Marty “did it all” for coursing

Coursing has lost a loyal and dedicated servant with the passing of Martin ‘Marty’ Sait.

Martin passed away on March 10 at 81 years of age.

Known affectionately as ‘Marty’, he became synonymous with the Charlton Coursing Club over three decades and was recognised for his devotion to coursing when receiving the prestigious Noel Banks Medal in 2016.

Martin filled the key positions of President, Secretary and Treasurer at the Charlton Coursing Club across many years and along with his brother, Vin, was credited with the Club’s longevity and success.

“Coursing has lost one of its best and Martin will be remembered very fondly by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him.”

“Marty and Vin were integral in keeping the Charlton Coursing Club going,” said Heather Villinger, Life Member and Treasurer of the NCA of Victoria, and herself, winner of the Noel Banks Medal in 2017.

“It was because of them that Charlton was really a great coursing venue.

“The coursing part of the industry is pretty much run by volunteers and Marty did everything at Charlton.

“He was President for as long as I can remember. He drove the lure and mowed the track – it was always like a bowling green and was extremely safe – he maintained all the equipment and the buildings.

“He even organised the ladies from the Catholic Church to run the canteen and it was a pretty good spread, let me tell you!”

Greg Guy, who served on the Charlton Coursing Club committee and was also the beneficiary of Martin’s training and ‘checking’ expertise, couldn’t speak highly enough of the late stalwart’s contribution to the sport and community.

“Marty did the lot,” Guy said.

“He was at the track every day, especially through the coursing season. He wanted to have the place looking ‘Mickey Mouse’ and it did!

“A lot of things he did at the club were with his own money too.”

Guy added that Martin’s selfless contributions to the greyhound racing community were by no means restricted to administration and organisation.

“Marty was a great man with a dog,” Guy said.

“He had some very handy dogs. Tam’s Mistress won a major race and I think Marty bought a school bus run with the money he won with her!

“He was a terrific ‘muscle man’. Marty used to check all my dogs; I don’t think I would’ve got a winner without him.

“Marty got me started in the game. He wouldn’t take any money for checking my dogs, so every time I got a winner, I bought him a bag of kibble. Back in 1992, I won seven races with my first greyhound, Whoopie Girl, so Marty got seven bags of kibble!

“He also helped out the local football club as a ‘muscle man’ and was involved in back-to-back premierships. He was a very good bike rider too. I’m pretty sure he won the Bendigo to Charlton road race one year.

“It was totally deserved when Marty won the Noel Banks Medal and I think it would be nice to recognise the work Marty and Vin did over 30 or 40 years by naming a feature coursing event after them.”

A touching tribute on the NCA’s Facebook page included the following:

“Coursing has lost one of its best and Martin will be remembered very fondly by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him.”

Martin’s funeral will be held next Wednesday, March 22, at 1pm at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 7 Learmonth Street, Charlton.

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