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18 May 2023

Global Accessibility Awareness Day: Racecourse Accessibility Project Update

The Racecourse Association (RCA) and Racing Foundation have shared an update video from the Racecourse Accessibility Project in support of Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

The video, which can be viewed below, includes commentary from the RCA, Royal Windsor Racecourse (a leading racecourse for raceday accessibility) and broadcaster Jacob Pritchard Webb on how the project has progressed with updates on action taken since the audits occurred.

YouTube player

Since the completion of year one of the project, racecourses have begun implementing improvements to enhance the raceday experience for racegoers with access requirements. These include:

  • As a direct result of their LiveTourism assessment, Pontefract Racecourse used their off-season to transform accessible viewing facilities, making them bigger and laying hardstanding paths to remove the need for racegoers using wheelchairs to traverse across grass. The Pontefract team also refurbished all accessible toilets, adding colour-contrasting facilities, new mirrors and appropriate shelving. 
  • In addition, Pontefract Racecourse will host an inaugural ‘Racing For Everyone raceday on Monday 12th June. Full details can be found here.
  • Ahead of the 2023 Dante Festival, York Racecourse reviewed all accessibility information on the racecourse website, improved access into a number of buildings onsite and invested in a new, accessible buggy to enable more racegoers to be able to take advance of the concierge facility offered on racedays.
  • Arena Racing Company (ARC) are developing comprehensive accessibility guides for all 16 of their racecourses. ARC are also undertaking a review of their pre-communications including the accessibility of their websites and the terminology used.
  • Go Racing in Yorkshire (GRIY) have worked with all nine Yorkshire racecourses to install sunflower benches, providing a quiet, safe space for racegoers to use if they need to on racedays.
  • All British racecourses continue to support the international sunflower lanyard scheme, indicating invisible disability for wearers. 
  • Centrally, the RCA continues to identify common trends from the reports to provide areas of development across British racecourses and produce best practice guidance.

Year two of the project is currently underway with the second tranche of opted-in racecourses receiving a site audit from Level Playing Field. Further public updates will be shared when available.

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