Celebrating the Work of Racecourses – Racing Together

29 Nov 16

Pip Kirkby, Interim Manager for Racing Together, blogs about the great work that racecourses are doing in community engagement after the very successful Showcase Awards held at Doncaster Racecourse on 17 November.

This is the first of a series of blogs focusing on the ongoing projects at racecourses.

The RCA Showcase Awards took place last week at Doncaster racecourse – celebrating the achievements of Racecourses throughout the year and identifying ideas and initiatives for development in 2017.

The Awards are hotly contested – not least the Racing Together Community and Corporate Social Responsibility Award. There were 13 submissions for the award, whittled down to 5 finalists – and the breadth and scope of the entries was fantastic.

From Community Firework and Halloween events to Going Green, the variety was endless. The imagination and the effort that is put into engaging with the local populations by racecourses is exceptional. The submissions do not reflect just one off efforts – they highlight ongoing campaigns to build and focus on communities: in many cases reflecting years of effort. This spotlights all of the outstanding effort that is put into the initiatives of community engagement; and for some courses this represents a new approach.

The deserving winner of the award was Aintree with: Aintree Community Programme – the next level. The programme aims through the power of racing and the Grand National to inspire children and adults, focusing on the important issues in the community, and giving something back. Key to the submission was to focus on building on the work of 2015 and developing the Beacon racecourse project further, Aintree has done an exceptional job in achieving all of these aims.

In the next few blogs I will be seeking insights from some of those racecourses into the benefits and rewards of developing community engagement programmes, as well as the commitment and effort that goes into them, and some of the individuals involved in delivering these initiatives.