The Victorian Coalition Government will boost greyhound racing’s biggest carnival of the year with $70,000 to support on-course entertainment, kids’ activities and sporting promotions at the 2012 Australian Cup Carnival at The Meadows.
Minister for Racing Denis Napthine said the support is aimed at drawing extra spectators to the carnival which features Group 1 racing during February and March.
“The Meadows in Melbourne’s northern suburbs has become an institution for thrilling greyhound racing. The Australian Cup Carnival at the Meadows is an event not to be missed,” Dr Napthine said.
“This initiative will target northern suburbs soccer and netball clubs, and the families and friends of players, to come and experience the excitement of a night out at the greyhounds for themselves.
“Two major prizes are aimed directly at local soccer and netball clubs. On offer are two professional sporting clinics with Australian sporting heroes Archie Thompson and Bianca Chatfield.
“Club members will have to be on-course to win so with this in mind, free buses have been organised to help ferry members to these Australian Cup race days.”
Initiatives to support the increased attendance drive have been jointly funded by the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association which is contributing $88,000; and the Coalition Government which is providing $70,000 through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund’s Raceday Attraction Program.
Funded initiatives include:
Two feature promotions over two race days:
- 11 February 2012 – “Win a clinic with Archie Thompson – Melbourne Victory”
- 18 February 2012 – “Win a clinic with Bianca Chatfield – Melbourne Vixens”
- Merchandise giveaways and free barbecue
- Travel assistance for local clubs
- Camp Australia activities including tug of war, crazy cricket, jumping castles, mini golf, rock wall climbing, face painting and badge making.
The Meadows General Manager Marg Long said the Club is extremely pleased with the ongoing support of the Victorian Government.
“We are absolutely delighted with the Coalition Government support towards this program which will provide a new dimension for patrons at The Meadows,” Ms Long said.
“This project will provide even more patrons with an opportunity to experience the excitement of greyhound racing and also encourage families to enjoy the wonderful picnic atmosphere and range of activities on offer during the carnival program,” she said.
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region Craig Ondarchie said this latest investment would complement other recent Coalition Government projects at the Meadows.
“The Coalition Government has also recently helped to upgrade infrastructure at the Meadows, investing $630,000 in September for new starting boxes, a track-refurbishment and a purpose-built picnic area for spectators,” Mr Ondarchie said.