Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt is sponsoring the next race meeting of the Cairns Greyhound Racing Club this Saturday night (14 November 2009) and is urging people to support the Club and a great cause at the same time.
Mr Pitt said the seven race program will be held at Cannon Park and a night at the dogs is an affordable and fun night out for the entire family.
“Many people would probably have never seen a race live. The dogs are that much faster than they seem on television,” Mr Pitt said.
“Tough economic times have seen people tightening their belts however this is a cheap night out. Entry is free, but we’re asking people to donate a gold coin at the gate to support Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support (SANDS) Queensland.
“There’ll also be raffle tickets on sale to support this very worthwhile program, provides a range of services to parents and their families who experience the death of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death and other reproductive losses.”
Mr Pitt said that a representative from the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) – a not for profit organisation that finds homes for greyhounds that have retired from racing – would be available on the night to answer the inevitable questions that come when the kids will fall in love with the ‘athletes’ on show.
“Greyhounds also make great pets. My wife and I have adopted two dogs through the Greyhound Adoption Program. The Program also works to educate the public on the benefits and care of Greyhounds as companion animals.
“The passing of legislation (the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008) was also a great step forward as it abolished the requirement to muzzle GAP greyhounds in public.
“The reputation of greyhounds in the pet community has been vastly improved and members of the public can now see how happy and gentle greyhounds really are.”
Mr Pitt said the Cairns Greyhound Racing Club provides a great community product for the region.
“I’m proud to be one of the many people associated with the club. Greyhound racing is a terrific experience for the many families that are involved, either as spectators or as trainers,” Mr Pitt said.
Every race has a story
Mr Pitt said the name of each of the races (below) had their own story:
- Race 1 – ‘SANDS Queensland Needs Your Support’
- Race 2 – ‘The Little Guy Sometimes Wins High Stakes’
- Race 3 – ‘Jomar Crush Memorial’
- Race 4 – ‘Tristan’s Toward Q2 – Strong, Green, Smart, Healthy, Fair’
- Race 5 – ‘Get Behind the Greyhound Adoption Program’
- Race 6 – ‘Macey Grey Mulgrave Maiden’
- Race 7 – ‘Behind Every Good Man Is A Great Woman’
“Race four highlights the Bligh Government’s Toward Q2 vision, which is framed around five ambitions that address current and future challenges,” Mr Pitt said.
“We want to see a Queensland that is strong, green, smart, healthy and fair. This is the kind of Queensland I want my son to grow up in.
“Within each of these areas, we’ve set long-term targets that clearly identify what we want to achieve by 2020.”
Mr Pitt said race seven put paid to the old saying that behind every good man is a great woman.
“Public life can take its toll on families and it can be tough and it is often the partners of politicians who are the unsung heroes,” Mr Pitt said.
“My wife Kerry is an extraordinarily courageous person and the most important person in my life.
“She has made many sacrifices in her personal and professional life for me and I draw on her love and unwavering support each and every day. We are a great team.”
In April, the Greyhound Racing Authority (GRA) issued show cause notices to the Cairns and Mackay greyhound racing clubs as to why they should not be deregistered from 30 June 2009, on the basis of declining performance relating to poor race day patronage and low wagering turnover.
Mr Pitt said the Cairns Greyhound Racing Club put forward a strong case and he was proud to throw his support behind the Club.
“The GRA listened and not only decided that greyhound racing at Cannon Park should continue but would increase from 24 to 33 races,” Mr Pitt said.
“I gave my commitment that I’d celebrate the decision by naming one of the races ‘The Little Guy Sometimes Wins High Stakes’ (Race 2).”
Mr Pitt said he hoped the reconsideration by the GRA of greyhound racing activities in Cairns meant the body would take a more positive approach and work with smaller clubs in order to improve their performance.
“Small clubs like Cairns play an important role in the industry and they should be allowed to continue for the enjoyment and benefit of those in the local area. Larger clubs need them to ensure the longer term viability of greyhound racing across the state,” Mr Pitt said.
SANDS Queensland is a parent-managed, not-for-profit organisation which carries out its important work through the assistance of donations, corporate sponsorship and limited government funding. More information can be found on their website: www.sandsqld.com
For more information about the Greyhound Adoption Program, visit www.greyhoundpets.org.au
Gates open at 6.00pm with the first race at 6.30pm.