DAMON Sullivan had his first taste of a race day in his new job on Tuesday and won’t have to wait too long for his second dip into a busy racing day.
The 42-year-old former teacher and club manager was appointed Tamworth Jockey Club’s new general manager this week in time for Tuesday’s Corporate Sponsors race meeting.
That eight race TAB program will be followed by another eight-race meeting on Monday.
For Damon the fact he is employed directly in the racing industry is something he finds exciting after being a ‘dedicated” racing fan for a number of years.
“Looking forward to it, going to be a good challenge,” Damon said after Tuesday’s final race and before the first of three trials.
“I’ve always had a racing interest.”
Born and bred in Lithgow the son of a coalminer moved to Tamworth in 1997 to take up a position as a PE teacher at Oxley High School.
He then moved to Tamworth High where he came in contact with some great mentors such as Ron Surtees and Mick Galvin.
Surtees is a legend of sport in Tamworth. He coached Tamworth High to its last University Shield in 1978 while coaching rugby league and water polo sides for many years.
His water polo successes with THS sides were many, the school winning countless Regional and State KO trophies.
Along the way he helped develop the careers of Olympians Nathan Thomas and Craig Miller, standing on the pool deck at the 2000 Sydney Olympics with the pair one of his great memories.
Damon regards the time he spent with Ron and his fellow teachers as a pleasure and a major part of his working life.
He then ventured into the club industry working at the South Tamworth, Tamworth City and West Tamworth Sporting and Bowling Clubs and enjoyed those experiences as well, especially working under South CEO Owen Walker for a decade.
“That experience is going to be invaluable for me,” he said.
“The club (TJC) has their projects and strategies in play. Going to be great when we (TC) finish the 1000m chute and the sand track is finalised. It’s going to be a really good facility when they are completed.
“I will just try and make it an experience for people to come to the track.”
Something similar to what he’s done in the three bowling clubs - just that instead of a bowling green they have a renovated race track ready to stage major days as well as a John Clift Stand to house racegoers in comfort.
On Monday the first race, the Coreys Catering Benchmark 60 Handicap will jump at 1.20pm, with the last to jump at 5.35pm.