Romford Dogs' new professional greyhound trainer is one of the youngest in the UK
PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 February 2020
Romford Greyhound Stadium has a new professional trainer - and he's one of the youngest in the country!
Nathan Hunt, 25, originally from Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, is taking over the reins from trainer Phil Simmonds who is stepping back from the role at the London Road dog track.
Nathan will now be in charge of the team responsible for caring for 70 dogs at the newly renovated dog track.
Unlike many young people entering the sport, Nathan's enthusiasm for greyhounds did not stem from his parents or close family members.
Rather it started at the age of 10 when he was introduced to the athletic breed by his neighbours, who owned a racing greyhound, and his love for the breed and the sport grew from there.
Five years ago he met trainer Phil Simmonds, who spotted his potential and Nathan soon decided to make the move from Wales to Cambridge to pursue a career in the sport.
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During his time at the kennels, Nathan has participated in the Greyhound Board of Great Britain's Animal Welfare and Care Apprenticeship.
Nathan's professionalism and enthusiasm were applauded when he won the prestigious national Kennelhand of the Year Award at last year's GBGB Greyhound of the Year Awards.
The role of professional trainer will see Nathan overseeing a team of full and part-time staff who work long hours to ensure every greyhound in their care is happy, healthy and well-cared for.
Commenting on his appointment, Nathan said: "I am hugely grateful to Phil for believing in me and giving me this opportunity and I'm thankful to Mark Arkell and Ian Smyth at Romford for supporting it.
"The most enjoyable and rewarding aspect of my job is watching the greyhounds enjoy their racing and succeed, especially when you have cared for them day-in-day-out since they were puppies.
"I am very excited and a little nervous to start the role but I am confident I will make Phil and our owners proud."
And Mark Arkell, racing manager at Romford Dogs, said: "I'm sad to see Phil taking a step back on his daily duties as he has been very professional to work with; but the time is right for him and it's great to have someone as enthusiastic as Nathan step in to take his place.
"It's nice having a young trainer take the kennel forward and help towards the future of the sport."