With many returning groups and some new friends, the sunshine brought many smiling faces to the TAB Great Chase Community Day at the Sale Greyhound Racing Club last year.
Upwards of 200 community group members took part in a memorable day.
Famous for the afternoon BBQ staffed by the club committee, management and staff, groups in attendance were supplied with a wonderful lunch at the club in the alfresco and picnic areas.
Returning for 2019 was the Sale Specialist School, who in 2017 took home $1,000 in prize money. The winnings two years ago went towards a new playground for the school.
“We had to raise $120K in total, so the winnings helped out with the playground,” said secondary team leader Debbie.
The group of 22 from the school were excited to again have a day out at the greyhounds.
“For our guys, this day gets them ready for their social transition to senior school. They catch up with other groups and see the pathways that are ahead of them,” said Debbie.
The greyhounds on the track lap up the attention from the specialist school.
“The kids love coming to watch the greyhounds, they love cheering them on and watching them along the track,” she added.
Attending for the second year in a row, the five participants from Ohana Services were excited to see greyhounds on the track, some seeing them for the first time.
Jenni, a staff member at Ohana Services said the participants were “excited for the day out and to see the greyhounds on the track.”
The group has five therapy greyhounds at their residence, so they have a strong appreciation for the beautiful greyhound breed.
“Most of the participants have trained the greyhounds before in the therapy sessions but have never seen them race so this is very exciting for them,” Jenni said. “We are expanding and need a new van, so the winnings, if we get any, will go towards a new van for the participants, so we can get out and about to more social occasions.”
Ohana Services group came along with a secret weapon in 2019, namely John from the group, who is referred to as Mr GRV. If you have been to a greyhound racing club in Gippsland in recent years you will probably have run into John.
“John knows every trainer, every dog and all the staff at the tracks, so has been letting everyone else know how the day works and who to cheer for in the races,” Jenni said.
John loves the social aspect of the day out, and watching the greyhounds run, as well as sharing his knowledge of the industry with the other group members.
Ohana Services was lucky enough to walk away with the $1,000 first prize at the 2019 Sale leg of the Great Chase.
Fingers crossed we will see the return of Mr GRV and all the community groups that attended The TAB Great Chase 2019 when crowds return in 2021.
The TAB Great Chase is Victorian greyhound racing’s number one community event, distributing almost $650,000 to the disability sector since 2003.