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04 October 2022

Newmarket schoolchildren taking centre stage at Dubai Future Champions Education Week

The Racing to School team is working with nearly 200 pupils from the Newmarket Academy this week offering an exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ look at the horseracing industry in their town.

The initiative seeks to inspire the next generation through the many interconnected assets of the sport. Supported by Godolphin in collaboration with The Jockey Club and Racing To School, Dubai Future Education Week combines the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile racecourse, Book One of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale and this educational venture under one umbrella.

As part of the scheme, around 180 Year 8 pupils from Newmarket Academy are visiting key site across the town, including visits to the National Horseracing Museum, the Tattersalls Sales, Rossdales Equine Hospital and Godolphin’s state of the art Dalham Hall Stud.

The week of activities sits within the Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project, which provides unique opportunities for pupils aged between 11 and 16 opportunities to get a taste for the sport and the careers it can offer. This programme complements the Under Starter’s Order scheme, which also see Godolphin and Racing to School join forces to work with over 10 local Primary Schools.

Penny Taylor, Charities Manager at Godolphin, explained that the scheme has a crucial role in helping to persuade more people to consider a career in racing – at a time when the industry is facing a considerable skills shortage.

She said: “Godolphin’s charitable programme aims to promote an awareness, passion and care for thoroughbreds, while nurturing our industry and its infrastructure.

“Through the Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project, we have a range of different initiatives each year which are all about raising awareness about racing and giving the children an understanding of the opportunities racing can give them.

“The school are even sponsoring a race at the Rowley Mile on Friday – and I think Newmarket Academy is the only school in the country to have a race named after it! All of the Year 8 children will be there and having seen all the background that leads to a day at the races, they’ll be there to see the end product, so it’s very much a full circle week.

“The fact that so many of these children have never actually come into contact with a horse before is something we’re becoming increasingly aware of. Despite living here in the town, opportunities aren’t readily available to be able to do things like this so we’re opening it up to them and giving them this hands on experience.”

Charlie Appleby, Godolphin’s principal trainer, added: “This week is hugely important for the horses, but it’s also a hugely educational week for the children. It’s been fantastic to see the children from Newmarket Academy coming up over the last few weeks and doing lots of different things.”

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