The Governing body of greyhound racing in the state of Victoria, Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV), have announced a five year Strategic Plan to oversee and direct the future of the sport, until 2019.
After much industry consultation, the plan, On Track for a Great Future, lists eight core competencies that address all aspects of the sport, including animal welfare, racing operations, wagering, member services, culture, clubs, technology and branding.
While stake returns to participants has never been greater ($41 million in the Financial Year ending 2013) and wagering turnover continues to increase, GRV have recognised the way forward must be carefully planned in order for greyhound racing to continue its prosperity.
Despite the successes of the past decade, GRV Chief Executive Officer Adam Wallish says now is not the time to stay stagnant and there is much to be done to ensure the future of the code nationally and internationally.
Of the eight core competencies itemised in the Strategic Plan, three perhaps more than the other five may have a direct impact on current participants.
The implications of the new Strategic Plan may predominantly be experienced by participants in the areas of animal welfare, racing operations and increased membership.
Firstly, the animal welfare topic continues to be a highly scrutinised, both internally and externally. Wallish described animal welfare as a “key plank in our strategic direction”, emphasising the amount of onus placed on this one issue.
The tracking of a greyhound throughout its entire life, from whelping, rearing, breaking in, racing and finally retirement, is of paramount importance for GRV. This forms part of their commitment to ensuring the greyhound is always monitored throughout its life cycle and that someone is responsible for the greyhound at all times. An additional $2.8 million is being injected into animal welfare to make sure best practices are observed in regards to Greyhound welfare issues.
“A key priority is to have a Victorian strategy and also we are leading the way in a National strategy”, says Adam Wallish in regards to greyhound welfare.
Secondly, in racing operations, GRV are committed to providing a fair, transparent and enjoyable racing experience for all participants with increased racing opportunities and clear rules in order to govern the sport with the highest level of integrity.
The aim is to monitor grading rules and to implement drug policies and increase swabbing in order to preserve the fairness to all competing.
Thirdly, the attraction and retention of the next generation of members through increased opportunities is also a key priority for GRV, for without new blood entering the sport, greyhound racing will not flourish. While this seems to go without saying, our current participants’ average age is 51 years, so to entice and maintain newcomers to greyhound racing is of huge importance.
Other sections of the Strategic Plan include the vision statement as follows:
“Greyhound Racing Victoria to become the world’s most respected greyhound body; widely regarded for the market position and reputation we have created for greyhound racing in Victoria.”
While this declaration is fairly obvious in its objective, GRV are already the industry leaders in this country, and perhaps even on a world scale.
GRV Chief Executive Adam Wallish will present the Strategic Plan to members at The Meadows, Warragul and Ballarat clubs in the coming month to explain the significance of the five year plan. If you would like to attend any of these sessions you should contact GRV Member Services to reserve your place.
The next five years in greyhound racing cannot be taken for granted as far as success is concerned for our governing body, and many hard yards are still to be traversed before the goals of this plan are realised. However, it is fair to say Greyhound Racing Victoria have achieved a great result for our Owners, Trainers and Breeders in recent years.
The implementation of this Strategic Plan over the next five years should ensure the continued success of greyhound racing in Victoria.