Fifty years of thrilling greyhound racing finishes at Nowra

RACING ACTION: Dogs have been racing at Nowra for 50 years now. Photo: On The Ball Photography.
RACING ACTION: Dogs have been racing at Nowra for 50 years now. Photo: On The Ball Photography.

In the early 1970's, greyhound racing was booming.

Some 50 tracks in NSW - from Albury to Griffith, Broken Hill, Moree and Tweed Heads - were operational but south of Dapto to the Victorian border there was a void. Gallopers raced at Worrigee and harness racing was conducted in the same precinct in Nowra which sprawled over 150 acres but there was no greyhound racing presence.

"The club was formed on July 30, 1971 and the (Shoalhaven City) council decided (in 1973) to grant the Nowra club a five-acre allotment for a track," Nowra Secretary Manager Glenn Midson said.

"The club was allocated 40 meetings on the old grass track but we were not a TAB club, and we struggled at times but the committee has always been very proactive and, since 1971, our president Glenn Summerfield has been a constant - it's a remarkable effort."

Midson, a third generation greyhound racing participant, sold his property at Bringelly in Sydney's west to head south with wife Karen and two toddlers in 1990.

"Volunteers kept us afloat here at Nowra and there have been tough times, yet, at our 50th anniversary, I'm proud to say we have $500,000 in the bank and have innovated and stayed relevant. In 1998 we decided the track needed to be sand and, by means of a $160,000 loan from council, we got it done and that was repaid in just 24 months."

From modest beginnings, racing with TAB coverage on a Tuesday evening without proper funding, the club is thriving.

This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.

This story Fifty years of thrilling finishes at Nowra first appeared on Newcastle Herald.