
“I really wanted to donate money to CF research to provide a bright future for children who are also diagnosed.”
When Tony moved to Australia he worked for Lara trainer Robert Britton, which is where he got to know the greyhound Famor Las Vegas, the stud dog he used to sire his latest litter of puppies. The litter is now 18 months old, and Tony is waiting to pick the best pup in the litter to be the one to run in support of CF research.
“If I train the dog I will donate 100% of their earnings to CF research, I want to be able to help kids like Darragh,” Tony said.
Community spirit in greyhound racing doesn’t stop with Darragh – their are countless occasions that see camaraderie shine and it is what makes our sport great.
We look forward to seeing Darragh grow along with his love for greyhounds.