Ipswich Turf Club CEO Tim Dunn has a strong passion for racing and helping grassroots sport. Picture: David Lems
Ipswich Turf Club CEO Tim Dunn has a strong passion for racing and helping grassroots sport. Picture: David Lems

New turf club ‘explorer’ open to Olympic opportunities

AS a self-described "explorer'', Tim Dunn has a powerful vision for helping the community.

"I like to go out and check stuff out - new things,'' he said. "Because with that comes a lot of different things.''

His regular exploring includes discovering culinary delights, finding secluded swimming spots and enjoying live music and bands.

Being an explorer also ties in with his respect for coaches and his way of investigating better sporting opportunities.

Dunn has played hockey for the 2015 A2 premiership-winning Bellbowrie Strikers, rugby at university and football for Moggill.

But not being an elite sportsman, the recently appointed Ipswich Turf Club CEO appreciates the work of coaches.

"I actually don't have anybody that I have a super admiration for but I do like the coach of most teams because I know the challenges they have to try and get an athlete up there,'' he said.

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Ipswich Turf Club CEO Tim Dunn. Picture: David Lems
Ipswich Turf Club CEO Tim Dunn. Picture: David Lems

Nicknamed TD, Dunn has done some coaching in Little Athletics and with Hockey NSW. He has also umpired in sports where his two children played.

Dunn applauds grassroots sport. He likes to help people advance in whatever way he can assist.

"Everyone's a champion until they can get to the next level,'' he said.

"If you want to do this sort of thing, I'll give you much support as I can.''

In his vital role at the turf club, Tamworth born and bred Dunn has a keen interest in working with other Ipswich regional sporting clubs.

"We class ourselves as a sport,'' he said of racing at the turf club.

"So with that, we want to have some ties with clubs, because with that comes success in that community base.

"And with that comes opportunities through coming to visit the club and seeing a race day.''

Among the sporting organisations enjoying a turf club function on Saturday are the Swifts Hockey Club, which are celebrating their 15th anniversary this year.

Ipswich Turf Club CEO Tim Dunn. Picture: David Lems
Ipswich Turf Club CEO Tim Dunn. Picture: David Lems

Valuable racing industry

Dunn values the importance of his sport, pointing to a Racing Queensland study that highlighted how the industry employs 40,000 people across Queensland.

That includes trainers, owners and breeders to support staff, stock feeders and local tradespeople working at racing clubs.

The turf club has 40 acres of land at Bundamba, something the former Racing Queensland employee knows has so much potential.

"If we can get a master plan done for the whole area as an equine precinct, we'll be in a really good space to try and say 'here's the service that we've got' - from stock feed producers to veterinarians to chiropractors to logistic places,'' he said.

He said a partnership with UQ Gatton would be an example of one way to improve the racing services.

"Because with scale comes better volume to give people that sort of ownership,'' he said.

Dunn was also open to using some of the turf club facilities for the 2032 Olympics, should Brisbane be confirmed as host centre.

"We have a 40 acre site and we probably use about 10-12 of it,'' he said.

"In that other middle section, we could easily do that sort of thing, even to the point of putting other sporting fields for the community on there.

"I know that was talked about when Albion Park was going to be redeveloped and it was going to be home to the Brisbane second team. It was one of those things where they were going to put sporting fields on the inside as well as having a community space.''

The sharp-minded Dunn is also closely watching the development of the multimillion-dollar Greater Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club facility at Yamanto.

Having worked on the business case, he sees many applications to maximise use when the long overdue upgraded venue is complete in Ipswich.

As for a useful piece of advice he follows, Dunn said: "It's probably trying to find how things work with what you are doing''.

"Take a bit of your own time to investigate. It probably comes back to me being an explorer.''



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