A former professional rugby union and league player, Gerwyn turned his attention to darts in 2014 and swiftly rose up the ranks earning his nickname ‘The Iceman’. His crowning achievement to date is winning this year’s PDC World Darts Championship, where he became the first-ever Welshman to take home the prestigious title.
Beyond his professional career as a darts player, Gerwyn is a lifelong greyhound racing enthusiast. He owns several greyhounds which he often names after highlights in his darts career, including Grandslam Champ, named after his first triumph in a TV major, which races at Hove Greyhound Stadium.
As an Ambassador, Gerwyn will help shine a light on the sport’s strong welfare standards and the care and attention racing greyhounds receive both on and off the track.
Commenting on the Ambassador role, Gerwyn said:
“As a lover of greyhounds and the sport and owning a few dogs myself it is a real honour to be asked to be a Greyhound Ambassador by GBGB. I hope I can encourage others out there to find out more about the sport and the thrill of greyhound ownership.”
Mark Bird, GBGB Managing Director:
“We are absolutely delighted that Gerwyn is joining us as a Greyhound Ambassador. Gerwyn has already shown himself to be a fantastic advocate for our sport and has spoken frequently in the press about how, as well as darts, greyhound racing is the other great passion in his life.
“He has been on a remarkable journey throughout his career and has excelled in not one but two professional sports. He has a considerable platform and we hope that, through this role, he can help promote our canine stars.”
..Dates confirmed for St Leger, British Breeders Stakes & Northern Puppy Derby..
Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) are pleased to confirm that the GBGB have approved dates for three Category 1 events, The St Leger at Perry Barr, the BGBF British Breeders Stakes at Nottingham and The Northern Puppy Derby at Newcastle.
St Leger Perry Barr 16, 23 & 30 Sept
BGBF British Breeders Stakes Nottingham 8, 15 & 22 March
Northern Puppy Derby Newcastle 17, 24 & 31 March
Dates for other major greyhound competitions staged at ARC stadia will be released in due course, once scheduling has been agreed by the Open Race Planning Committee.
Greyhound Operations Director at ARC, Rachel Corden, said, “It’s great to have early agreement on the dates for our Classic event, The St Leger, at Perry Barr.
“We are also delighted that approval has been granted for the Northern Puppy Derby at Newcastle in March and also for the BGBF British Breeders Competition at Nottingham to move forward to March.
“As keen supporters of British Breeding we were happy to assist Liz Mort in working towards a more even spread of BGBF British Bred events across the year. It gives everyone a great British Bred Category 1 competition to look forward to within a matter of weeks. The competition will also be supported by a Category 3 British Bred sprint competition”.
Liz Mort, Chair of the BGBF said ‘I am delighted that we have been able to bring our prestigious Breeders’ Stakes forward to March. Last year the Covid chaos meant so much was backed up in the last half of the year, which was not good for anybody, and this year we are aiming to run a much more even spread of competitions. Kicking off our calendar with the Breeders’ Stakes in just a few weeks will be exciting to everyone involved. On behalf of the BGBF I would like to thank ARC, and the team at Nottingham, for their continued support of British breeding, and we also look forward to our later events with ARC at Newcastle”.
Industry rumours that RPGTV will evolve to become a 24-hour sports channel may have taken a step further forward with the announcement that the channel is to include its first lunchtime meeting.
RPGTV will take it first step into daytime racing transmission with coverage of the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket following that up with evening coverage of the Shelbourne Gold Cup on Saturday 6th February.
The Ladbrokes Golden Jacket has been a Saturday morning staple at Crayford for over 30 years having first been staged at Harringay during the 1970s when it sporadically featured as a horse-racing substitute on ITV.
It is the most valuable off-course betting industry competition and, apart from a four-year flirtation with an evening final which ended in 2019, has had an iconic Saturday morning role since its inception.
As a result, RPGTV coverage has been restricted to the first round only in previous years but the whole competition will now be covered in its entirety on three consecutive Saturday mornings, February 6, 13 and 20. Trial stakes for the £17,500 Category One event begin over the 714m course this Saturday evening, live on RPGTV.
The Shelbourne Gold Cup, known as the Best Car Parks Gold Cup in 2021 for sponsorship purposes, was first staged in 1998 when won by the Denis Shanahan-trained Real Branch and quickly established itself as the leading early-year competition.
Run over the 525 yards course at Shelbourne Park, it is regarded as an ideal starting point for leading four-bend greyhounds and has been won by legendary names such as Paul Hennessy’s Late Late Show (2001) and the late Seamus Graham’s Mineola Farloe (2006). Hennessy is the competition’s leading trainer with seven victories, while Liam Dowling has won two of the last three renewals.
The 2017 staging was abandoned at the semi-final stage as the first high-profile victim of a dispute between the then Irish Greyhound Board and the Dublin Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association over the announcement of the closure of Harold’s Cross.
Kevan Moretti, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GTV commented: –
“RPGTV powers on with a set of top class racing in the first week of its new High-definition transmission platform being launched, and there are further announcements still to come. Breaking into daytime racing coverage is another first and we look forward to our audience relishing RPGTV’s expanding schedule.
Following on from RPGTV’s coverage of the Irish Derby last year we are delighted to have racing back-on from Shelbourne Park featuring as a Saturday evening feature in the first week of our HD output.
Ger Dollard, CEO of Greyhound Racing Ireland, said:
“I’m delighted that the Best Car Parks Gold Cup from Shelbourne Park is the first Irish greyhound racing competition to be featured live on RPGTV in 2021. It promises to be an excellent night of racing and we are delighted to be delivering live competitive greyhound racing from Ireland.”
Ian Smyth, Director of Racing for Crayford’s owners, Entain Group, said:
“We’re delighted that the extension of RPGTV’s coverage means we’ve been able to retain the traditional Saturday morning slot for the Golden Jacket.
Current circumstances mean betting shops will be unable to provide coverage this year, but this announcement ensures that a great and long-standing event remains accessible to all.
The staying division has thrown up some fantastic racing in the last 12 months and we’re sure to see some stars at Crayford in the build-up over the next two Saturday evenings and the following Saturday morning when the main event kicks off.”
RPGTV executive producer Clive Lawrence said:
“Saturday morning action from Crayford and Romford is expected to become a firm favourite with not just our regular viewers but perhaps also some new ones captivated by the action in their living rooms at breakfast, or maybe brunch, time.
The show will also welcome increased viewer interaction with a new weekly competition being introduced, while the other main sporting action of the day will also be featured.
Of the Shelbourne coverage, Lawrence added: “Our ambition is to bring the best quality racing from both sides of the Irish Sea and the first big night for Irish racing in 2021 is the final of the Best Car Parks Gold Cup from Shelbourne Park. Covid regulations permitting, we will have a reporter onsite for interviews.”
(second round and semi-final dates to be confirmed)
St Leger, 710m, Perry Barr
Heats: Thursday 16th September
Semi-finals: Thursday 23rd September
Final: Thursday 30th September
GBGB Managing Director and Open Race Planning Committee Chair, Mark Bird, said:
“The Committee agreed that the dates for the St Leger and Oaks should be set as soon as possible to allow owners and trainers to plan ahead for these revered events. This will also assist the Committee and other tracks with scheduling using these competitions and the Derby as foundations.
“We are pleased that ARC and Swindon have responded so promptly and shown their commitment to these Classic races.”
Rachel Corden, Greyhound Operations Director for ARC, said:
“We are looking forward to staging another great St Leger competition at Perry Barr this year and are totally committed to the open race events we announced in November.”
GBGB are now asking all tracks to submit details for their ‘established events’ (i.e. those that took place at the track in 2020 or 2019). These events will be announced once they have been organised into a cohesive schedule. Tracks will then be requested to submit any new events for 2021, which GBGB will incorporate into the schedule wherever possible and will aim to publish a list of races for 2021 by mid-February.