Aintree hail second Community Raceday as great success
Aintree’s community engagement programme focuses on inspiring children and adults to be the best they can be through the power of horseracing and the Grand National. A brilliant renewal of Aintree’s Community Raceday on November 10th attracted a crowd of over 5,000 and brought together many different partners from their year-round programme: rewarding unpaid carers and volunteers with a day out; hosting an art competition for local schools and providing hospitality for children from local hospices and hospitals, to name just a few.
Grant Rowley, Communications Manager for the Jockey Club North-West Region told Racing Together: “Community engagement is at the heart of everything we do at Aintree so we were delighted to host our second community day on Saturday. Since launching the Aintree Community Programme in 2014, we have worked with a number of fantastic partners and it’s thanks to them and the wonderful community around the racecourse, that the day was a success.
“The community has been in our midst for 180 years and we know it is key to ensuring the legacy of the greatest horserace in the world and to help showcase and grow our sport. We’re delighted to be the Racing Together Beacon Racecourse and look forward to another great year of working closely with our community schools.”
Aintree’s Peter O’Sullevan Community Hub is in the heart of the racecourse and it was a busy meeting place for the partners of the community programme, including:
- Ten members from the Carers’ Network who were identified as working above and beyond their duties in difficult circumstances
- A dozen Military Veterans from Aintree’s partners, Veterans HQ
- Children and their parents from Maricourt School who took part in the Enterprise Day and won the task that was set that day
- Children and adults from Everton in the Community
- Netherton Community Centre – a fantastic centre for disadvantaged kids in the community. The centre manager and her volunteers were given a very special day out by the racecourse
- Children from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
There was an impressive range of activities for all to enjoy with Everton in the Community disability football coaches on hand, along with Wheels 4 All, which supports cycling for people with disabilities. Given it was the eve of Remembrance Sunday, the Royal British Legion Thank You bus and gazebo/bucket collection were doing a brisk trade. The Merseyside Mounted Police Horses were also a very popular addition to this diverse family day.
The 2018 Schools Equine Art Competition gave local schools the chance to decorate one of the many horse statues around the racecourse, with winners Holly Lodge Girls School triumphing with a design entitled ‘Lest We Forget Animal’, featuring a field of purple poppies to commemorate the animals that served and died in WW1 and other conflicts.
Speaking on behalf of Racing Together, Community Engagement Manager Lucy Saunders said: “It was a pleasure to see all of Aintree’s hard work come together in one place during the Community Raceday, and to understand the variety in their community programme, including all ages; there were so many different charity partners and this work is genuinely changing peoples’ lives for the better.”