Racing Together, under starters orders
June was another busy month for Racing Together building on the recent successes with Give & Gain Day, on the 20th May.
On the 23rd June, 152 students, 120 parents and teachers from six local primary schools attended the Adnams July Racecourse for the culmination of the Under Starters’ Orders Primary School Education Programme.
The programme was initially commissioned by Newmarket Racecourse in 2015, working with The National Horseracing Museum and Racing to School to develop three days of educational activities specifically designed for primary schools. All activities are linked to the National Curriculum for Key Stage 2 and provide immersive learning experiences outside the classroom. Over the two years since its inception the programme has been delivered to over 300 Year Five students.
The raceday visit concluded the programme by providing the school children the opportunity to witness at first hand the thrill and excitement of a day’s racing, enabling them to see some of their recently acquired knowledge put into practice on the racecourse. Alongside a number of on course activities, including a painted horse which demonstrated the horse’s anatomy, the students also enjoyed witnessing Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton win her first flat race when riding Royal Etiquette to victory in the Countryside Alliance charity race.
Jane Trampnow, Head Teacher, All Saints Primary School said:
“Under Starters Orders is an excellent programme which gives children insight into a thriving local industry. It provides a glimpse into the world behind the stud walls and promotes in some children aspirations to pursue a career in the industry. The three aspects of the programme – seeing a working yard, understanding the racing heritage, tied in with the heritage of the town, as well as a thrilling day at the races, have captivated our Year 5 children for the past two years. We are very pleased to be part of such an enthralling event which opens the children’s eyes to the diverse employment opportunities, the demands of training a racehorse and the excitement of racing itself.”
Elsewhere pupils from a South London school were all declared winners during a visit to Lingfield Park Racecourse on the 16th June – as they were encouraged to think big when it comes to choosing their careers.
In a special behind-the-scenes trip to the Surrey home of the UK’s busiest racecourse, Executive Director Andrew Perkins urged them to “work hard to achieve their dreams”.
“Whatever you want to do in life, believe it is achievable,” he told the 25-strong group from Platanos College in Stockwell. “Put in the effort both now and when you start work and people will believe in you.”
The group were visiting Lingfield Park as part of Active Communities Network’s (ACN) partnership programme with Racing Together, working with both the racecourse and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to encourage young people into the industry.
The group were taken to all parts of Lingfield Park Resort – including its on-site 4*Marriott Hotel & Country Club. They met staff from a range of departments, including the head chef, the Estates Manager to learn about the track and ground maintenance and had a chance to ‘weigh-in’ just like a jockey.
PE Teacher Sharon Simpson, from Platanos College who organised the trip with ACN said:
“They found their talk with Andrew Perkins very intriguing, gaining a deeper understanding of the Platanos College motto ‘Attitude determines Altitude’ and how it relates to the world of work.
“They were really struck by certain things they learned, such as the importance of once you get a job, you have to do your very best to earn your money in order to keep it, and the fact that uniform checks really do happen in the workplace as well as at school!
“The pupils thoroughly enjoyed their day and really want to thank Active Communities and the amazing staff at Lingfield for providing them with this opportunity.”
Natalie Johnson, from ACN added: “The trip to Lingfield Park has helped our young people to recognise the opportunities available to them not only within the horse racing industry but within various other career options such as hospitality, administration, sport and management. They left the park enthused and ready to work hard in order to achieve!”
The BHA also played host to a group of young people from the Princes Trust XL Programme who visited Nottingham Racecourse on Thursday 23rd June. There were 12 young people in attendance who were given the chance to ‘go behind the scenes’ with a tour of the racecourse and weighing room and talks by the Clerk of the Scales, the Starter, the Judge and the Stipendiary Stewards.
On 3rd June the BHA welcomed a group of young people from Ride High, a Milton Keynes based charity for disadvantaged children. They were given a tour of the BHA Offices, and received a presentation, including some racing videos covering several aspects of British Racing.
Following this visit, they now have children registered to do the self-study industry qualifications, a Level 1 Award in an Introduction to the Racing.
Sean O’Connor Racing Together Community Engagement Manager said:
“There has been terrific momentum with Racing Together since British Racing’s hugely successful participation in Give & Gain Day earlier in May. It is wonderful to see the Racing industry coming together and engaging so passionately, with the enthusiasm to do more with the local community. There are many examples of British Racing making a difference to communities every day. Our ‘Education Outreach’ and ’Employability’ flagship programmes delivered in partnership with Racing to School and Active Communities Network are making a huge and positive impact on the lives of young people. It’s a great opportunity for them to learn all about the Racing industry. Not only do they develop new skills, they also gain real insight into the various pathways for pursuing an exciting career within Racing.”