Westlawn's whippet Josh Bender outstrips Jamie Firth in the final straight during the CRCA charity relay night at the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club last year.
Westlawn's whippet Josh Bender outstrips Jamie Firth in the final straight during the CRCA charity relay night at the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club last year.

CRCA goes to the dogs for annual charity relay race

CRICKET :Clarence River Cricket Association will make its return to the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club on Monday for the highly anticipated annual charity relay night.

Taking a break from the cricket pitch, the fastest players from each of the Clarence River clubs will go up against one another between the usual Monday night greyhound races until a winner is declared.

Each club elects a charity to run for, with the winner taking home a $400 cheque for their nominated beneficiary while a ‘mystery time’ closest to the winner will receive a $100 prize.

CRCA president Tim Kinnane always enjoys the relay night and said it gave clubs and their nominated charities a big boost.

“By having this type of event I hope to raise the profile of the CRCA, your club and your nominated charities in the eyes of the local community,” Kinnane said.

While the event is a competition, Kinnane said it was equally as important in boosting morale and bringing the community together.

“I am also hoping everyone enjoys the night and treats it the way it is meant to be – a gathering of our cricketing community enjoying each other’s company,” he said.

Along with the added excitement of watching cricketers dash across the dog track, there will also be a range of activities for children to make it a night of family fun.

“Courtesy of the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club, there will be a jumping castle and face painting for the kids, and you will be given free entry into the track if you are wearing your cricket shirt (playing or club),” he said.

Kinnane said the track’s facilities would still be fully functioning but punters might be disappointed they couldn’t bet on the cricketers.

“Full bar and canteen facilities available, and also the TAB is operating. Not for our relay though,” he said.

Coinciding with this weekend’s CRCA first-grade fixtures, Brothers will take on GDSC Easts in the opening heat, Westlawn will face Coutts Crossing in heat two and Tucabia-Copmanhurst will challenge South Services in heat three, before things get serious in the finals.

Westlawn could be the team to beat once again in 2020 after taking out last year’s race ahead of second-placed side Tucabia-Copmanhurst.

Other clubs could pull off some surprises though, with an injection of young, energetic stars across the competition this year.

CRCA CHARITY RELAY TIMES