Mt Gambier greyhound track upgrades pushed ahead by GRSA CEO

Mount Gambier Greyhound Club's delayed upgrades to be pushed ahead under new CEO, with addition of a ‘bullring', and a near total revamp of the existing facilities.

The redevelopment has been on the agenda for over two years, but GRSA and the club could not agree on the plans to move forward.

A visit from the Greyhound Racing South Australia (GRSA) CEO this week seems to have aligned the two groups and progressed upgrade plans.

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club (MGGRC), a name synonymous with greyhound racing in South Australia, has been in operation since it's formation in 1972.

Notably, the club's storied journey started from humble beginnings with the erection of a racing track at Glenburnie in 1976.

The first race was held in 1979, marking the inception of a historical journey in the greyhound racing industry.

In 1996, however, the Glenburnie track closed and was replaced with a purpose-built complex on Lake Terrace East in 1997, also known as Tara Raceway.

Since then, Tara Raceway has been the home of the MGGRC, maintaining its reputation as one of the best country complexes in South Australia, with significant improvements implemented over the years.

The club's operations expanded in 2012 when GRSA introduced ‘TAB' greyhound racing allowing online greyhound bookmakers to offer greyhound odds on all greyhound races; and enabling it to conduct races twice a week by 2019.

This paved the way for the club to host its first black-type race in 2018, the , further elevating its prestige.

A recent visit by Bodelle Francis, the GRSA CEO, to the MGGRC has stirred optimism in the air, highlighting the club's ongoing commitment to enhancing their facility.

Francis, who has held the position for over a year, arrived in Mount Gambier with a mission to finalise the long-anticipated clubroom renovation project plans.

The GRSA, acting as the controlling body of , had previously deposited a substantial sum in 2021 for upgrading the clubrooms at Tara Raceway.

Despite the considerable number of plans exchanged between Adelaide and Mount Gambier, the funds remain untouched, and the complex stands unaltered.

Francis met with members of the MGGRC committee to discuss the refurbishment plans.

The club has always been clear about its vision for the upgrade, insisting that the project should be feasible with the available funds.

Francis, equally eager to conclude this prolonged process, attentively took notes as the club representatives outlined their priorities.

Among the proposed changes were the repositioning of the bar for enhanced usability, the replacement of back entrance doors with a service entrance, and the introduction of cool room facilities.

The club also plans to accommodate a ramp on the western wall for wheelchair access, an external stairwell for ' room access and exit, and a revamp of the downstairs toilet facilities.

The clubroom's eastern end will maintain a brick wall, a reminder of the contributors to the original building fund, while the club office will see a much-needed modernisation.

The old wood fire will make way for reverse cycle , and new floor coverings, tables, and chairs are to be selected.

Francis' visit also encompassed a review of the proposed site for the club's greyhound educational circle track, an initiative in the pipeline for several years.

This educational circle track, also known as a bullring, is designed to introduce young greyhounds to chasing the before out onto the racetrack.

Once installed, it will mark the fruition of the MGGRC's long-term plan of establishing a comprehensive racing/training complex at Tara Raceway.

The educational circle track will be situated adjacent to the club's dual slipping tracks, the first of which was operational in 2014.

The MGGRC expressed their gratitude to Francis for her visit and her receptiveness to their refurbishment suggestions.

Noel Perry, MGGRC president, expressed his hope that the clubroom project would commence soon.

The club believes that their proposed changes will fit within the budget and ultimately serve to enhance their sport in the area as it continues to progress.

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