The Narrandera Racing Club has been announced as a finalist in the 2018 Country and Provincial Racing Awards. The club have been selected in the final four for the Community Race Club of the Year award.
Tony Paterson, the president of the Narrandera Racing Club, said it was recognition for what the club did throughout the Narrandera community.
“We applied for it, because we thought we do things around the community; we donate books to the schools, and the function centre hosts weddings and wakes.
“In stating down your credentials, you had to tell them what you do within the community – and Narrandera does quite a few different things in the community.
“We’ve had work for the dole participants over the years; we’ve also had people who have to do community service. It’s very nice to think that we can help people get back on track, for whatever reason they went off the track; that’s pretty satisfying. We’ve got a partnership with Kurrajong Waratah; each year they come and have a bit of a tidy-up, and we put on a barbeque to say thank you afterwards,” Mr Paterson said.
The club has also hosted cross country events, and last year held a sleepover for the CRC Church. According to the Narrandera Racing Club manager, Michael Bailey, simply making the finals is a huge achievement for the Narrandera Racing Club.
“I think it’s fantastic. The community race award from Country Racing NSW is a very prestigious award,” Mr Bailey explained.
“While I think the club has been shortlisted a few times, this is the first time we’ve made it into the final four. It just reflects 25 years of hard work from successive presidents, secretaries and committees. It also tells us that we’re heading in the right direction as race club.”
As the club is a community club, all of its committee members are volunteers, as Mr Bailey pointed out.
For the club to have turned itself around so thoroughly on volunteer labour alone speaks volumes about the commitment and effort successive committees have put into the Narrandera Racing Club.
Mr Bailey also pointed out that the racing season is organised around the financial year, rather than the calendar year; the club’s success as judged by Racing NSW was counted mostly from 2017’s activities.
“For me, it’s an honour to be one of maybe 50 people who have brought the club back from a lame duck. Any kudos we get goes back to Narrandera; we’ve had the support of the community as we go. To be in the top four is an absolute win. If we won it outright it would be mindblowing, but it’s absolutely fabulous to be in the finals,” Mr Bailey said.
The winners will be announced in Sydney on Friday September 28.
“We’re against Coonabarabran, Duck Creek and Bong Bong. We’ll see what happens,” Mr Paterson said.
The TC Lee OAM Memorial Cup is coming up on August 18. The final race meeting for the year, both Mr Bailey and Mr Paterson emphasised that the TC Lee Cup would be a day out for families. For more details on the race meeting, see next week’s edition of the Argus.