Ali A. Amersy has recently taken part in the Careers in Racing Step on Track Programme and tells us about his experience
I am a 19-year-old British Pakistani born in London, who currently studies International Relations and Politics in Manchester. As an avid sports fan, I’ve always been interested in different sports and was fascinated with the way combat sports such as Boxing and MMA work from a business perspective. That’s why I started my own management and promotional company, with the first event taking place in February. My focus was entirely on combat sports until I was given the opportunity to partake in the Step on Track Programme. My cultural heritage is linked to Sindh in Pakistan where horses are seen as a normal part of the prominent tribes, and that is what led me to fall in love with them. We would often go to the races every time I visited Karachi on my holidays, and after a long break I was able to return this October.
Finding the programme
I heard about the Step on Track Programme through Careers in Racing (CiR) while searching for opportunities in the sporting sector to broaden my experiences outside academia. I was on the lookout for something out of the box, something completely different from my political work experience background and had surprisingly stumbled upon this opportunity. I immediately applied and was pleasantly surprised when CiR’s Sean Simara got in contact with me via email. After a brief phone call with Sean, I was on my way to London from Manchester to attend the programme at Lingfield Park Racecourse.
Highlights so far
On arrival, I was greeted by Sean and Michelle Douglas in the Boardroom enclosure at The Marriot Hotel & Country Club. We had an introductory chat about ourselves and then met the other attendees of the programme, mostly coming from a youth organisation by the name of 2020 Change. After receiving the brochure for the races, we then made our way downstairs to view how each stable prepare their horses. A conversation with Sky Sports Racing was also one of the highlights of the programme, as we got an insight into the role of social and broadcast media in the horseracing industry. Before we knew it, the first race was about to commence, and we headed over to the stands to watch. All the attendees had this sudden boost of adrenaline and it lasted ‘till the horses hit the finish line. I’ve seen a few live races when I was younger but living it at Lingfield Park must be top of the list.
The Step on Track Programme has allowed me to not only experience exciting racing from one of the best all-weather racecourses in the UK, but also led me to dive into the other aspects of the sport that are easily overlooked. I got to talk to some of the experts and ‘veterans’ of many areas of the sport. My next step involves finding work shadowing opportunities in the industry to help me gain some more niche experience from different areas, which will be assisted by Careers in Racing. I look forward to attending more Step on Track events soon, as we’re also scheduled to go into the BHA Headquarters in Central London.
Careers in Racing and the BHA have done an amazing job at creating an equal playing field for ethnically diverse backgrounds and have pioneered the pathway for people like myself to work in the horseracing industry. I have been able to network with likeminded individuals and to strike up conversations with them regarding their experience in racing and how they plan on venturing more into the sport. I’d like to thank the team in giving me this opportunity as I will cherish these moments forever.
What is the Step on Track Programme
The Step on Track Programme has been developed to support under represented groups in British Racing and to give a fantastic opportunity to explore the range of careers routes in the sport of horseracing. This is a free development programme for 16 – 25 year-olds who are from diverse ethnic backgrounds and will focus on careers in the administrative side of the sport, such as marketing, media, regulation and event management.
To find out more about the programme click here.