Heats of the Great Chase were held at Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club yesterday and the winners on the day were Shepparton community groups.By Matthew Galea
Vision Australia Shepparton, Riding for the Disabled Shepparton and Providing All Living Support Inc were the big winners at Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club yesterday.
The community groups were invited to the track to participate in Greyhound Racing Victoria’s annual community event, the TAB Great Chase.
The Great Chase, which has been run for the past 11 years, has community groups allocated dogs that run in heats at each of GRV’s 13 racetracks.
This year, more than 150 community groups have been paired with greyhounds, with the likes of Shepparton Access, ConnectGV and Goulburn Options all represented at Shepparton yesterday.
‘‘We do pride ourselves on our community involvement,’’ GRV media manager Rick Durham said.
‘‘We are well represented in regional Victoria, we have 11 tracks in regional Victoria, so we always try to be a part of the community.’’
Community groups receive $500 if their dog wins a heat, another $1000 if that dog goes on to win a semi-final, while the final winner will earn $5000 for its group, as well as the equivalent of 10 per cent of their prize winnings for the next year.
PALSINC was the biggest winner, with its Nelson St branch winning races one and four, courtesy of greyhounds Rave and All In Ky, earning the group $1000 on the day.
‘‘We have day centres in Numurkah and Cobram and a residential house in Yarrawonga, and another two residential houses in Numurkah as well,’’ PALSINC representative Jodie Brewer said.
‘‘This win, the money will go towards furniture for the house or anything else that they might need.’’
It was the second year PALSINC had won two heats, but Brewer said the real positive was the event itself, which gave the group’s clients the chance to come out to the track and enjoy the day.
‘‘They enjoy it, I think it’s great because it gives them another opportunity to come out into the community,’’ Brewer said.
Louise Pettigrew from Vision Australia Shepparton said the $500 received as a result of Gunai Diva’s win in race one would go a long way.
‘‘It helps us provide services to clients and we’ve got all sorts of things going at the moment,’’ Pettigrew said.
Karen Boschetti from Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club took on a lot of the organisation of the event and said it had been as rewarding an experience as ever.
‘‘It’s just good to acknowledge the community around our area and put back into it,’’ Boschetti said.
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