Day At The Track

First day of school for students

07:37 PM 03 Feb 2015 NZDT
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The first day of school for students at the Gippsland Harness Training Centre
The first day of school for students at the Gippsland Harness Training Centre
It was the first day of school for students at the Gippsland Harness Racing Training Centre yesterday.

Twenty students have enrolled into full-time studies at the facility at the Warragul harness racing track, and a further fourteen will attend on Wednesday's as part of their secondary school studies, known as the VET In Schools program.

Centre founder Des Hughes is delighted with the level of interest in the Centre over recent years, but in particular for 2015.

"We're still getting enrolments and enquiries. We don't know where it will end up," Hughes explained.
"There are a lot of first timers, but they all have an interest in horses." With the financial support of Harness Racing Victoria, who have provided funding to assist with the purchase of horses, there are now more opportunities than ever for students to experience hands-on involvement with horses.

"The hands on aspect is very busy here at the moment," Hughes said.

"The HRV contribution has certainly helped us get a few more horses, and their help is much appreciated."

As well as from the immediate Warragul area, students are also coming to the Centre from areas closer to Melbourne such as Pakenham and Croydon, as well as areas such as Traralgon and Stratford in the Latrobe Valley/East Gippsland region, where harness racing hasn't been held for some two decades.

Students at the Gippsland Harness Training Centre learn all aspects of horse training and driving, as well as animal welfare, and personal development, all keys to embarking on a successful career in the racing or equine industries.

The friendships and connections made and life skills learnt by students are also invaluable for their day-to-day lives.

The Centre's courses are in their nineteenth year and are co-ordinated by the Warragul based educational provider, Community College Gippsland.

The Gippsland Harness Training Centre and its achievements are a good news story for the trotting sport.
 
Kyle Galley
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