Friday, 21 July 2023 15:25

Greyhound trainer Michelle Mallia-Magri shares heartwarming victory with two boys living with a disability

Matthew Field and Lachlan Barsby have a 25 percent share in greyhound Matt Loch thanks to trainer Michelle Mallia-Magri. Matthew Field and Lachlan Barsby have a 25 percent share in greyhound Matt Loch thanks to trainer Michelle Mallia-Magri. GRV

The greyhound racing community is buzzing with excitement following an exhilarating maiden 450m race on Wednesday July 5, won by a remarkable greyhound named Matt Loch.
This extraordinary greyhound is named after Matthew Field and Lachlan Barsby - two boys with cerebral palsy. Trainer Michelle Mallia-Magri has not only named the greyhound after the boys, but she has also given them a 25 per cent ownership share.
Michelle’s remarkable gesture of goodwill ensures that Matthew and Lachlan not only have a symbolic connection to Matt Loch but also directly benefit from his victories and achievements.

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect a person's ability to move and maintain balance and posture. Michelle’s decision to involve the boys in the sport she loves is a testament to her drive to make a positive impact on their lives.
“Both Matty and Lachie are incredible individuals who I’ve had the privilege of getting to know over the years,” says Michelle. “They have been dealt a tough hand in life, and I saw this as an opportunity to give back and involve them in a sport that brings me so much joy.”

For Michelle, greyhound racing is not solely about financial gain but about making a difference to someone's life. She firmly believes that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the thrill of greyhound racing. The joy and excitement she shares with Matthew and Lachlan exemplify her commitment to creating meaningful experiences for others.

Michelle's friendship with Matthew, a devoted greyhound enthusiast in his early 30s, began on the racetrack of their shared hometown, Geelong. Known affectionately as 'multi Matty,' he has become a beloved member of the racing club.
Matt Loch is not Matt's first share in a greyhound; Michelle previously granted him a 25 per cent ownership share in Matt’s Hope, a highly successful greyhound with over $130,000 in prize winnings.
"Matt's enthusiasm and passion for greyhound racing is like nothing else. He always calls me, filled with excitement, after the races, even when our dogs don't come in first,” says Michelle. “He celebrates the success of every winning team.”
Lachlan Barsby, an eight-year-old boy, was introduced to Michelle through his grandfather. Despite his limited means of communication, Lachlan managed to send Michelle a photo of himself giving a thumbs-up gesture after Matt Loch's impressive victory on Wednesday July 5.

"When I saw that photo, I got goosebumps. If I can bring a smile to their faces, week after week, through greyhound racing, then it gives me purpose to wake up every morning and train these dogs to deliver the best performance they can," said Michelle.
Michelle’s dedication to making a positive impact within her community has garnered widespread admiration. Her generosity and inclusivity serve as an inspiration to others, highlighting the transformative power of sport and sportsmanship.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact: Francesca Carter, 0438 562729

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