Reg Cooper's work recognised

STAWELL - Stawell Harness Racing Club identity Reg Cooper, has been recognised for his work in the harness racing industry.

Reg has received the Victorian Harness Racing Country Clubs Association volunteer of the year 2013 award.,

Reg's affinity with harness racing commenced when he began helping out around the Stawell Harness Racing Club when it was first established in 1956.

Since that time Reg has performed many duties within the Stawell Harness Racing Club in a volunteer capacity including president of the club for 13 years.

His other duties include being track supervisor, supervisor of rebuilding of the track at Laidlaw Park, swab attendant and track attendant.

Reg was instrumental in overseeing the construction of the outside TAB area, the construction of the Trackside Bar and Bistro area as well as advising on and applying for the club's first gaming licence.

He was involved with the recruitment of staff for the club's gaming project as well as seeing this project come to fruition.

In all Reg has been actively on the SHRC committee for more than 25 years and currently sits on the finance committee.

Reg was one of the original harness racing enthusiasts to form the popular Tontine Series for the Southwest Zone.

Reg was fortunate to see racing in the early years when bookmakers were flown in to race meetings and crowds were enormous. The committee members did all the cleaning after race days, there were no paid wages for this kind of work.

He also clearly remembers the $12,000 cost to concrete the club's outside pavilion at Laidlaw Park and how at the time this was considered a huge cost.

Reg said the best part of being involved with the Stawell Harness Racing Club has been the people he has met along the way.

He said he has certainly enjoyed his time at the club.

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