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Grace on track for star scholarship


Wairarapa Racing Club track manager Matia Grace is off to Australia’s Gold Coast after winning a “Rising Star” scholarship.

Grace, who is in her third year of managing the club’s Tauherenikau race course, was presented with the Race Course Managers Association Rising Star Scholarship at the recent NZ Race Course Managers conference in Christchurch.

The scholarship entails a fully paid trip to the Gold Coast in August to attend the Australian Race Course Managers Conference.

Receiving the scholarship came as a big surprise for Grace, 29, who has made giant strides since taking up the role that she knew little about.

“I didn’t know much about it when I applied for the job, and I didn’t really have any experience,” Grace said.

“I just took a deep dive, a leap of faith, because it sounded like something up my alley.

“I’ve just been really well supported coming into the industry, and I’ve done an apprenticeship now in Sports Turf Management. I’m learning heaps all the time, and it seems to be going pretty well.”

As for the 2024–25 race season ahead, Grace is well advanced with preparations for the four, possibly five race days, having “just completed a renovation on the track, and new grass coming through.”

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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