Wagga Greyhound Racing Club secretary Rod Oakman claims apathy among participants in the sport is threatening to stifle the club’s bid to gain coveted TAB status.
Oakman yesterday lashed out at the “poor response” from Wagga trainers to the club’s annual general meeting this week.
“There were only 17 people there and five of them were life members and six were directors,” Oakman said yesterday.
“It’s very disappointing because I can count at least 30 other people who should have been there.”
Oakman said the lack of interest shown in the annual meeting by many greyhound racing enthusiasts could hinder Wagga’s chances of being allocated regular TAB race dates.
“There’s been talk of Wagga getting TAB status, but we need a few more hands to help make it happen,” Oakman said.
“My personal feeling is that trainers need to wake up and put something back into the club.
“Apathy is hurting the club.”
In recent years Wagga has held several TAB greyhound meetings, but has failed to secure a full-time position on the TAB schedule.
Observers believe clinching regular TAB dates would strengthen the sport in Wagga and across the Riverina.
Despite his “frustration” at the failure of many participants to become actively involved in the running of the club, Oakman is adamant it is in “good shape”.
“It’s a very strong club, but mainly through the effort of a small number of people,” he said.
“There were virtually only five people running the club last year, and we’ve got a couple of extra for next year, but we need 15.”
Returned as secretary at Tuesday’s AGM, Oakman is adamant the club will continue to thrive even with a skeleton staff.
“It’s one of the best six clubs in country NSW,” he said.
“It’s the best club in southern NSW and will stay that way.
“Some people, however, need to put up or shut up.”
Oakman said long-serving club president Darren Hull and treasurer John Hartley carried a heavy load with the club.
“Darren and John have been involved for 10 years and I’ve been involved all my life,” Oakman said.
“I just get frustrated at the lack of people who want to help.”
Courtesy : Les Muir, The Daily Advertiser