Sport

Harry and his dogged determination

Greyhounds charge around the turn at Border Park Raceway, the track that Harry Pledger played a major role in establishing.
Greyhounds charge around the turn at Border Park Raceway, the track that Harry Pledger played a major role in establishing.

THEY said it would never happen. That greyhound racing on the Tweed was a non-starter.

But they didn’t account for Tweed’s Harry Pledger and his dogged determination.

Resolve that last Friday saw him become just the third recipient of the prestigious Allen Wheeler Medal at Greyhound Racing NSW’s (GRNSW) night of nights in Sydney.

A well-respected figure within Queensland racing circles, Pledger is widely recognised as having guided the sport through its formative stages and Tweed Heads Coursing Club (THCC) secretary Stephen McGrath believes his colleague deserves every accolade.

“People that have anything to do with greyhound racing in the Northern Rivers should have great gratitude towards Harry,” McGrath said.

“If it wasn’t for Harry’s foresight 40 years ago we wouldn’t have the facilities and assets we do going forward. We are one of the richest clubs in Australia owning our own club, course and building and that’s all thanks to Harry.

“He is most deserving of any award and I believe he is fully entitled to Australian Hall of Fame honours.”

Club secretary at Beenleigh Coursing Club since 1948, Pledger was on board to witness the first licensed mid-week race meet in the sunshine state.

He also introduced mechanical lure racing, converted the Beenleigh straight track into the state’s first circle facility and attracted some of the stars of greyhound racing to the Queensland Cup, while race calling at Beenleigh, Capalaba, Loganholme, Lawnton and Tweed, as well as handicapping at Loganholme and Beenleigh, and grading at Tweed.

The first person inducted into the GR Queensland’s Hall of Fame in 2007 for his efforts up north, it was Pledger’s push south of the border that attracted nation-wide praise and ultimately GRNSW’s top gong.

Having moved to Tweed in 1958, he is largely credited with purchasing the 12-hectare block of land from the Federal Government in 1963 where the Border Park facility now stands, despite popular belief that he would never be able to do so.

There was a time when Pledger himself thought the concept was in the dog house, but the ground-breaking purchase opened new doors within the industry and to this day THCC is one of only a handful of greyhound racing clubs that owns freehold the land where their facilities are sited.

Despite being past retirement age for nearly two decades, Pledger still serves as club president at Border Park, having at one stage stood as secretary of both Beenleigh and Tweed Heads CC.

“To this day Harry’s trackside for 95% of our meets,” McGrath said.

“He has his hand in what’s going on each and every day and you could not ask for a better administrator.

“As a bloke you will not find a better gentleman anywhere in this great country.”

In his acceptance speech, a humble Pledger said he was very grateful to win the Allen Wheeler Medal considering all the former administrators who had served the sport in NSW with such distinction.



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

'Night stalker' suspect arrested over rapes, was on bail

A number of sexual offences spanning from 2008 to 2016 are believed to be linked.

"Night stalker" suspect was let out on the streets on bail last year.

Roosters, lions and Chinese culture for club

Celebrate Chinese New Year with Seagulls Club on Sunday

Celebrate your second New Year's at Seagulls

Airservices to test for contamination in Cobaki

Toxic chemicals found in firefighting foam previously used at the Gold Coast Airport have spread to the boundary of the site.

Airservices Australia will test seafood in Cobaki Broadwater

Local Partners

Lion roars to straight to No 1 at Aussie box office

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.

THE Australian-made movie a hit, while Rogue One nears record mark.

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Search for Merseybeat magic continues

The Searchers are coming to Twin Towns in February as part of a national tour.

"It's a free spirited country with a relaxed attitude to everything”

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

Casuarina tops Tweed house market at $870,000

Casuarina recorded the region's top median prices for both houses ($870,000) and units ($435,000).

Buyers jumping at chance to get into Tweed property market

Beautiful Terranora acreage

77 Mahers Lane, Terranora.

Check out this week's feature property.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!