We just wanted to drop you a short note about some of the things going on around COVID-19 in recent days.
You may have seen that the Tasmanian Government has shut down racing in that State for a month.
Here is what our Racing Minister Martin Pakula had to say on that matter:
“The decision of the Tasmanian Government is a matter for Tasmania. Racing in the rest of the country continues consistent with the most recent decision of the National Cabinet.”
So, we race on. As long as every single one of us follows the protocols we have introduced on-track and the advice of the Chief Health Officer when we are in the community, we will give ourselves the best opportunity to continue racing our dogs.
GRV’s paramount responsibility is the health, safety and welfare of all Victorian participants and their greyhounds and of our clubs and our staff.
GRV continues to work with all the clubs, Greyhound Clubs Victoria, the Office of Racing and other key stakeholders on a daily basis as more information and medical advice is received.
All of this work is extremely important and we will continue to adapt and put in place protocols which allow us to keep racing.
We are also looking at ways in which we can assist participants and staff in groups more vulnerable to COVID-19, such as the elderly.
We are interested in your thoughts on how we might do this.
Can younger local trainers pick up the dogs of a colleague and take them to a track under a buddy-type system? Can an elderly trainer drop off the dogs outside the track? Can GRV or club staff assist?
By no means are we saying the elderly can’t continue coming to the track and racing their dogs but we want to give them an option to protect their health as COVID-19 is highly infectious and appears to be more severe in the elderly.
On-track, we will soon be introducing health screening to minimise the chance of someone coming on-track who is ill.
This will be simple and quick and assists us to keep racing going.
In closing, we are also working with other state jurisdictions and racing codes to share advice and information about COVID-19, managing race meetings and planning together for all eventualities.
We are not aware of another time when the three Codes have worked so closely together and this may present many opportunities for our sport going forward.
We will continue to keep you informed through these updates and on all developments as they happen through our website, FastTrack, weekly newsletter, social media and emails as appropriate.
Finally, we know these are stressful times remind you that GRV has a free and confidential 24-hour Greyhound Participant Support program to help with your mental, physical and financial wellbeing if needed, and you can find out more at: greyhoundcare.grv.org.au/greyhound-participant-support.
Alternatively, pick up the phone or email your club or GRV.
We are all in this together and there has never been a more important time for the greyhound racing family to unite.
Stay safe and take care.
Peita and Alan