'It has been a tough time' - Romford Dogs reopens for spectators

The racing track will allow 400 people in at a time

The racing track will allow 400 people in at a time - Credit: Romford Greyhound Stadium

Romford Greyhound Stadium will welcome spectators back into its grounds today after the easing of lockdown restrictions. 

The Recorder caught with office manager Rachel Livermore to find out how it has been preparing to open its doors again and how it has coped during lockdown.

On a visit before it is allowed to open on May 17, Rachel explained to the Recorder that it has been putting on 14 races of six dogs every day, even throughout the pandemic, so the dogs stay in shape.

She added: "If they had not ran for a whole year, we would have a big problem getting their form back up again."

Adriana Elgueta

Rachel Livermore in the Romford Greyhound Stadium reception - Credit: Adriana Elgueta

Although the stadium took a hit during the pandemic, along with many other businesses, the team stayed afloat streaming their races online and gaining revenue from bets.

"It has been a tough time, we have had to keep adapting and change the limits of people we could have in all, but financially, we were okay - every race we do here is financed by SIS [a greyhound racing channel]."

Staff were also reduced during the strictest points of lockdown, but enough employees were always on site for the races to take place safely.

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"They have air-conditioned kennels, the vet has to be here for us to race and he has authority to cancel a race if he thinks it's risky.

"Accidents do sometimes - as in any athletic sports - happen but we take their welfare very seriously and we have regular inspections."