By Ben Pritchard
More than 250 very excited people from all over Melbourne headed to the Great Chase community day at The Meadows in October 2019, with live music and smiling faces a big part of the day.
Among the big crowd last year were two of the most recent winners of the Great Chase Grand Final, 2018’s Broadmeadows Disability Service and 2017’s Nextt.
Nextt is disability service based in Melton, which predominantly runs programs for people with autism. Carmel from Nextt explained that the group looks forward to the Great Chase every year.
Nextt started attending the Great Chase in 2016 and were lucky enough to take out the first prize of $10,000 at their 2017 Grand Final appearance. Carmel explained that the prizemoney was a complete shock to everyone but very helpful for purchasing items that they would have had to budget for.
“The guys all thought it was wonderful as we were able to purchase a range of items including iPads, electrical appliances for our cooking program and three-wheeler bikes,” Carmel said.
Broadmeadows Disability Services have been coming to the Great Chase for the past six years and were ecstatic when they won the $10,000 Grand Final prize in 2018.
Phil from Broadmeadows Disability Service said “Last year was amazing – we were so happy that we were able to meet some dogs and get our photo taken. The money helped pay for a range of things including sensory items which is a great need for some of our clients.”
Although crowds are not allowed on course in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers are hopeful that the TAB Great Chase will return to normality in 2021.
The Great Chase is Victorian greyhound racing’s number one community event, distributing almost $650,000 to the disability sector since 2003.