The brand new track at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club was officially opened last night by Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) Chairman, Mrs. Jan Wilson.
Having been closed for almost five months since May while the old track was replaced and the new one was built, the seaside venue reopened for racing on October 8.
At the opening Warrnambool’s Club President Phil Mitchem said… “As the President; on behalf of all our members and trainers, past and present that have raced here and will into the future, I sincerely thank Jan, her Board and GRV’s Senior Management Team for the confidence in our Club to make such an investment”, he said, before introducing Mrs. Wilson to the microphone.
Mrs. Wilson went on to tell of the background behind the $1.9 Million project.
“When GRV’s Board was asked to provide funding for the reconstruction of the track here at Warrnambool, it was at a time when considerable expenditure had been allocated for new kennel and office buildings at seven clubs throughout the state. Fortunately the state government had provided part of the funding for these other projects, which freed up finance to provide for what needed to be done here”, Mrs. Wilson said.
“It had become obvious in the past 18 months or so that a major reconstruction of the track at Warrnambool was necessary to provide a safe running surface for the greyhounds. A major investigation showed that the track was almost 30 years old, it was some distance from the main viewing areas and, in addition, the track’s lighting was becoming corroded and needed replacing”, Mrs. Wilson added.
It was finally decided by the GRV board on the advice of its Racing, Integrity Infrastructure Manager, Bob Smith, and in conjunction with the Warrnambool Committee, that the opportunity be taken to not only replace the track surface and lighting, but at the same time realign the track at the top bend to provide for easier negotiation.
After extensive consultation with the track designer, a complete reconstruction was recommended, including bringing the track nearer to the viewing areas and widening the top bend.
“Sky Channel has indicated that the new Warrnambool track is the best in Australia, and the views of seasoned trainers from all over Victoria endorse this opinion. We are delighted with the completed project. Warrnambool is one of Victoria’s most proactive race clubs. The club has an excellent relationship with other sectors of the community here, and is involved in many local activities”, Mrs. Wilson said.
The Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club Committee presented Mrs. Wilson with a bouquet of flowers and Bob Smith with a framed photo of the old Warrnambool track as a token gesture.