GARRY Armstrong believes racing can be far bigger than what happens on the track.
When returning to the Echuca Racing Club for his second stint as general manager, Armstrong told the Riv he wanted the sport to give even more to its community.
“There are a lot of fantastic things our clubs and industry at large are able to do, especially in the way we can assist within the wider community, providing support for many different groups and the like,” Armstrong said.
On Sunday, the ERC will get its chance.
The club will host a transfer meeting from the Seymour Racing Club, which will be its final of the season, with the club deciding to raise some money for Echuca Regional Health by "offering" the names of the races, with each selling for $275.
“We wanted to try and have a bit of fun,” Armstrong said.
“There isn’t much fun around at the minute, so we offered up the names. The reaction we got was great, we could have sold the same amount again.
“All six of the ‘sponsors’ for the day are new to the club. We had some business from in Melbourne, but most excitingly we have a lot of local companies on board.”
The races will carry the names of CENTURY 21 — Beau Lyon, Northern Chrome Plating Echuca, Molafos Liquid Supplements, Kane Sherwell Web Development, Tobin Brothers Funerals Echuca and Bryson and Marni Lee.
“There's a real mix of people and reasons for getting involved,” Armstrong said.
“From the ERC’s point of view, we hope that all of our sponsors get a little something out of the experience. And hopefully this is something we are able to do again next year.”
There will be nine races on the day, with Armstrong expecting a strong meeting.
“It should be another great day to finish off the season,” he said.
“It's disappointing that we won't be able to have our members and the community at the track again, and with the restrictions on Melbourne and Mitchell Shire we will only be able to have limited owners at the track.
“But we are hopeful for what will happen next season. It may not be the first few meetings, but hopefully it won't be too long before we can welcome crowds back through the gate.”
The track, which is expected to be in the soft range, is in incredible condition for the event.
Though Armstrong said work would be done on the track soon.
“We've hosted roughly six meetings in the past 12 weeks,” he said.
“The track is in great condition, but it's a lot of wear and tear. So we will be doing some minor renovations for when we start our new season in September with the track in top condition again.”