Some of regional NSW's hardest working greyhound enthusiasts and volunteers have been recognised for their services to the industry at a gala function in Sydney.
About 300 people attended Greyhound Racing NSW's 2021 Greyhound of the Year awards recently where among other awards, several country and regional participants were applauded on stage for their contributions to the sport.
The prestigious Allan Wheeler medal, presented to those who display unwavering support and dedication to the greyhound industry, was awarded to Roley Green from the Coonamble Greyhound Racing Club.
The annual Coonamble Carnival, traditionally held over the October long weekend, is on the bucket list for many dedicated greyhound fans as a unique Australian country racing carnival where upwards of 60 races are held over four days, and legends abound of the countless plunges between bookmakers and punters.
Born and bred in the town, Green is a foundation member, life member, and has been president of the Coonamble club for 40 years. What started as a dream for many, including Green, has now risen to become one of the most successful greyhound carnivals in Australia.
"I'm lost for words, honestly," Green said.
"I have so many great memories of Coonamble from when we first formed the club in 1968 and four years later when we had our first race meeting. Our record number of races in one weekend is 84 and it's been a great part of my life for which I am very grateful for."
The Young Achiever of the Year award went to Dubbo club secretary Courtney Norbury, who not only plays a significant role in the operations of the club each week, but was pivotal in ensuring the inaugural running of the Brother Fox carnival in 2021 was a huge success.
The 2021 Volunteer of the Year was Marilyn Turner from Taree who has not only served on the committee and been a member of the Club for almost 50 years, but is also a tireless worker across many areas on raceday.
Glenn Summerfield, who was at the inaugural meeting when the Shoalhaven Greyhound Racing Club was formed in Nowra on July 30, 1971, was presented with the Distinguished Services award. Serving for 35 years as a director of the club, Summerfield has also spent more than 10 years as president, a role he continues in 2022, and has been a tireless worker across many major projects at the venue.
GRNSW also introduced a new award that is dedicated to their Greyhounds As Pets (GAP) program, and Jamie Hancock was the first person to etch her name on the trophy. Dr. Alicia Fuller, General Manager, GRNSW GAP program, said Jamie was a worthy winner.
"Jamie has been a valued member of our Northern Rivers Greyhound Adoption program for a number of years now and has consistently gone above and beyond what we expect in her duties of caring for the animals," Dr. Fuller said.
"It's very important that we celebrate and recognise our outstanding performers and the achievements of those in our sport each year," GRNSW CEO Rob Macaulay said.
"On behalf of GRNSW I want to congratulate all our participants on navigating 2021, which was a challenging year for everyone, and I particularly offer my congratulations to the award winners today."
This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.
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