Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

VISION {Massive Plan with Limitless Possibilities}; Ipswich Turf Club Racing to Restore Proud Region's World-Class Reputation

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

VISION {Massive Plan with Limitless Possibilities}; Ipswich Turf Club Racing to Restore Proud Region's World-Class Reputation

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID LEMS

GIVEN Wayne Patch's successful track record, it's hardly surprising he has a world-class vision for Ipswich.

In his eighth year as Ipswich Turf Club (ITC) chairman, Patch was recently appointed sole shareholder representative for all Queensland race clubs.

His major Queensland Racing Limited role - working with trainers, jockeys, bookmakers, owners and breeders - is the latest in a long line of achievements.

"I don't feel comfortable with status quo. It's just a natural dislike I have," Patch, 53, said.

"You've got to keep striving.

"You are never going to keep all the people happy all the time but you've got to make the conscious decision to go forward."

However, Patch is much more than a respected leader in the racing industry.

Having been involved in sports administration for 40 years, Patch thinks a lot about the region's strengths and weaknesses.

"Historically, Ipswich is just one of the kingpins of sporting representatives," he said.

"It's just the quality of the people that we have."

However, Patch fears our sporting heritage is being eroded.

"We've lost something," he said.

"In a general sporting sense, I think the nationalisation and now the increasing internationalism of sport is becoming a real problem for us.

"There's no doubt that we've lost the profile as a sporting city that we had."

Patch said the turf club "was probably the only one that's been contrary to that trend".

"With the communications the way they are, we are heavily involved in the national market," he said.

"If you go to Hong Kong or Las Vegas and what not, you look at the TV and see Ipswich racing.

"We're a wonderful global ambassador for the city that we're very very proud of."

The former Sacred Heart Primary School and St Edmund's College student wants to see our fine sporting reputation restored.

"I'm not suggesting it's a fault of anyone in Ipswich but they need to be a little bit progressive from their state and national bodies," he said. …

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