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14 December 2017

Aintree salutes Veterans with new, innovative Programme

Racing to School’s Regional Education Officer and former Grand National rider, Carrie Ford led one of the activities that launched the exciting Aintree Military Veterans Programme at the racecourse on December 7th.

Sitting within the Aintree Community Programme, this new initiative with the Liverpool Military Veterans HQ will provide a three-year project for around 25 Military Veterans across Liverpool and Sefton. The aim of the programme is to offer physical and mental support to the Vets, and to find activities to re-engage some of the camaraderie and team work that epitomises life in the armed forces.

A living history

“All of the Veterans seemed genuinely interested to learn more about the great race, and from a different perspective,” said Carrie, who led a tour of the Grand National fences.

“Many within the group commented that it was good to have an increased knowledge and understanding of racing at Aintree, and that they were looking forward to sharing it with family and friends.”

The day also included a history tour through the new and old Weighing Rooms; a visit to the Earl of Sefton Grandstand and a stop at the life-size sculpture of Red Rum, created by former jockey Phillip Blacker.

The Military Veterans will now meet on a set day each month and there will be a schedule of activity based at Aintree, with the focal point being The Peter O’Sullevan Community Hub.

Sharing experiences

It is also planned for the Military Veterans to get involved in working on racedays as course stewards, and across the many equestrian events staged at Aintree each year. Engaging the Veterans with young people is also an ambition of the programme, placing great value on the unique insights and personal qualities acquired to work in the military, such as the importance of teamwork, discipline and dedication.

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