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06 December 2019

Racing to School reaches its 15,000th participant in 2019 at Sandown Park

On Friday 6 December, Racing to School staff welcomed Year 7 pupils from local Esher High School to Sandown Park Racecourse for a maths activity day. What made today even more special was that within this school group enjoying access-all-areas was the charity’s 15,000th participant this year.

This new milestone marks a remarkable rise from the 10,000 young people coming through the Racing to School Programme just a few years ago.

“What is perhaps most pleasing about the charity’s growth, for which we should like to thank our funders and staff, is that this has been achieved without any drop in quality as evidenced in our feedback,” said Chief Executive John Blake.

“Around 65% of our pupils this year – about 9,750 children – were visiting the racecourse for the very first time. Overall, 97% of all students indicated an increased positive perception of the sport and 96% said they would like to come racing again in future. At a time when the sport faces uncertainty in some key areas, we hope that these figures will offer reassurance to everyone who supports the next generation’s engagement with horseracing.”

Providing impetus to the increase in participant has been launch of new initiatives, such as the two Beacon projects in Newmarket and Aintree, and the Riders’ Programme with its focus on young equestrians gaining knowledge about careers in the sport.

“It is great to reach this milestone before the end of the year and we plan to improve our record again with around 390 activity learning days planned for 2020,” added John Blake.

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