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Practitioner director election- candidate biography and manifesto - Paul Ephremsen

GBGB Practitioner director candidate – owners representative Paul Ephremsen

I’m Paul Ephremsen, 48 years old and from Hertfordshire. I live with my partner Zoe and two teenage boys Harry and Oliver. I’ve been involved in greyhound racing for 25 years as an owner with trainers including Ken Linzell, Paul Young, and Mark Wallis.

In 2004 the sport literally took over my life when I set up an open race kennel for 20 dogs at my home for Carly Philpott to use as her base. We had some great success in a short space of time with the likes of Ballymac Kewell, Ballymac Pires and Droopys Chester and I look back on that time extremely fondly.

Away from the dogs, I have always worked for myself and I’ve launched a few marketing agencies, most notably an experiential agency called iD (www.idagency.com) which I’ve co-owned for 23 years.

So why have I applied for this role? I think there is a big communications gap between the GBGB and owners. I would hope I can take on the challenge of giving owners a voice, and developing communications channels (live and online) so they can share their positive ideas for change. I would use the help of other respected owners to help me filter all the new ideas (both quick fixes and the bigger things) into realistic agendas for GBGB discussion. I would take responsibility for ensuring owners receive feedback and updates on all initiatives.

The sport is not innovating. I believe many owners are frustrated that greyhound racing has not modernised like many other leisure activities, in terms of stadia and facilities, customer/owner experience, standards of presentation, quality of TV and online broadcasts, expectation for welfare provision and the general PR and hype about events. These are all fundamental if we want to attract more owners into the sport. I hope that my role could ensure the sport modernises through innovation - I intend to set up an innovation panel with some of the best minds in the sport to meet periodically to develop new ideas, for example:

  • How can we boost syndicates to increase ownership significantly?

  • How can we make the dogs the stars?

  • What innovative betting products could capture the public’s imagination?

  • What does the stadium of the future look like?

  • What is the owner experience at a stadium?

  • What training schemes should exist to attract more owner/trainers?

  • How can we achieve HD quality streaming of every race?

  • How do we create the right image for the sport for the future?

Funding will be a barrier to real change. I would like to help explore a more collaborative approach to raising the necessary funds whereby the bookmaking industry and the GBGB create a real collaboration and together produce a future blueprint for the sport that increases betting turnover significantly for the benefit of us all.

The GBGB needs to be clearer with regard to strategy, measurable objectives and performance updates. I hope I can help improve the level of transparency and openness over time.

Do I have the necessary skills? I think I am a good communicator. I am down to earth and think I can fit in with people at all levels of the sport, which is a prerequisite if I become the middle-man between the owners and the GBGB. I am also extremely honest, trustworthy and professional so you can trust me to give this role my best shot. And finally, I’m entrepreneurial and innovative so I will be constantly pushing for our ideas to be listened too.

So in summary my manifesto can be summed up a 4 key points:

  1. Develop new communication channels so that owners have a voice for their ideas to be heard at board level, with regular feedback

  2. Keep the pressure on the GBGB to modernise and innovate

  3. Collaboration – work together with industry partners and the best brains in the sport to develop a blueprint and funding model for the future

  4. Transparency – be clearer with owners re targets / future strategy and performance