Mornington community groups have a new space to convene with the opening of The Mornington Clubhouse at Mornington Racecourse. The clubhouse was paid for by the Committee of Management for the Mornington Racecourse, Racing Victoria, and the MRC Foundation, with Racing Victoria donating $50,000 in unallocated prize money from the 2016 Ladbrokes Stakes, won by Winx.
The clubhouse was designed and built for community groups that need a space to meet, train or practise, with ample outdoor space, including a flat track to the east, a kitchenette, AV, airconditioning and toilets. While not built specifically for equine-related activity, the clubhouse was designed with one specific community group in mind — the Mornington branch of Riding for the Disabled Association, which for almost 30 years has been using the members’ carpark for its twice-weekly program taking people with a disability or in a wheelchair for rides in horse-led carriages.
MRC Foundation chairwoman Patricia Faulkner said the clubhouse was a welcome upgrade for RDA Mornington. “Organisations such as RDA are exactly why we created the MRC Foundation,” Ms Faulkner said. “Here is a local charity group providing a fantastic service to members of our community, and they are doing so with the healing and physical education powers of horses.”
Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson said he was pleased to see the $50,000 donation being used for The Mornington Clubhouse. “The new clubhouse is a fantastic facility and will make a huge difference to local community groups, especially the Mornington branch of RDA, who do so much to enrich the lives of people with disabilities,” Mr Thompson said. “At Racing Victoria our vision is ‘Racing For All’, and there is no better example of that than RDA, so we were only too happy to make a significant donation to this extremely worthy cause.”
Tony Hancy, the chairman of the Committee of Management for the Mornington Racecourse, invited more groups to make use of the clubhouse. “The racecourse is a key part of the Mornington community, and as a committee we are dedicated to working for the betterment of our local area,” Mr Hancy said. “One way we can do that is by opening up the racecourse to the wider community so that more may benefit from our state-of-the-art facilities and expertise.”
Community groups or small organisations wanting to use the clubhouse should phone Mornington Racecourse on 5975 3310.