Newmarket hosts another successful Dubai Future Champions Education Week

06 Nov 15

Newmarket Racecourse, along with other notable Newmarket organisations, has again demonstrated its full commitment to local education and the Newmarket community.

The second running of the Dubai Future Champions Education Week proved to be a big success as 147 Year Eight pupils from Newmarket Academy participated in a series of events culminating in a day’s racing on Friday 9 October, the first day of the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse.

The programme is designed to show children the unique heritage of their local area and raise their employment aspirations as well as introduce them to the variety of employment opportunities offered by the racing industry. This initiative was made possible by the generous support of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Newmarket Racecourses. Support was also gratefully received from the National Horseracing Museum, National Stud, Tattersalls, TOPSPEC, the Newmarket Equine Hospital, Rossdales Veterinary Practice and the British Racing School.

The education programme began with a trip to the National Horseracing Museum, where both the history of horseracing as well as the town of Newmarket was explored through the identification of famous landmarks. Breeding knowledge was then shared during a guided tour of the National Stud. Biology and science learning was covered by vets from the Newmarket Equine Hospital and Rossdales,

World-renowned bloodstock auctioneers Tattersalls hosted the students on the third day of the programme, which also coincided with the final day of Europe’s Premier Yearling Sale. Pupils were particularly privileged to see some of the best produce of the global thoroughbred breeding industry come under the hammer and fetch prices of up to £840,000. The pupils also spent part of the day at the Rowley Mile Racecourse where the BHEST Racing to School team ran activities in the Weighing Room and out on the track, with examples of practical applications of their maths studies.

The week concluded with a trip to the racecourse for a fantastic day’s racing, allowing the students to witness the programme’s four-legged subjects in action and marvel at the ability of Minding, the impressive winner of the feature race, the £533,750 Dubai Fillies’ Mile.

Amy Starkey, Regional Director, Jockey Club Racecourses East Region, said;

“It was fantastic to see Dubai Future Champions Education Week return again this year with just under 150 students attending five days of activities. The students were all very enthusiastic to learn what their local area has to offer both now and in the future and we feel it is vital for them to have an insight into this part of their community.

“I am very grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the rest of the stakeholders involved for helping us to make this possible and I look forward to working with all parties to develop the week even further next year.”

Nick Froy, Head of School at Newmarket Academy, said:

“The students of the Academy know that the week of learning supported by the racing community is unique. The students were able to see and understand the whole racing industry and gain an insight into the myriad of opportunities that are on offer. It will unquestionably broaden and raise their aspirations.

“I am incredibly grateful for the support, generosity and commitment of the entire racing community to make this amazing and incredibly valuable learning opportunity possible for all of the students at the Academy.”

Chris Garibaldi, National Horseracing Museum, said:

“Dubai Future Champions Education Week is the perfect opportunity for The National Horseracing Museum to share racing’s rich heritage with future generations. Newmarket holds an extraordinary place within the industry and within history, which this project demonstrated.

“The museum activities provided a back drop for students to understand the significance of their community and to encourage pride in it. We hope that by taking part in this project, the students will have had their eyes opened and are now looking to the future.”

The initiative in Newmarket is a wonderful example of community engagement across the sport and, epitomises the values of what Racing Together seeks to embrace.

For more details about the unique assets in Newmarket, that are available to the local community see our previous blog:

A core objective of Racing Together is to connect young people with employment opportunities and alternative career pathways, particularly those in most need, to support the continued health and future prosperity of British Racing.

Sean O’Connor; Racing Together Community Engagement Manager commented:  “Racing Together is about bringing together communities, improving education and the development of young people. Our vision is quite simply to be a force for good in communities and to be recognised amongst sport as outstanding for our contribution to communities.”

“This is another great example of the Newmarket community working together to benefit local students and the town as a whole.”

Newmarket Racecourse is one of the five finalists in the Racing Together Community Engagement category at this year’s RCA Showcase Awards for their tremendous work and contribution to the community.