British racing launches first comprehensive Directory of community activity and education
A ground-breaking Directory is launched today highlighting British horseracing’s commitment to helping communities improve their health, wellbeing and education, including bringing them closer to horses.
A ‘first of its kind for racing’, the development of this Directory of charitable and community activity is seen as an important contributor to the sport’s recovery plan and its engagement with the racing public and wider society.
The Directory maps nationwide activities from over 100 organisations that are harnessing assets to help people develop skills, increase physical activity and to create a more diverse and inclusive sport.
Racing working across multiple outcomes for its communities
The Directory reveals that over the last 18-months more than 40,000 people have been involved in programmes run by racecourses, charities, training yards and a range of other industry bodies.
Among the Directory’s programmes are schemes allowing people experiencing mental health difficulties or dementia to visit a race meeting, and many activities that have inspired young people struggling with mainstream education.
Visit and Add to the Directory
The platform is accessible to all through the Racing Together website, and organisations are encouraged to add their programmes and build upon the fantastic content that has been submitted so far at www.racingtogether.co.uk/directory/ which includes updates on the immediate responses of racing businesses and people to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on local communities.
Chris Grant, Sport England Board Member and former CEO of the Sported Foundation said: “It’s inspiring to see so many people benefitting from racing’s work, and it’s impressive to see how the industry puts its spaces and its knowhow at the service of people around the country - all underpinned by the most distinctive asset of all: the horse.
“These activities go to the heart of many of the deepest challenges facing our communities and will become even more important as we recover from the challenges of 2020. This Directory will open peoples’ eyes to the positive power of racing and stimulate the sharing of ideas and resources across the industry.”
Nick Rust, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said: “British racing’s Members Committee recently had the opportunity to see first-hand the latest work Racing Together has been doing, supported by the Racing Foundation and Godolphin, to identify the many ways in which our industry is involved with local communities up and down our nations, and the benefits that brings to those communities.
“We are delighted that the Directory is being launched to map and showcase those activities, and we believe it will help encourage others to engage locally and gain some real momentum in the help and support our industry brings to local communities.”
Annamarie Phelps, Chair of the British Horseracing Authority, said: “Many people come to racing for the sport but they stay because of the wider benefits: the social aspects, the friendships they form, the physical and mental well-being they get from their involvement with racing’s people and our fabulous horses.
“This Directory is the first of its kind for racing. It will help us understand what is happening already, so that we can work together to align our activities and provide a coherent message about the positive impact of the sport and industry on those it engages with.
“This is just the first phase of a project to recognise the huge positive impact that our people and our horses have on those they interact with and will be valuable to the industry here in the UK and globally to ensure its health and sustainability as we emerge into a new post-Covid future.”
Nick Froy, Executive Headteacher at Newmarket Academy and Sybil Andrews Academy, and Chair of the Steering Group leading this project, said: “This Directory shows the power of the racing industry to support its communities and transform lives. Newmarket is a better place for the support, intervention and opportunity of the assets of the racing industry.
“The young people of Newmarket have been exposed to a range of opportunities which have raised their aspiration and ambition and given them chances to pursue their career dreams.”
Barrie Wells MBE, Founder of Barrie Wells Trust, said: “It is great to see racing's community engagement activity in one place, and to know that the industry is trying to increase its impact in this area. This is wonderful news as the racing community has so much to offer.
“I am delighted that my charity's Box4Kids initiative has had exceptional support from racing and in particular The Jockey Club, who provide such incredible and memorable experiences for seriously ill and disabled children, with all their 15 racecourses fully contributing so positively. I am excited to be a part of this new directory and look forward to seeing the great benefits it will bring to so many charities and organisations such as my own.”
Forming a new Leadership Strategy
The new Directory forms part of a wider strategy of collaboration for racing to deliver an ambitious and aligned programme of activity that increases the sport’s beneficiaries across community engagement and education.
Rob Hezel, CEO of the Racing Foundation, said: “The Racing Foundation are excited about the launch of the Directory which we hope will support greater co-ordination and alignment of the community and education activities undertaken across the sport. The Directory which will be followed by an aspirational strategy aims to maximise the impact of activities for the benefit of individuals, communities and the sport as a whole.
“We would like to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work that takes place every year from thousands of people across racing that allows so much good to be done and positivity created.”
Further detail outlining the range and impact objectives of these community engagement and education initiatives, including a detailed survey report is contained in the media pack.
International Racing in step with GB
All the main overseas racing nations have been supported by Godolphin to reflect on their work and approach to education and community engagement. To accelerate this collaboration, work is underway to produce a new website under the name of Together for Racing International.
Diana Cooper, responsible for Godolphin’s global charitable programme, said: “Godolphin has been integral in the development of this Directory of community engagement and education because it lies at the heart of our charitable programme’s objective.
“The work, however, does not stop here as while the Directory brings racing’s efforts together, we now have the foundation to build a cohesive strategy for the betterment of our industry and to highlight the positive effect it can have on the people around us.”