BACK RUNNING: Greyhound racing has returned to Lismore in recent weeks under COVID-19 restrictions. Contributed
BACK RUNNING: Greyhound racing has returned to Lismore in recent weeks under COVID-19 restrictions. Contributed

Lismore greyhound club in a race to return to normal

LISMORE Greyhound club has had a significant headstart on a return to normal business after the track reopened for racing last month.

The club was only shutdown for three weeks during the coronavirus pandemic with its Tuesday night meetings back up and running since April 14.

Grafton was named as the regional hub for Northern Rivers racing on March 26 with Casino and Lismore shutdown.

Casino and Lismore greyhound tracks close

It was only a short term change as Lismore management worked overtime to ensure racing returned.

“We have a large amount of dogs in the region and we were always looking at getting back early,” Lismore greyhounds operations manager John Zorzo said.

“We just needed a few weeks to build a safety framework to make sure we were operating under the proper restrictions.

“They’re very basic race meetings at the moment but we’re doing what we can to keep the industry going.”

Horse and greyhound racing have both been operating across the country during the ongoing pandemic.

Race meetings have been restricted to trainers and staff with no crowds.

Lismore has still had its food facilities available by being a night meeting.

“At the moment they can have their food, race and then go home,” Zorzo said.

“We get the trainers to leave as soon as all their dogs have finished racing.

“No one is hanging around and we lock the gate as soon as we know all the trainers have arrived in the afternoon.

“They’re strict measures but everyone is doing the right thing like most people are around town.”

Zorzo looks forwards to restrictions easing to Stage 3 which would allow crowds of 100 to attend.

It should happen in July with several sporting clubs in Lismore using the Tuesday night fixture as a fundraiser night.

“We can’t wait for that,” Zorzo said.

“There was a few clubs booked in that we had to postpone and we look forward to welcoming the local sporting community back.

“We do our best to help each other and the clubs around town are all part of that.”

The Casino Greyhound Racing club has not returned to its Friday race meetings yet.



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