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15 March 2022

Racing to School celebrates introducing its 200,000th young person to racing. Graduate Meg Lyth returns to tell her story

Last week, Racing to School welcomed Box Hill School to Sandown Park racecourse, and in doing so reached the milestone of 200,000 beneficiaries. The charity is very proud of this significant achievement, which is a great tribute to the small team that has delivered and evolved unique educational programmes to diverse groups of young people nationwide for 21 years.

ITV London News captured the Box Hill pupils as they carried out activities around the racecourse.

Racing to School CEO John Blake commented: “As horseracing’s smallest charity, we are very grateful to ITV London News, and also the team at ITV Racing, for showcasing our work supporting young people. Racing to School’s programmes are designed to support schools, colleges, youth and riding groups in offering experiences that have a positive impact on learning. It is safe the say that the pupils loved being TV stars for the day! Our sincere thanks go to both Sandown Park and Newcastle racecourses for providing this unique, safe and inclusive environment for learning for both groups of school pupils on the day.”

Box Hill pupils explored the racecourse throughout the morning before gates opened to the public, with activities on the track, around the parade ring and at the racecourse stables all designed to develop their application of maths learning in a practical environment, and to challenge critical thinking. Group work and problem-solving tasks supported teamwork and self-confidence, with plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

This landmark day coincided with International Women’s Day, and one of the charity’s alumni Meg Lyth joined the group at Sandown. Meg was introduced to racing through a Racing to School day at Sandown in 2018 and it sparked an interest that led to her attending a course at the British Racing School and now forging a promising career as a rider at Emma Lavelle’s yard in Marlborough. Meg kindly gave up her time to speak to the pupils about her own journey and gave words of advice for their own career aspirations.

Meg and Racing to School’s Chief Executive, John Blake were featured on Racing TV’s coverage of racing at Sandown that day, hosted by the channel’s Tom Stanley.

Over at Newcastle on the same day, pupils from Front Street Primary School were also enjoying a maths day at their local racecourse. The school’s Year 6 pupils showed plenty of enthusiasm throughout the day, with many eager to try on the jockey’s kit and learn about life in horseracing for both humans and equines.

Racing to School programmes continue to grow, with ambitious plans to reach 16,000 young people in 2022 through over 400 events run at racing’s venues, including racecourses, stables, studs and museums.

The charity’s fun and interactive educational days are free to participating schools, colleges and youth groups throughout Great Britain. If you are interested in organising a Racing to School day for the young people you work with, get in touch through info@racingtoschool.co.uk.

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