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.



Science Festival seriously awesome

CALLING everyone who wants to see, hear and be a part of something totally cool: this is where you need to be this March.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Is Brisbane the new arts and culture capital?

Check out GOMA's latest exhibition - it's all about hair! GOMA 10 Ambassador Patience Hodgson visits Nervescape V 2016 by Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (aka Shoplifter), commissioned for ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. 
Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

THE rest of the world should be envious of this line-up!

League legend lends a hand

Tweed MOL president John Strong, John Feeney and treasurer Paul Rimmington enjoy a chat.

"They do some great things in the community”

Surfing legends create waves for the future

Surf pumping at Currumbin Alley, one of the famous breaks that make up part of Gold Coast's surfing reserve.

"Many of the world's best waves are measured by Kirra”

Firies get new right to fight across the border

AGREEMENT: Crew with (centre left to right) NSW Superintendent Greg Lewis, Northern Rivers Zone Duty Commander Gary White and Queensland chief superintendent Brad Commens.

NSW and Queensland firefighters can now battle blazes across border.

Local Partners

MP says Surfside reviewing services but no changes

TWEED MP moves to allay fears important bus routes are slated for the chopping block and says Surfside Buslines is merely undertaking a review of its services.


BIG RIDE: Matt to bring out smiles for Smiddy

LONG WAY ROUND: Matt Muir raises his bike in triumph on his ride last year.

Fundraiser at Yamba Shores Tavern ahead of 800km charity ride

Production company desperately seeks men

Tammy Dundon and Melissa Quirk.

When you see the movie you'll think ours is even better

Sharky and the Caddman share their stories and music

Brian Cadd and Glenn Shorrock will play Twin Towns on Saturday, February 25.

Sometimes the best plans are hatched over a nice bottle of red

MOVIE REVIEW: Trespass Against Us a 'tender' crime film

Trespass Against Us doesn't follow the classic crime drama trajectory, because at heart, it's really a story about fathers and sons.

Crocodile, hippo fears as I'm A Celeb filming hit by flooding

Flooding hits the set of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

Fears crocodiles and hippos could infiltrate I'm A Celeb camp

Small screen users make switch to smaller screens

In this photo taken Oct. 16, 2013, a girl plays Supercelll's Hay Day game on an iPad. The Finnish 'Clash of Clans' mobile game maker Supercell said Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, it plans to launch its third game next month on a tide of soaring revenues and profits. The new game, 'Boom Beach,' will be launched in March. It's been tested in Canada and Australia, ranking fifth in both countries' iPhone app store lists, according to the company. (AP Photo/Lehtikuva, Milla Takala)  FINLAND OUT

The digital age generation makes the switch

Nadia visits Coast to escape Married At First Sight drama

Married At First Sight's Nadia Stamp takes a breather from the show's drama at Mooloolaba.

MAFS bride unwinds on the Coast ahead of commitment ceremony

‘I didn’t stuff it up like you have’: Plibersek on Q&A

“I didn’t stuff it up the way you have stuffed it up, George”: Tanya Plibersek.

Plibersek lashed out at Brandis to plenty of applause

MKR cheating scandal: Alyse and Matt hit back

Matt Jenner shows his MKR rivals the curry paste he and Alyse used.

Alyse and Matt Jenner have hit back at claims they cheated on MKR

MKR rocked by satay sauce cheating scandal

Alyse and Matt slammed for satay sauce fiasco.

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Get Moo-ving to Mooball

The old Pacific Highway and Murwillumbah railway line cut a parrallel path throughThe thriving village of Mooball , looking North East towards Murwillumbah and Mount Warning.

An expansion plan has been approved.

What $11.9m can get you on Coast's most exclusive street

29-31 Wyuna Drive Noosaville Qld 4566

This is what a cool $11.9m can get you

How a first home buyer built house with no deposit

NEARLY THERE: Construction on the first house to home orphans at Umoja began in January.



Photo Contributed

His home will be completed later this year.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!