Chief steward keen to apply team values to integrity issues
ALEX Kitching hopes being a younger addition to the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) allows him to make a valuable contribution to many important areas of concern.
"The QRIC is integral to the integrity and welfare of animals and participants,'' the Ipswich-bred chief greyhound steward said.
"We have impressive resources at the QRIC, all combined to oversee the integrity and welfare standards of racing animals and racing industry participants in Queensland.''
Having completed his schooling at Ipswich Grammar in 2007, Kitching wants to work with established racing industry authorities to make a difference.
"I believe I bring a different way of thinking to the industry,'' he said.
"I'm a great supporter of change and new ideas.
"If we can develop new procedural and operational changes that will increase our efficiency and effectiveness then it will only be of benefit to racing in Queensland.''
Before his latest appointment, Kitching was first employed as a casual steward in the thoroughbred code in 2011. That was while he completed his Bachelor's Degree in Business - majoring in Sports & Leisure Management.
"After completing my studies, I was offered a full-time position based in Toowoomba in 2013 where I spent a further two and a half years,'' he said.
Kitching then transferred to the greyhound code after working extra shifts in the middle of 2015.
From late 2016 to December 2017, he was employed as a Betting Intelligence Officer.
From December 2017 to April 2018, he worked as a Senior Intelligence Officer in the Operational Intelligence Unit before accepting his current Chief Greyhound Stipendiary Steward role.
"I am very ambitious and have always wanted to test myself,'' Kitching said.
"One of my long-term career goals is to be the head of a sporting integrity organisation and I feel this is the next step on my career path in achieving that goal.''
Kitching appreciated support from Toowoomba chief steward Rion Hitchener during his cadet steward period.
"He taught me a lot of what I know now, for which I am very grateful,'' he said.
Growing up in Newtown, Kitching is also a former Ipswich Knights footballer.
"Participating in sport all my life has helped me learn how to work in a team and that's exactly how our panel works,'' he said.
"We all rely on each other for advice on issues in racing and having a great team together helps us to make informed decisions.
"I'm back playing again this season for the Ipswich City Bulls after recovering from a number of knee injuries.
"Although I can only train once a week due to work commitments - I still love getting out on the pitch.''
Kitching has worked at a number of tracks, including all the TAB venues in South East Queensland. He's also ventured to non-TAB tracks like Chinchilla, Roma, St George, Cunnamulla, Morven, Charleville, Augathella and Quilpie.