Survey to explore experiences of ethnically diverse communities in British racing

27 Mar 2024 BHA Features

People from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds working in British racing are being invited to share their views and experiences of the industry through a short feedback survey.

The survey, which can be accessed here and completed anonymously, is now open and will run until Friday 31 May 2024.

It is open to everyone working in British racing, particularly people from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds, as well as those who might have worked with or observed the experiences of their ethnically diverse colleagues.

Commissioned by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and funded by the Racing Foundation, the survey is part of a wider research project to explore the opportunities and barriers that might exist for those from ethnically diverse backgrounds looking to fulfil their potential within racing.

The research is being managed by Plan4Sport and Inside Inclusion – both experts in the diversity and inclusion in sport space – and the feedback provided through the survey will help identify areas for improvement and support ongoing efforts to ensure racing is an enjoyable, safe and supportive environment for all.

The evidence gathered will also inform specific recommendations to help shape the sport’s long-term planning around the recruitment, retention, development and wellbeing of racing’s workforce, which is being led by the Horseracing Industry People Board.

Alongside the survey, racing industry employees are also being invited to discuss their views and experiences with the research team through interviews and focus groups. These will take place in the coming months and provide an opportunity to explore the feedback in greater detail.

Anyone interested in taking part in an interview, joining a focus group or finding out more about the research into the experiences of ethnically diverse communities is encouraged to contact the research team directly via email: [email protected].

BHA Chief Executive, Julie Harrington, said:

“Racing is a global sport and we are proud that talented individuals from around the world and from numerous diverse backgrounds here in Britain have, for many years, chosen to pursue a career in racing.

“While we have long sought to ensure that racing provides a safe and welcoming space for all, we are aware that we should never be complacent about this issue and so I would encourage people to share their experiences so that we can take steps to give everyone the chance to fulfil their potential.”

Tansy Challis, Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation, said:

“At the Racing Foundation, we recognise the importance of improving our sport’s diversity and inclusion of people and communities from all backgrounds. Only by listening and learning from people’s lived experience can we take appropriate action to create sustainable change in the industry.

“It is crucial that we understand the challenges and barriers being faced and also identify good practice. We are delighted to support the survey and urge anyone working in racing to participate.”

Chair of the Horseracing Industry People Board, Neil Hayward, said:

“The Horseracing Industry People Board is currently engaging with individuals and organisations from across racing and breeding to gather evidence and obtain feedback that will help inform the development of a long-term people strategy.

“This survey is an important part of this process and will help advance our understanding of the opportunities that exist within the sport for people from ethnically diverse backgrounds, but also where they may be barriers to involvement and the need for further support”.

Notes to Editors

1. The feedback survey can be completed here.

2. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is the governing and regulatory body for horseracing in Britain. Committed to maintaining the sport’s integrity and promoting diversity and inclusion, the BHA collaborates with industry professionals to drive transformation and progress within the racing community.

3. Plan4Sport is a bespoke independent equity, equality, diversity, inclusion (EDI) and anti-discrimination consultancy. Established in 2003, it has supported hundreds of sports organisations across the UK and globally in areas such as equality, diversity and inclusion, mental health and wellbeing, governance and leadership.

4. Inside Inclusion is an inclusion and anti-discrimination consultancy working predominantly across the UK and international sport industries and has worked with racing since 2021. With particular expertise in LGBTQ+ inclusion, antisemitism and antiracism, Inside Inclusion helps organisations to put diversity, equality, equity and inclusion at the heart of their governance in order to create cultures where everyone feels welcome. safe, valued and included, whatever their role in sport.

5. The Horseracing Industry People Board is the single point of accountability for the industry’s workforce strategies, with its work forming part of the wider Industry Strategy, which racing’s leaders committed to working towards in 2022. It was created to drive racing’s whole people strategy and is chaired by Neil Hayward.

6. In 2012 the Racing Foundation was established to oversee the distribution of funds to charitable causes within the racing and thoroughbred industry following the sale of the Tote. Since inception it has awarded over £39million in grants. Racing’s people, equine welfare, youth and community engagement and environment and emerging issues are the key areas of focus in the 2024 strategy. The Trustees of the Racing Foundation are Julia Budd (Chair), Linda Bowles (SID), Jim Boyle, Susannah Gill, Louise Kemble, Alice Page, Rishi Persad and Algy Smith-Maxwell. The British Horseracing Authority, The Thoroughbred Group and Racecourse Association are the three joint Members of the Racing Foundation, which is registered with the Charity Commission as a charity under the law of England and Wales (no. 1145297).