Tomorrow’s Echuca Racing Club Melbourne Cup day meet will be the last for chief executive officer Garry Armstrong.GEORDIE COWAN November 5, 2012 4:38am
Garry Armstrong has a long history with Echuca Racing Club, but his impending move to Rockhampton Jockey Club has him excited about the new chapter in his life.
First joining the ERC committee in 1988, Armstrong has been involved with the club for ‘‘20-odd years’’ and been its chief executive officer since March 2009.
But it is time for the 48-year-old to take the next step in his career.
Tomorrow’s meet at Echuca will be his last in charge before he becomes the chief executive officer of RJC at Callaghan Park in December.
Armstrong, who also spent a year as chief executive officer at Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club, said although the move would be hard, it was the right decision to make after a successful stint at Echuca.
‘‘The decision I took with my wife four years ago was that this would be my career move, to go into racing and racing administration,’’ he said.
‘‘The natural progression is to try and administer at a higher level or a bigger club.
‘‘I’ve had three really good years here. We’ve achieved a fair bit.’’
Armstrong said he was looking forward to the challenge of being responsible for one of the ‘‘top 10 clubs in Queensland’’ in terms of size and business and he expected it to be an expansion on his role at Echuca.
‘‘It’s part of the challenge and part of the progression,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a bigger role in there’s more race meetings, there’s bigger staff and they have a function centre that is very active.
‘‘They are also involved in a thoroughbred two-year-old sale and then have a feature race that comes up in their carnival in June.
‘‘It was probably that next step up in opportunity within the industry.’’
Tomorrow’s meet — the club’s biggest each year, with a crowd of between 6000 to 7000 expected — will cap off what has been a thriving time in the club’s history, combining industry awards with a slow and progressive changing of philosophies.
In Armstrong’s first full year in charge at Echuca, it was named the Country Racing Victoria club of the year and was nominated for the award the next two years.
‘‘We showed it wasn’t a fluke by being able to replicate that in the next two seasons,’’ he said.
Although the accolades were significant, it was the club’s increasing involvement with the district community which was a real highlight, Armstrong said.
‘‘I have been really, really happy with the way we have been able to re-engage with the local community,’’ he said.
‘‘Going back into town and dealing with local businesses.
‘‘I think we’ve really been able to increase the profile of the race club through the town and through the region.
‘‘I think we’ve got a pretty good base to continue to build.
‘‘I’m pretty comfortable that I’ve left the club in a far stronger position than what it was four years ago.’’
With the end of his time at ERC rapidly approaching, Armstrong said he had not had time to think about it as the club prepared for Melbourne Cup day, which was good in a way.
‘‘It’s bittersweet,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve really, really enjoyed my role at the club.
‘‘I’ve had fantastic support from the committee and the people of Echuca-Moama and the sponsors have forged some pretty strong bonds there as well.
‘‘As far as I’m concerned they’re really good things for the club and the town and all those bonds have been strengthened down the line.’’
When teenage sensation Jack Hammond arrived in Tongala with his dairy farming family in January, his name sparked interest in several coaches across the district.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons have secured a vital win over Wangaratta Magpies at JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga.
On Wednesday, April 22, 11 walkers from Shepparton Adventure Club travelled to Strathmerton then on to Ulupna Island.
Uniformed police are being plucked from the district’s 16-hour stations to work with one-member stations so officers are not patrolling on their own.
A Rochester woman who stole more than $250 worth of money, cigarettes and food from her workplace of four years has been convicted and fined $500, plus court costs.
The final 25 players have been chosen to represent the Goulburn Valley Football League in their quest to regain the number one football ranking in country Victoria.
A 640 000 bird proposal finally gets the green light from Strathbogie Shire Council.
Record cattle prices were recorded at the Finley Saleyards on Friday
People in rural and remote areas are significantly over-represented in the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
Barooga will host an information forum on the National Disability Insurance Scheme on Tuesday night.
The Deniliquin Rodeo Arena was in full swing for the recent Deniliquin Classic Barrel Race.
GrainCorp has announced an investment of $50 million to increase oilseed crushing capacity and efficiency at its Numurkah facility in Victoria.
Mark Soyer represented Australia at the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Canada.
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