Cooney won two Tasmanian Racing Federation races from Beckley Park in Victoria, won the federation loft points, was first and second in the ten dollar ring race out of Tantanoola in South Australia and was the loft point winner for the Northern region of Tasmania.

Cooney said he had background with pigeon racing when he was growing up on the North-West and it was that love affair that got him back into the sport.

“I first got into pigeon racing when I was about seven years old and a bloke up the road from me in Burnie used to race pigeons and I would go up there every day,”

“He actually gave me pigeons when I was eight and fancied them and when I moved to Devonport and I raced three times when I was 17.

“It wasn’t until last year when I worked with a bloke who raced pigeons and got back into them.”

Cooney said he would not have been able to be as successful as he had been in his opening season with out the help

“I was playing golf with Phil Matthews and he said his brother Chris raced pigeons and a week later he got in touch with me.

“He told me to go see Warren Connell (Devonport Flying Club president) and he would give you ten pair.

“Warren would have bred me another 30 and I had a pretty good year on land and it is not a one man operation.”

For young people who would love to get into pigeon racing, there are a lot of good people at the clubs who will help you.

Mark Cooney on the accessibility of the sport

Following the support Cooney received from the Devonport Flying Club to get started, he now owns over 130 pigeons that he trains to race.

Cooney said pigeon racing was actually not an overly expensive sport to get involved in if you speak with a racing club when you want to get started in Tasmania.

“For young people who would love to get into pigeon racing, there are a lot of good people at the clubs who will help you.

“And by helping you, I mean they will get you a few birds and help you look after them and train them if you need help.”

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